Children of military families often choose to follow the path of their parents. Whether committing to public service or aiming to support the defense mission in other ways, the common thread is a sense of duty. Kendall D. is an award-winning engineer working for Aerojet Rocketdyne in Huntsville, Alabama. She grew up in Northern Virginia with her father who served in the Marine Corps for most of his life. While her path wasn’t joining the military, Kendall found a different opportunity for service after applying to college six years ago.
Kendall D. is an award-winning engineer working for Aerojet Rocketdyne in Huntsville, Alabama.
“I applied to the University of Virginia’s Engineering School to study mechanical engineering with the hopes of working in the defense field,” Kendall said. “I wanted to work for Aerojet Rocketdyne because I knew that Aerojet Rocketdyne developed solid rocket motors and other technologies that protect the warfighter.”
She spoke about the benefits of having a mentor like Rachel C., an Aerojet Rocketdyne project engineer, who guided her through an internship with Aerojet Rocketdyne and a subsequent full-time hire.
“I’m lucky to have a successful and accomplished engineer like Rachel to look up to and learn from. The quick transition from college to moving to a new city and starting a new job was nerve-wracking. But I explored Huntsville, threw myself into my work, and ended up loving both. Huntsville is my home now, and I’m grateful to work with such great people,” added Kendall.
For aspiring engineers, Kendall emphasizes the utility of learning from your mistakes: “Failures and mistakes teach you more than success does… if you can use them to your advantage, you’ll be successful.”
Kendall was recognized earlier this year as a Future Technology Leader by the Engineers’ Council for exceptional leadership in design and manufacturing of solid rocket motors for strategic class boosters. When she’s not at work as a solid rocket motor engineer, Kendall loves playing and watching basketball.
Kendall receives an Engineers' Council award for Future Technology Leader at the Huntsville Engineers Week Banquet Feb. 20, 2020.