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Developing The Aerospace Workforce: A Boeing Experience

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Aerospace Technical Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.388.1 - 15.388.20



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Paper Authors


Kenneth Van Treuren Baylor University

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Dr. Van Treuren is a professor on the faculty in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Baylor University. He teaches the capstone Mechanical Engineering Laboratory course as well as courses in heat transfer, aerospace engineering, gas turbines, fluid mechanics, and wind power. His research interests include energy education and gas turbine heat transfer. He can be contacted at

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Daniel Kirk Florida Institute of Technology

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Dr. Daniel Kirk is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the Florida Institute of Technology. He teaches a variety of classes to include Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics, Air-Breathing Propulsion, Rockets and Mission Analysis, and Aerospace Engineering Design. His research interests are in the areas of gas turbine and rocket propulsion systems.

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Tein-min Tan Drexel University

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Dr. Tein-Min Tan is an associate professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Drexel University. He is a member of ASEE.

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Sridhar Santhanam Villanova University

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Dr. Sridhar Santhanam is a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at Villanova University. He has taught a variety of classes in mechanics, design, manufacturing, and materials. His primary research interests are in the use of mechanics to model material behavior and manufacturing processes.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Abstract An engineer shortage is said to be looming on the horizon. There is considerable concern in the United States that not enough engineers are graduating from our colleges and universities to satisfy the demand. Boeing shares this concern and is seeking to become an important element in the development of emerging engineering talent. Boeing is well positioned to become a leader in developing the engineering pipeline to cultivate a world-class talent pool of engineering graduates, beginning in K-12 programs. This report first examines the “Desired Attributes of an Engineer” as defined by the National Academy of Engineering and Boeing. Quantitative data gathered from discussions with engineers show that perceptions of young engineers concerning their job skills, as outlined in the attributes, do not necessarily match the perceptions of their supervisors. Further study provides a snapshot of Boeing’s involvement in the K-12 and university pipeline. The results of this study show that Boeing already actively participating in K-12 and university education. The conclusion from the literature shows that STEM education needs to be intentionally improved in the early school years and the paper suggests that Boeing and industry partners, because of their interest in the challenges of STEM education, could invest more of their resources to have a significant impact on STEM. Several recommendations are given to industry to position themselves for this challenge.


The Boeing Company is a company dedicated to developing the best engineers in the world. Their commitment to the engineering education process is evident in the unique program called The Boeing Welliver Faculty Fellowship Program. This is a program that has been operated by Boeing every summer since 1995. The Welliver program is a unique program designed to:

“… expose a small number of competitively selected professors from U.S. and international universities to key elements and the business realities of industry by enabling them to "look over the shoulder" of working professionals at several levels of the technical, business, and management career paths. They will leave the program with an understanding of Boeing's business including its research needs, with an improved understanding of the practical application of technical and business skills and with a network of contacts within Boeing and among their faculty peers that can form the basis of long-term relationships”1

In all, 149 faculty from around the globe have participated in this program since its inception. The objectives of the Welliver Program are1:

1. To provide faculty with a better understanding of the practical industry application of engineering, manufacturing, information technology and business skills 2. To help faculty enhance the content of undergraduate education in ways that will better prepare tomorrow's graduates for careers in a global environment

Van Treuren, K., & Kirk, D., & Tan, T., & Santhanam, S. (2010, June), Developing The Aerospace Workforce: A Boeing Experience Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16174

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015