People of Lockheed Martin: Meet Byron


Name: Byron
Years at LM: 3
Current position: Manufacturing Engineer
Day-to-day responsibility: Circuit Card Assemblies

Name: Steven
Years at Lockheed Martin: 10
Current Position: Manufacturing Engineer Staff
Day-to-day Responsibilities: Automation and Robotics

Name: Aaron
Years at Lockheed Martin: 11
Current Position: Manufacturing Engineer Senior
Day-to-day Responsibilities: Infrared search and track, torque tool subject matter expert

Name: Dan
Years at Lockheed Martin: 3
Current Position: Electromechanical Engineer
Day-to-day Responsibilities: Creating designs for electrical assemblies used in sensor systems

Name: Will
Years at Lockheed Martin: 2
Current Position: Manufacturing Engineer
Day-to-day Responsibilities: Cable and harness production and development

A small group of Central Florida Lockheed Martin employees competed and volunteered at the 2020 Florida Gambler 500 off-road rally. The event is a blend of improvised engineering, teamwork, and community outreach.

To participate, each team had to enter a street-legal vehicle and complete to the following challenges:

•  2-3 days of off-road driving (~500 miles, ~17 hours)
•  Visit 25 GPS coordinate checkpoints
•  Recover fellow racers that have broken down or got stuck
•  Post nature photography and acts of sportsmanship & fun to the event Facebook page
•  Collect trash along the way (ranging from personal appliances to abandoned boats)

Teams were encouraged to spend a net of only $500 for vehicle, registration, and all repairs/modifications (not a requirement).

Can you tell us why you decided to participate in this Road Rally?

Byron: I get really excited around motorsports, the outdoors, and “improvised engineering”; the Gambler 500 satisfied all three cravings. I was also drawn to how much the event celebrates various forms of teamwork. Teams were awarded not only for vehicle performance and checking off waypoints, but also forest clean-up and assisting other teams. There were even awards for “campground mechanic” and “campground cook”.  

Steven: I race in 24 hours of Lemons and it follows a similar rule set focused on having fun on a tight budget. Most of my interest was sparked by Social Media.  Once I heard Byron and others talking about it and wanting to start a team, I was in.

Dan: I have seen the event conducted elsewhere in the country and it looked like a ton of fun. We really wanted to do it last year since it was the first time it had come to Florida but we were too late. This year we got it together and made it to the race. I also used to work up in Ocala with the team we pulled together, so it was cool to get back up there and hang out for a few weekends getting the truck ready and running it through the forest.

Will: I was drawn to the Gambler event for the relaxed off-road experience and spending time with a good group of people. Each team builds a ridiculous vehicle and thrashes it through the trails. When issues arise, it is up to the team’s ingenuity to resolve the problem on the spot or request support from a passing team. The culture of the event is focused towards “smiles per mile” and cooperation amongst teams is often needed to make the journey.

Although the Lockheed Martin team did not take home any awards this year, they did recover three competitor’s stuck vehicles, improvise emergency repairs (including removing a shock absorber!) and collect 30 pounds of forest litter.

The team had such a great time, they were inspired to organize a second Central Florida Lockheed Martin team for next year’s event!

Are you driven to have a great time building friendships while helping the community? If so, a job at Lockheed Martin might be the right fit for you!