Make Time to Engage
By Dan Dumbacher|March 2019
When AIAA launched the Engage platform a year ago, we knew it could be a great way to connect our members, build a stronger aerospace community, and help solve problems. It’s now clear you agree. Together, we’ve built a healthy, thriving community of about 6,000 participating members, and it continues to grow.
One of the great aspects of Engage is how the discussions don’t disappear and can be useful today or five years from now. There were 517 threads in 2018, none of which relied on an email chain or listserv. Engage is also a terrific networking tool, connecting you across distance, generations, and interests. Engage is your opportunity to have thoughtful and informative discussions with other professionals.
Some of the popular discussions include Mars Orbit First, Then Land Later?, Space for Everyone, and Deep Space Gateway—Why? Other thought provokers include Where Does Space Begin? Want to learn about the cutting-edge research on in-situ resource utilization experiments or how copper wiring weight affects rockets? Engage has discussion threads dedicated to those topics and more by fellow AIAA members. I encourage you to follow and contribute to these spirited conversations—or start your own.
It’s also the place to connect with your local community. Since the platform began, 43 sections launched their own sites on Engage, AIAA technical committee discussions have taken off, and the young professional committee has 100 discussion threads.
Engage is where you will find useful information. The Resource Library is one of the most popular areas. Last year 5,275 documents were uploaded and more are added every day. Workshop for Integrated Propeller Prediction was searched for 177 times in 2018.
The platform can help you get results. Stewart Bushman of the Liquid Propulsion Technical Committee (LPTC) used Engage to seek nominees for awards—he received six nominations for the LPTC student award and seven for the young professional award.
We’re hosting new communities of member interest within the platform. Some recent groups include in-space assembly and manufacturing, aerospace workforce development, and complex system sustainment.
Students and young professionals are asking for guidance. They’re looking for advice about what kinds of courses to take or want to know what you think of their resume. You can help the next generation.
Engage will continue to become more useful. We’re exploring the addition of a new volunteering tool. You’ll be able to call for volunteers to help with everything from judging a student conference, staffing a booth at a career fair, or even running for AIAA president.
I know many of you, like me, are hovering in the background sometimes. Sure, we check the email that details the latest discussion, but maybe the day gets away from us and we don’t contribute. Let’s change that. If you haven’t, please post a question, respond to a discussion, or help a student choose their career path. I know you’ll find it worthwhile!