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      Tom GloverTom Glover

      In my first copy of TRA’s no name Gazette, July August 2021 in the MAIL POUCHE, John Feneck wrote an article in which he mentioned his meeting another RW candidate in 1956, John Leone, and their lifelong friendship. I hope he was referring to the John Leone I knew.

      In 1979 I applied for a cooperative student associate product engineer position with TRW space park while I was a junior at Long Beach State studying ocean engineering. I was interviewed by Larry Ell and hired. John Leone managed Product Design Engineering. His deputy was Henry (Hank) Luhrs. There were three departments in Product Design Engineering which included structural-mechanical engineering, thermal engineering and product engineering. Larry Ell managed product engineering at the time and placed me in an apprentice capacity under Danforth (Dan) Marbut as my mentor. While I was given projects to design, develop, test and environmentally quality space “black boxes”, John, Hank, Larry and Dan made sure I made my engineering studies my priority and when I graduated with my BS in 1981 my title changed immediately from “associate engineer” to “engineer” with a doubling in salary.

      All of the individuals mentioned above, as well as many others at space park, started and guided me on a professional career that I will forever be grateful for and have tried to emulate when in a position to do so.

      In 1981-82 I was supporting the 5106 program as a product engineer. I got into a disagreement with the program manager (PM) when I refused to sign off on approval for a PCB (printed circuit board) design. The preliminary prototype made it through electrical testing but in my analysis if components on the PCB assembly ever came in at the top end of their allowed tolerance range there would have an interference fit (the potential of components rubbing against each other in vibration qualification testing), with the potential for catastrophic failure. Of course having to redesign the PCB would take more time and budget. When I told the PM I wasn’t going to approve the design the PM told me “I’m not asking you to approve the design, I’m telling you to approve the design.” To which I replied “Doug, go-to-hell.” I made it back to the product design engineering offices and found John Leone, with his grey goatee and 3-piece grey suit in his office. I sat down and explained what had happened and prepared myself for the consequences of my actions. At that moment John’s desk phone range and he answered it and put the phone on speaker. John said “Hi Doug what can I do for you.” Doug went on to describe his disappointment with the product engineer assigned to his program. John asked Doug if he discussed it with Tom (me) and Doug said he was embarrassed to tell John, but his young inexperienced product engineer had told him to “go-to-hell”. At that point looking directly at me John replied “Well Doug, then go-to-hell”. and hung up the phone.

      Doing the “right thing” even if it’s painful and unpopular was instilled in me at the beginning of my career and has served me well.
      Thank you, John

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