Candidate Profile Jason Hatfield

Tell us about a particularly challenging/exciting project or engagement you have had due to your relationship with PDS.:

I’ve been working on many engineering packages for ULA’s Vulcan Upper Stage and Booster, Block C. I liked being charged with presenting the Block C Booster structural upgrades at CDR in December ’23. I also found it rewarding to present the full-weight savings of the Block C Booster to my peers during a recent demo meeting, where various team members summarized recent accomplishments.

How has working with/through PDS contributed to your professional growth?:

PDS has facilitated my participation at ULA for years. I’ve refined various skill sets, from communications and leadership to troubleshooting tricky issues with ULA systems and getting the most out of the 3D and 2D hardware definition processes.

Can you share a specific moment or achievement that you’re particularly proud of in your career?:

I always like the phase of involvement where I’m learning from an expert. When I took over some responsibilities as a dynamics analyst at Pratt & Whitney, I grilled the subject-matter expert on rocket engine dynamics data reduction. He was already a friend of mine, but he was a great mentor. I learned and expanded on the data processing system and was able to generate fleet-wide trend plots that weren’t possible to obtain before.

How do you stay updated on industry trends and continuously enhance your skills? Any favorite learning resources or strategies?:

I try to pay attention to younger generations of engineers. I can’t fully keep up, but I am always listening and usually recognize a lot of value in the perspectives of team members who have graduated in the last five or so years.

What advice would you give to fellow professionals who aspire to achieve similar success?:

Do not let others define what success means to you. My own proclivity to strike a balance between technical hands-on work and the demands for management/leadership growth often puzzled managers I reported to over the years, but the path I chose is not only the one that I feel has been successful but, most importantly, the pathway that I have most enjoyed.

In your opinion, what qualities make a candidate a good fit for PDS?:

Being socially adaptable and having expert-level skill sets.

What role do you believe mentorship and networking play in career development, and have they been instrumental in your journey?:

Mentorship and networking are very critical in the aerospace environment. I have had really important mentors and have also been a mentor. The endeavor itself (aerospace innovation) is built on these relationships.