Patrick Collier, Architect – Senior Systems Engineer, Harris
Patrick is an Open Systems Architect and Systems Engineer with Harris Corporation. His focus is on the development and use of open architectures for in space and non-space applications, an area he has been active in since 2009. In addition to his current work with VITA, Patrick was a lead for the Space Universal Modular Architecture (SUMO), where he worked to incorporate existing space-related standards and architectures into SUMO.
Work with VITA 1. Please explain some of the work you’re doing with VITA & the HOST/SOSA initiative.
I’m a co-founder of SOSA and chair of the hardware working group as well as the co-founder of the Next Generation Space Interconnect Standard (NGSIS), which is an umbrella that includes the SpaceVPX, SpaceVPXLite, and SpaceVNX efforts. I’m also chair of all three space-related VITA working groups.
During my short tenure at NAVAIR (government civilian), I worked on the HOST effort as a hardware lead.
2. How do you feel this initiative will help the strengthen the embedded computing industry?
SOSA, HOST, CMOSS, SpaceVPX, and all the others are working to create an ecosystem that’s based upon a consensus-based architecture and building blocks that maximize portability and reuse, among other quality attributes that are important to these efforts.
Why Engineering? 1. Did you always want to be an engineer? If so, why? If not, how’d you wind up here?
I originally wanted to be an astronaut (go figure) and an Olympic track and field athlete – made it closer to the Olympic dream than the other.
Science has always been in me.
2. What has surprised you the most about the work you do with embedded computing? (or engineering in general):
The term “Think outside the box” is very subjective. Incredible technologies, incredible ideas, and a great potential. Engineers need to think globally, instead of inside a compartment, to understand the “connectedness” of everything.
3. What are some of the biggest issues currently facing engineers?
Thinking globally. Developing outside of their comfort zones. Engaging with others as part of a larger group with a variety of disparate viewpoints.
4. What advice would you give to someone looking into this field of engineering?
Consider this field as a mix of science and art. Think about potentials at a macro level as well at a micro level. Look to a convergence of a variety of fields and endeavors.
Off the cuff: What’s the most recent show you’ve binge watched?
Games of Thrones – I love dragons!