John Miles II
Current: Process Engineer
Next Gig: NASA
By Thelema Davis, iWrite Editor and iUrban Teen
John Miles has been a huge asset to our iUrban Teen Portland Team over the past six months and helped launch our Teen Council, now John is heading to Florida for an amazing opportunity with NASA. Read all about it below..
iUT: What is your current role at Intel and what does it entail?
JM: I am a Process Engineer. The role is Atomization. We design the chips that go inside the cell phones, computers, and laptops and we try to atomize it. The ideas is that the more you produce, the more the company can make, or the better quality it is the more companies will want to buy the product. So we do a lot of experiments to try and figure out the best way to make that happen.
iUT: Did you have any STEM experiences as a youth that helped steer you towards what you’re currently doing?
JM: Yes. As an undergrad, I did a lot of URE’s – undergraduate research experiences. I volunteered in a lot of different Science labs participating in everything from Computation to Chemistry, to Electrometabolomic modeling, you name it. These opportunities opened my eyes to the various opportunities in the STEM field. The entire experience made me very diverse with the different things that I could go into and helped me realize I didn’t have to limit myself to just one thing.
iUT: What advice would you give our teens about being an engineer?
JM: “Want to make a difference, extend your mind and continue to learn.”
I would say patience and persistence. It’s not always easy you won’t always get the highest CPA or get the best internship. But if you are patient and persistent you will learn it all. Especially in college, it’s not the easiest major, but if you enjoy it and show interest in it, and it will make life a lot easier.
iUT: What interests you about being involved with iUrban Teen?
JM: I first heard about the 2016 Martin Luther King Junior event that iUrban was hosting, so I went, and that’s when I first became involved. I met Deena for the first time there and we discovered we had the same passion and she wanted me to get involved.
In the environment that I grew up in I didn’t have any opportunities as a youth in Houston, now I want to give back. Before I left Houston, I started a mentoring program similar to iUrban Teen, but it went on a stand-still. Now, iUrban is lined up exactly with my passion and trying to gear students towards the STEM field and open the door of opportunity for them.
iUT: What do you like to do when not focusing on Intel or iUrban Teen?
JM: Snowboarding, hiking, going to the movies. I used to go fishing but I haven’t had much of a chance to do that here.
iUT: I understand you will be taking a position at NASA in a few weeks, can you tell us a little bit of what you’ll be doing there?
JM: I do not know the exact title just yet. One of the projects I will be working on is designing a new space suit for long time space exploration, so NASA can go to Mars or beyond. Another project I will simultaneously work on entails converting urea into drinking water, and tilting out the minerals for fertilization purposes. More basically extracting water from human urine into recyclable resources or drinkable water and use the potassium and sodium chloride for fertilization and irrigation purposes.
iUT; Did you ever dream of growing up to work for NASA when you were young?
JM: Growing up the only thing I would read was Astronomy books and I knew all the planets and stuff because I wanted to be an Astronaut. When I got a little older I thought “I don’t know if I really want to be an Astronaut anymore, but I think it would still be cool to at least work for NASA”. So I interned with them for the first time three years ago. It was a phenomenal experience to have that dream to work as an Astronaut and then actually get to intern with them, it was kind of like a dream come true.
iUT: Is there anything else you would like to add?
JM: “We sometimes run into our destiny by choosing the road to avoid it.”
By that I mean that some students may want to be engineers or may want to focus in on a certain field, but if it does not work out, sometimes it’s just the door opening to what your true destiny will be. So don’t let it bring you down; don’t feel down if things don’t work out just the way you imagined.
Thank you for all your help and support John, you will be missed in the Pacific NW!