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The right kind of crazy: Extreme design on the way to Mars and beyond

Siemens Dreamer Siemens Dreamer
Siemens Dreamer

This guest blog post is by John Fox,  VP of Marketing for Mainstream Engineering, Siemens PLM Software

An interview with Adam Steltzner, Lead Landing Engineer of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Project



Solid Edge University 2013 gets underway today.  In tomorrow’s general sessions, we have two great keynote speakers – Adam Steltzner, Lead Landing Engineer of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Project and Bernard Amadei, Founder, Engineers Without Borders – USA.
In my last post, I introduced Bernard Amadei.  Now, here’s Adam:

Solid Edge University is shaping up to be the biggest Solid Edge user event ever.  And your participation has generated a lot of interest.  Without giving too much away, what is your keynote presentation about? 


My talk is entitled, "The right kind of crazy:  Extreme design on the way to Mars and beyond" How does one land the biggest rover ever sent to another planet?  It takes some innovation and the capacity to design what we can imagine.  I will be taking folks through what we did and why we did it.  I’ll also explain the origin of the phrase “the right kind of crazy.”  By the way, I’m glad to learn that a colleague of mine, Darlene Lee, will be keynoting at the Femap Symposium on Thursday.

You have an interesting personal story.  What were some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are today? 
Well, I wasn't a very good student in high school, in fact I barely graduated.  I was more interested in playing rock and roll and hoping to become a rock star.  My greatest challenge was when I started in college and I was struggling to just keep up.  It was a couple of very hard years for me before things started to click.

People come to Solid Edge University to acquire new skills. But it’s also an event where they can get inspired.  As an engineer, what is it about going to work every day that keeps you inspired?  When tackling a tough design project what are your greatest sources of inspiration?
I think I am most inspired by the tremendous people I get to work with.  I find that the closer I look, the more I find slivers of greatness in so many people I get to work with.

Thanks, Adam.  We’re looking forward your keynote tomorrow.

For those of you who are attending Solid Edge University this week, here are a few links to help you get the most out of the event:

Solid Edge. Design Better.