Alissa Windham always enjoyed math, physics and chemistry in high school. So it was only natural that she pursue a degree in engineering at the University of Florida’s highly ranked College of Engineering. What she couldn’t have imagined is that her stellar education and passion for problem solving would land her at one of the top global security and aerospace companies in the world.
In fact, the skills Alissa developed through her courses at UF and in engineering clubs are what prepared her for multiple internships at Lockheed Martin. And more impressively, they afforded her the opportunity to get hands-on experience working on one of the company’s newest projects: INFIRNO®.
INFIRNO® is a high-performance, 15-inch targeting sensor for air, maritime and ground platforms. It is equipped with high-definition optical sensors that enable users to identify, track and engage multiple targets at extended ranges, while also providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
Alissa worked as a systems engineering intern on the INFIRNO® team during the design phase. Getting that real-world, practical experience helped her gain fundamental skills and ultimately find a future with the Fortune 100 company, where today she is employed as a full-time systems engineer.
Alissa is just one of Florida’s 28,000+ STEM graduates helping tech companies compete and succeed in the industry. With over 311,000 high-tech employees in the state, companies are seeing and realizing the potential here. Including Lockheed Martin Vice President Frank St. John, who began his career with the company 25+ years ago as an intern. He believes that access to educated, prepared talent is critical to the company’s future.
“Our success – and our nation’s technological advantage – depends on a constant supply of highly trained, highly capable technical talent.” –Frank St. John, Vice President, Lockheed Martin
To maintain that standard of talent excellence, Florida colleges and universities are committed to collaborating with companies to ensure that STEM programs and high-tech curriculums are relevant to industry needs and remain on the cutting edge of innovation.
“The schools we recruit from in Florida have robust and diverse populations in majors that are of interest to Lockheed Martin.” –Frank St. John, Vice President, Lockheed Martin
Alissa credits her Florida education with not only helping her get her dream job, but equipping her with valuable knowledge and expertise she can draw on throughout her career.