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Show-and-Tell-2018

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SHOW & TELL MAGAZINE 2018 I I-CONNECT007 45 sion multiple times at the age of 15! After that, I got interested in electronics, although I'm not sure mom was too happy about me dragging old TVs home from the dump, taking them apart, and then reassembling them. The NASA design ethic of "design and assemble the hardware to survive the worst- case mission environment because someone's life may depend on it" became a driving force behind my first job as a senior design engineer. I designed sensors for cryogenic (-195°C) and extremely high temperature (+350°C) appli- cations for use in the petrochemical industry. I also designed sensor systems that could survive the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and surge effects of lightning. Eventually I went to NASA as one of the agency's subject matter experts (SME) on elec- trical/electronics assembly. The work at NASA is both fun and challenging. I solve problems. Sometimes I'm a traffic cop enforcing the rules, sometimes I'm a design consultant helping a project, and sometimes I'm a referee between a project engineer and quality. I've worked with the astronauts on a couple of projects. They are real people with a very strange job, and they can have a very dry sense of humor at times. Goldman: So, the President's Award is all about your volunteering with IPC. How long have you been involved with committees? Cooke: I seem to remember going to a cou- ple of the conferences way back in the '80s, but I wasn't really involved in the documents. I started actively working with the IPC docu- ments in late 1995, when NASA JSC Engi- neering began investigating whether com- mercial design and workmanship standards could be used for the design and assembly of hardware for space flight applications. At one point I created a draft of a space addendum to J-STD-001B, which was (in retrospect) typi- cal "Bob"—excessively detailed. Eventually, that draft was boiled down to what became the Space Addendum to J-STD-001C. For the past couple of years, I've been the general chair of the 7-30 group. I'm also the chair of 7-31K, which is the cable and harness task group, and 7-31M, which is the fiber optics task group. Those two task groups have created seven doc- uments, so far. Goldman: What were your thoughts when you got the call here about this award? What were your thoughts when you learned you were to receive IPC's President's Award? Cooke: Well, the first call came into voice mail and it was, "IPC management wants to talk to you - click." Okay, what did I do wrong? Am I about to lose all my chairman positions because someone's decided that I'm not play- ing nice (I can be rather grumpy at times) or something like that [laughs]? I was surprised. It's very humbling to have this type of recog- nition that you not only are doing good and you're helping, but that you're recognized for it. Getting this award… I suppose I'll have to show up with a suit and tie, and I don't wear suits and ties. It's humbling to be recognized this way. They said, "We want to nominate you for the President's Award, so you can talk about what it's like to come to some of these big meetings like the IPC-A-610 or the J-STD-001." Well, if you're a general chair, you're trying to help the committee chairs control the chaos, and it's kind of like herding cats. You're in a room with 150 people, that all have different technical needs, and don't always agree on the need for a requirement, much less the wording. Having a heavy hand won't work, and sometimes the best thing to do is sit back and just enjoy the theater. For folks who are considering attending the Standards Development committee meetings, I can advise you that (based on personal experi- ence) it can be a bit intimidating when you first walk in. The major meetings on Saturday and Sunday (IPC-A-610 and J-STD-001) are kind of special, and the discussions can be rather spir- ited at times. But, don't let that stop you from participating. You'll soon discover that even though the attendees come from differing mar- ket sectors, and even other parts of the world, we all tend to have the same technical issues and we work together to help each other. All

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