Civil engineering major Scott Pabian was on the job during the September 9 launch of space shuttle Atlantis, but he was glad his assignment for that day did not have to be carried out. Pabian is working with NASA at the Kennedy Space Center this semester on a College of Engineering cooperative education assignment.
Pabian, a graduate of Dunbar High School in Lexington , works in the facilities engineering division, which manages all NASA buildings and other facilities, along with new construction and renovation. At the time of the launch, he was at the Operations Support Building II about three miles southwest of the launch site when a fellow employee took the accompanying photo.
“My job on launch day was to shut down the building’s ventilation systems if there had been a mishap — an explosion — on the pad during liftoff,” Pabian said. “Thankfully, we didn’t have to do that job for the launch.”
Pabian is in the first of three co-op rotations. A rotation is a schedule that allows co-op students to gain more substantial experience by working full-time for an entire semester and then returning to full-time academic work at UK the next semester, alternating until three semesters of work with the employer have been completed. The full-time arrangement also allows students to pursue opportunities away from the Lexington area.