Luke Snyder graduated from NL in 2011. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering from Capitol Technology University (Laurel, MD) in 2015. During his freshman year of college, Snyder was hired as an intern for Columbus Technologies, working at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on the TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) satellite. His duties during the internship were to test out new software intended for use to communicate with and control the satellite. He continued that internship for three years and became lead intern after his second year there. Near the end of his junior year, Snyder was offered an internship working for Discovery Communications (the Discovery Channel on TV) at their Sterling Virginia Uplink Facility. In this role, he was trained to be an RF Distribution Engineer, maintaining and controlling the equipment used to send the Discovery Family of channels over satellite to Discovery's customers. He also worked on various projects and built a system which was sent to Napa California and still in use today.
After graduating, Snyder was hired full time by Discovery Communications as a Junior Distribution Engineer. After a year, Snyder was promoted to a Compression Engineer, where his job was to maintain, control, and advance the equipment used to compress, encrypt, and encode the Discovery family of networks to be sent over satellite or fiber to customers. During his first year in this role, he was recognized as a recipient of the award “30 Overachievers Under 30,” presented by Cablefax. In 2019 Snyder was promoted to Supervisor of his group, and in 2020 he helped bring a third region for Discovery under his umbrella of groups. His group currently oversees the encoding equipment for the Discovery North America, Discovery Latin America, and Discovery Asia/Pacific regions and is directly responsible for keeping the Discovery family of networks in those regions going to customers (and showing up on your TV) without errors or disruptions. Snyder’s work has given him opportunities to travel to places like California, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, as well as a three-month assignment in London.
Snyder currently resides in Haymarket, Virginia, with his wife, Carole-Marie, whom he married in 2020. In his free time, he enjoys wood carving and woodworking, as well as taking walks and small hikes with his wife. The thing that Snyder most appreciated about his time at NL was that “the teachers were approachable and personable, and they would invest time in their students, helping them figure out how they could succeed in their goals.” The following is Snyder’s advice for current NL students: My advice for current students has 2 parts. The first part of advice is to surround yourself with people who will support you in positive ways and who want to see you succeed. The second part of my advice is to ask thoughtful questions and to not be afraid of asking those thoughtful questions. Asking questions is a great way to show your peers, mentors, bosses, and many more people that you are engaged, learning, understanding or trying to understand, and focused on whatever the topic being discussed is, whether that be homework, an upcoming test, a project for work, a new idea, or anything else.