BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A 23-year-old LSU mechanical engineering graduate moved to Texas this summer to start his dream job at SpaceX.
Scot McKenzie made the nine-hour trip to Brownsville in June to work as a SpaceX launch operations engineer, according to LSU. His work includes flight control and monitoring launch pad activity, controls system valves and pressurizations and commands operations for vehicle testing.
“It’s a lot to take in because there are a lot of different things going on that are a step above what I did at NASA, so it’s a learning experience but also a fun and incredible place to work,” McKenzie said. “One thing that shocked me was the incredible level of technology out here, everything from personnel safety to the software programs that allow virtual hands on the launch pad at all times. I’m able to use my prior knowledge to go to even bigger heights. I’ve gone from testing a stationary single rocket engine to prepping an entire vehicle for launch.”
The university said McKenzie previously interned at the NASA Stennis Space Center in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Since moving to Brownsville, he looks forward to his and SpaceX’s future.
“Starship is the new rocket SpaceX is building,” McKenzie said. “It’s located at the Starbase development facility, and it’s going to be the biggest, most powerful rocket ever. It’s Musk’s goal to make life multi-planetary, and this is the rocket he’s going to use to do it.”