ECE Student Seminar

Event Details

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

11:15am - 12:05pm

Klaus Advanced Computing Building (Room 2443)

For More Information


Paul Steffes

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Event Details

Speaker: Mary Lynn Smith, Staff Antenna Engineer/Project  Engineer -  ViaSat Incorporated

Seminar Topic: Six Keys to Success

Abstract of Talk:
The talk will start with a brief summary of Mary Lynn’s career. Each of the six keys to success – Communication, Know Your Options, Manage Your Risks, Continue to Learn and Grow, Plan for the Unexpected, and Work/Life Balance will be discussed in detail using some of Mary Lynn’s experiences as examples. A brief summary of who ViaSat is will wrap up the talk.

Biographical Sketch of the Speaker:
Mary Lynn Smith is a Staff Antenna Engineer/Project Engineer/Program Manager for the Antenna Systems (AS) Division of ViaSat, Inc. As a Staff Antenna Engineer, Mary Lynn is responsible for the electrical design of feeds, subreflectors, and antenna designs. She is also responsible for managing the cost, quality elements, performance, schedule, and technical aspects of antenna systems as a Program Manager and Project Engineer. 

In 1995, Mary Lynn joined ViaSat (formerly the Satellite Network Division of Scientific Atlanta) as an Antenna Engineer. During this time Mary Lynn has designed tracking and non-tracking antennas covering the range from 200 MHz to 44 GHz, and frequency selective surface (FSS) subreflectors for dual and tri-band operation. In addition to her design work, Mary Lynn has also been the project engineer and/or program manager on numerous projects. These included a 3 C-band 6/9m antenna limited motion communication network, full autotracking L/S-band systems, a program tracking L/S-band system, a UHF transmit upgrade to an existing S/X-band full autotracking system, 4 C/X-band 9m antenna limited motion network, multiple 3m X-band antenna systems, Ka-band horn, polarizer, and diplexer for second generation consumer user terminal, Ka-band antenna system portion of an airborne user terminal, and Ku/Ka-band antenna system portion of an airborne user terminal. In 2006, as Limited Motion Product Line Manager, Mary Lynn was responsible for maintaining, improving, and expanding the limited motion product line of antennas. From 2007 to 2011, as VGate Champion for AS, Mary Lynn was responsible for helping to develop templates to support the VGate process which ViaSat uses to develop and manage programs. She also helped in implementing and training others to use the process. In 2009, as Acting Antenna and Microwave Engineering Manager, she was responsible for managing the Antenna and Microwave Engineers, making sure that programs were adequately staffed, supporting proposals, maintaining tools, and identifying needed training. From 2009 to 2015, as the ViaSearch Site Lead for AS, where she define what searches were needed, involved in the development testing and early roll out of the ViaSearch tool created to search various systems and databases at ViaSat for information. In 2012, Mary Lynn created and taught a training course on project engineering for ViaSat’s JAST division in Switzerland. 

From 2015 to present, as the Product Brazing Lead, Mary Lynn address product priorities and issues with existing vacuum brazing suppliers as well as developed and instituted plan for identifying and qualifying new suppliers. As the Antenna Engineering Community internal wiki site lead from 2009 to present, Mary Lynn has identified antenna capabilities and tools to the broader ViaSat internal audience. This expanded in 2016 to be the internal wiki site lead for her business area as well. She also has facilitated the Antenna Engineering Working group from 2009 to present and the Project Engineering Working Group from 2016 to present and coordinates both group’s internal wiki sites. Mary Lynn managed the antenna test ranges and range personnel from 2016 to 2017. She also mentors new engineers and project engineers whenever the opportunity arises.

Mary Lynn worked at Watkins-Johnson Company in San Jose, CA, as a Member of the Technical Staff in the Antenna Department, Electronic Equipment Division from 1988-1995. She received a B.E.E. at the Georgia Institute of Technology on the Co-operative Education Plan in 1988 and her M.S.E.E. at Santa Clara University in 1994. She has been a member of I.E.E.E. since 1983 and a Senior Member since 2007. From 2011 to 2015t, Mary Lynn was the IEEE Region 3 Student Activities Committee (SAC) Vice Chair and from 2012 to 2015 the IEEE Region 3 Student Professional Awareness Conference (S-PAC) Coordinator.

Last revised January 10, 2019