UCF Alumnus Soars in Career and Life

The University of Central Florida produced great minds far before it was dubbed UCF. When the school started as Florida Technological University, it was mainly STEM-focused and produced professionals to work for science-based companies such as NASA. One such professional initially came across the country to attend FTU.

Outstanding AlumKnight Scott Fouse ’76, originally chose to go to school in his home state of California, but enrolled at FTU after his freshman year to be closer to his parents in Florida. He majored in physics while he worked and lived on a private stable near campus. The work there took up a tremendous amount of time and if he could have changed one thing, it would have been how much he worked.

“That is my one regret about my time at FTU. I really focused on my studies and also my work,” Fouse said. “I lived in a room over the stable, and I took on all types of chores and jobs, including cleaning the stalls every morning. This kept me from any extracurricular activities.”

Not only did his hardworking attitude help him succeed at work, but he used that drive to push himself his senior year. Fouse was part of a small student-led group who wanted to go faster than the curriculum allowed. With the help of a physics professor, the group created two custom courses that spanned their entire senior year.

“We studied Goldstein Mechanics and Tensor Analysis,” Fouse explained. “It was probably one of the hardest years I had, because the students took on the responsibility of teaching the various chapters, with guidance from the professors. But it was a fantastic experience and taught me that if you want something, you need to work to make it happen. This experience alone had a huge impact on my career.”

During his senior year at FTU he applied to Hughes Aircraft for both a job and a fellowship and landed both opportunities. The combination of a bachelor’s in Physics with his interest in doing graduate work in electrical engineering turned out to be just the combination this group was looking for.

Scott Fouse with Dean Michael D. Johnson

“The physics degree really gave me a great foundation for doing a variety of analysis, so I was very busy my first year out of college analyzing new IR sensors called Mosaic Focal Plane Arrays,” Fouse said. “There is no way I could have done those kinds of analyses without the great foundation I got from FTU. My degree also prepared me for the real world by giving me tools for general problem solving. This has helped me throughout my entire career.”

Fouse worked at Hughes Research Labs for seven years, but then decided to take a different path. He joined a small company based in southern California where he cultivated his professional skills. Now he is the Vice President of Research for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. He runs a research lab for Lockheed Martin, with approximately 500 people that span a great deal of space system technologies.

“My favorite part of my job is being able to work with incredibly smart scientists, technologists and engineers, and getting to watch the interaction between the seasoned folks and the younger folks,” he said. “They’re all so passionate about their work and their excitement energizes me. I love being in a research group where we have the freedom to think deeply about the future.”

Throughout the years Fouse has many memorable moments that will stay with him forever. He says one of his fondest memories is an exciting project he worked on. The project was part of a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. His team worked with the US Transportation Command to build a new system called DART, Dynamic Analysis and Replanning Tool, to help deploy soldiers for Desert Shield.

“On Labor Day 1990, I flew to St. Louis and spent the next 10 weeks with a team of about 20 folks working closely with the users and building the system,” Fouse said. “We had a review with the two-star general every Saturday morning, which usually involved most of the team staying up all night Friday to complete the new functionality. After eight weeks, we had met all of the target functionality, so the tool was deployed to European Command in Germany, and used to plan the second wave of the deployment in Desert Shield. It was the most intense and exciting effort I have ever been involved in.”

Fouse has had an outstanding journey and gives advice to students and alumni who want to make their experiences worthwhile.

“Do great work, work with great people and have fun,” Fouse explains. “And look for opportunities where all three come together. As I look back on my career, it is the long-term relationships I cherish most, and those happened because as a team we did great work and had fun doing it.”

Scott Fouse was honored as an Outstanding AlumKnight from the College of Sciences.

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