Employee Spotlight NathanBlog Post

Team Spotlight: Nathan Downs

Team member:

Nathan Downs

What is your position at FlightStats?

Engineer Analyst

What made you interested in what you do?

I started out as an intern for a company that does Air Traffic Control research. I got to dig down into the weeds of how the FAA and NASA solves complex problems of routing air traffic and making sure everything runs safely and on time. After I was an intern, I ended up working with that company for six years. I found the open-ended questions and complex dependencies extremely compelling. It peaked my interest in solving problems that don’t necessarily have one answer. At FlightStats, I do quality analytics for the data acquisition team and answer a lot of questions that are difficult to answer by identifying trends and sussing out patterns. It’s challenging and fascinating work, and I always have something different to do and a new problem to solve.

How long have you been working at FlightStats?

Just over two years.

How has FlightStats evolved since you started?

There has been a rapid shift toward expanding the scope of what we do. I like that we’re pushing ourselves to expand some of the markets of customers we provide services to and become more creative with the products we create from our data. We’re always trying to find more useful ways people can consume data. Regarding the acquisition, it seems like we have more resources and a greater opportunity to move into those new markets.

What do you like about working at FlightStats?

It’s a very flexible work environment. A lot of my coworkers are very intelligent and passionate about what they do. It’s nice to be in an atmosphere where people sincerely enjoy what they’re doing, and you can see that in how they work.

What’s the best part of working as an Engineer Analyst at FlightStats?

It’s an open-ended, flexible position. There are a lot of complicated things to work on, which I see as a good thing. I don’t like to be bored or do the same thing all the time. There is always a new challenge. There is always room for improvement.

What are your hopes for our company?

I’d like to see us continue to push the limit of what is expected out of a data services company. I believe we are well positioned to answer many high-value problems in the aviation sector and I hope we continue to expand our role providing solutions.

What do you do in your free time?

I’m fixing up my house right now and finishing off some unfinished space in my basements like plumbing, wiring and wall construction. I also have a ‘66 Vespa that sporadically works. I like to tinker with things.

Any other fun facts you want to share?

I enjoy collecting, fixing, and learning to play various musical instruments. Before moving to Portland I had several trombones, trumpets, saxophones (which I played in a ska band for a couple years), and guitars. I have since moved on to my current, more manageable selection of resonator guitar, banjo, and ukulele.