Physics and Mathematics
Space Systems Software Engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation
Carthage alumnus Tod Schulter is a space systems software engineer at Northrup Grumman Corporation outside Washington D.C, which he believes is the best job in both the spacecraft science and software engineering worlds. In this position, Mr. Schulter develops types of spacecraft simulations, which allows customers to train their spacecraft operators to control the spacecraft when it’s in orbit, and to better understand exactly what it will do in operation.
Mr. Schulter graduated from Carthage in 2016 with degrees in physics and mathematics. While at Carthage, he was actively involved in many extracurriculars. He was a member of Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society, Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society, Alpha Chi Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and was president of the Society of Physics Students.
Mr. Schulter presented at the 2015 and 2016 Celebration of Scholars Research Symposiums and at the 2016 National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
He received the Academic Honors Scholarship, the 2016 Carthage College Society of Physics Students Distinguished Service Award, and graduated magna cum laude.
“Don’t get caught up with the small things too much. Try things you aren’t 100 percent sure about, like being an org president. I wasn’t sure about that before I took the position, but through my experiences, I proved to myself I could be a leader.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“I’ve enjoyed working with so many other people wholly interested and invested in developing and exploring space. From interning at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to my current position, I’ve met some amazing people who are all just as passionate about space exploration and development as I am, which isn’t something you easily find outside this industry.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“The aspects of my Carthage experience that helped prepare me for this career would be the leadership roles I took while at Carthage. From being president of the Society of Physics Students to helping students as a weekly math tutor, I was able to develop my leadership and professional interaction skills that would go on to help me in my graduate coursework at the University of Michigan, and ultimately, in my career.
“There were a number of Carthage professors that played a part in my success, helping me learn critical-thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership skills. The relationships I had with these faculty members helped me succeed by giving me great opportunities to grow.
“Professor Julie Dahlstrom gave me the opportunity to conduct research with her through the SURE program, giving me my first practical space exposure and research experience. Professor Mark Snavely gave me the opportunity to be a math tutor for almost half my time at Carthage. Professor Mark Mahoney gave me my enthusiasm for computer programming, which has driven me to my current role as a software engineer.”