13 Nov SKYTRAC Spotlight: From Co-Op Student to Avionics Professional
Behind the systems at SKYTRAC, are the passionate people that bring the technologies and services to the industries that rely on them to improve their operations. Embedded Software Engineer Gordon Ross began his career in avionics with SKYTRAC, as a co-op student in 2008 and has been working full- time with the company since 2011.
After being initiated into the field of aerospace, Gordon says he has not looked back.
“The university co-op work experience program paired me up with SKYTRAC simply by chance,” explains Gordon. “From there, it was a natural progression to continue after my graduation. It was actually SKYTRAC who contacted me during exams of my final year asking when I’d be available.”
Since beginning his career with SKYTRAC, Gordon has worked on countless systems and has assisted hundreds of customers to improve and integrate their operations with the latest flight following programs. According to Gordon, all his projects have been important to him. However, there are a few that stand out in his mind, including a HUMS integration project with Leonardo on their AW139.
“I have been fortunate to be a part of many projects during my years at SKYTRAC. I believe that offering real-time HUMS notifications and automated Wi-Fi/cellular upload of the HUMS data post-flight has had a significant impact on safety and operator efficiency. It’s rewarding to work on projects that truly make a difference.”
How were you introduced to your current career?
I was initially considering music school. I had a neighbor and mentor growing up who recommended engineering to me, and I’m very thankful for that. Music is still a big hobby of mine, so now I’m enjoying the best of both worlds.
What do you like most about working at SKYTRAC?
I love my job. I truly do. I work with great, intelligent people on interesting projects that make a difference in the world. And I’m respected by management for the effort I put in. It’s very fulfilling.
What draws you to work in the aerospace industry?
Admittedly, I feel like I stumbled into the aerospace industry by chance, thanks to my co-op work experience as a student. As an embedded software developer, aerospace is particularly interesting thanks to the wide array of technology levels our customers come to us with. Some customers have gone fully digital, while others ask us to interface with equipment from the ’60s. It keeps things interesting.
If you had to choose a fixed-wing or rotor-wing aircraft, which one would you choose?
Oh, rotor-wing for sure! No particular model. When SKYTRAC first got into real-time flight data monitoring years ago, I went on a test flight with a customer who wanted to verify each of the flight exceedance scenarios personally. Going through the pitch and roll measurement exceedance tests was like riding a rollercoaster without the rails! I was super impressed with the skill of the pilots.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m a programmer at work and home. I like being able to use my skills to make devices to add to my home automation setup.
SKYTRAC provides a dynamic environment to enrich the aviation industry with technologies, empowered by passion. If you are looking to join the team and expand your career in avionics, check out our careers page.