Abstract: At times, the aerospace industry appears to be governed by tribal knowledge. Unofficial insight into this world is presented with a focus on two organizations: The Boeing Company and Sierra Nevada Corporation. Material is covered with an aerodynamics bias (especially computational) but attempts are made to extrapolate to other job codes. Company structure, culture, hiring processes, and analysis tools are compared and contrasted. Unsolicted suggestions for building an early-career engineering toolbox are provided as well. The discussion closes with anecdotes from both companies, to exemplify typical situations an engineer deals with in industry.
Bio: Will graduated from the Rutgers B.S./M.S. program with degrees in Mechanical Engineering. In 2007, he started the first of four summer internships at The Boeing Company. He joined Commercial Airplanes full-time in 2010, and supported several software projects and developmental airplane programs. Will left The Boeing Company in early 2017. The experience he gained in computational fluids, wind tunnel testing, and experimental flight opened up opportunities in Commercial Space. Will is now the youngest engineer in Computational Aerodynamics on the Dream Chaser program. Slated for six uncrewed missions through 2024, the Dream Chaser lifting body is contracted through the second Commercial Resupply Services contract to bring cargo to the International Space Station and return science to Earth.