At Numerica, the theoretical becomes tangible

Working in theoretical terms can be rewarding and groundbreaking, but at some point, there needs to be a payoff. At least, that’s Dave Packard’s stance on the matter, and one of the reasons he was attracted to Numerica.

Dave is an Air and Missile Defense (AMD) research scientist with Numerica, and came to the company with a background in physics and math, which he studied at Colorado State University. His appreciation for applied sciences found a suitable home, because Numerica is quite prolific at turning the theoretical into actual results.

“It’s a unique opportunity to work on systems that are actually fielded by the military,” says Dave. “A lot of defense work is usually prototypes, designs of future-looking algorithms. It’s hard to find opportunities that will actually be used in the real-world in the short-term.”

Perhaps the biggest results-oriented project currently making waves within the industry is Numerica’s Spyglass™ radar, a short-range surveillance radar that utilizes cutting-edge tech and algorithms, combined with low-noise output, for a defense option that’s closing the gap where other industry-leading radars are falling short.

“We’re disruptive to other competitors,” says Dave. “We’re able to bring about the most innovative, best solutions usually at a lower cost. Our emphasis is to build the best solution, but also make it affordable. We’re able to do this, not only in AMD, but also in Space Domain Awareness (SDA).”

Numericans Wear Multiple Hats

One of the reasons Numerica is optimized to turn out real results is its staff’s ability to wear multiple hats and push a project from ideation to execution. For Dave, this means employing a skillset that goes beyond problem-solving on a white board. Take customers, for example.

“There’s a big customer interaction component,” says Dave. “That involves interacting with people who are using defense technology. But other facets of the job include developing how Numerica can improve its product, and then working with the team to innovate and improve our defense products.”

Of course, there’s also the work that takes place in the weeds. The number-crunching, or “A technical understanding of the algorithms and the technology to bring top solutions to fruition,” as Dave puts it. While wearing multiple hats—from customer relations to ideation to development—he’s been able to support a few domains with AMD, work with satellites in space, and work with the U.S. military.

Recently, Dave was able to see some of his work in action. He traveled to an actual test site put on by the U.S. Army and saw a Numerica project he worked on put into action. Dave was particularly excited to see what a real Army installation was and how it actually happens, and to see Numerica’s work in action and how it brings, real benefits for the military forces.

Much of this culture of doing relates back to the company Numerica keeps, which was another draw Dave felt toward the company.

Core Values Get Results, Too

Ask Dave about one of the hidden weapons at Numerica—something an outsider might not be able to articulate—and its the core values. Particularly, team building. According to Dave, the size of the company allows them to cultivate a culture of action, including how they reinforce their core values.

“We have values like every company does, but at Numerica, we live and breathe those values team-wide,” says Dave. “We have value cards we leave out and when you see someone exhibiting a core value, you can grab one of the cards and give it to them to recognize that they’ve exhibited one of the core values of Numerica.”

This translates into a team-based environment that Dave is proud to be part of.

“Everyone is really smart and hardworking,” says Dave. “We’re able to exchange ideas and also buy-in to common goals. At Numerica, we don’t just dream about what a cutting-edge technology could be. We do the work to make it a real product that’s used in the defense world.”

A lot of that boils down to patience, which Dave believes his co-workers have in abundance. After all, when you’re trying to bring an idea into real life, patience is a virtue.

“It can be hard to explain your ideas and collaborate,” says Dave. “The process to be able to work together and have grace and understanding with each other as we grow and work on things together is a bonus. Everyone is smart, innovative and willing to share their ideas to develop the best solutions possible.”

Getting Innovative Results as a Team

At the end of the day, Dave is proud of his work and the team he gets to work with. He’s a firm believer that Numericans experience an extremely rare opportunity: The ability to work with a fun, qualified team and develop unique technologies—and seeing those technologies make a real-world impact.

“On a global scale, it’s all about helping to build and deliver the next generation of military sensors,” says Dave. “Being part of that process to participate in testing, designing and improving systems along the way is really cool. These networks aren’t just used nationally. The military has a global presence and the tech Numerica creates will be used at military bases across the world.”

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