Boeing's Australian engineers solving tomorrow's challenges
August 8, 2017
From fast jet sustainment and factory automation research through to advancing autonomous aerospace systems and to customer technical support, Boeing Australia’s engineering community is solving complex problems for the innovation challenges of today and the next-generation products and services of tomorrow.
With approximately 60 percent of Boeing Australia’s more than 3,000 employees performing an engineering or technical role, Boeing is celebrating the skills and accomplishments of its engineers during Australian Engineering Week this week.
Graduate Engineer – Structures/Mechanical
Air Combat Electronic Attack
New graduates like Louisa Lee are proof that studies in engineering and maths can lead to a career supporting the Royal Australian Air Force’s most formidable strike forces.
Based at Amberley, Lee provides technical support to the Australian Super Hornet and Growler fleet as a graduate engineer. She joined Boeing as a vacation student before becoming a full-time employee.
“I’m constantly learning and applying the engineering and maths skills I learnt at university every day on amazing aircraft – it’s every grad’s dream,” said Lee.
David Bain, a robotics engineer based at Boeing’s Fishermans Bend manufacturing facility in Melbourne, joined the company seven years ago, and is focused on finding novel automation solutions for aerospace manufacturing.
Boeing Research & Technology –
Aerostructures Australia, Melbourne
“My passion is using new technologies to simplify complex manual problems,” said Bain.
“I was drawn to Boeing as a graduate as it gave me an opportunity to combine my mechatronics engineering and computer science degree with an advanced manufacturer; one that is focused on always pushing the boundaries of what is possible at a world level.
“I’ve recently led a team that developed a collaborative robotic solution for use within the Boeing Aerostructures Australia 737 aileron assembly facility in Melbourne.”
The implementation of a collaborative robot - a first for Boeing globally - allows humans and robots to work together safely side-by-side without fencing, which Bain says is “a revolution for industrial automation that opens the door to many new ways of improving the efficiency and safety of our factories.”
Research Program Lead
Boeing Research &
Technology – Australia
In Brisbane, at the core of innovation, is Kelly Cox, who leads Autonomous Systems research, based at Boeing’s research and development hub at the University of Queensland.
With a Bachelor of Engineering Aerospace Avionics and a Masters in Mathematical Science, Cox joined the company in 2007 to pursue a varied career path and growth opportunities.
“I lead a diverse team that researches new technology to support the future development of resilient autonomous aerospace systems,” said Cox. “We are focused on pushing the boundaries of technology development that have the potential to leave a mark in history.
“That’s what inspires me at work – no two days are the same and I am continually challenged to approach problems in new and innovative ways,” she said.
Just like with new Detect and Avoid technology the team is currently working on for small unmanned aircraft.
“We are working on technology that can transform how companies in the oil and gas industry operate.”
Chief Engineer - New Business
After a 10-year career in the Royal Australian Air Force, Hugh Webster joined Boeing Defence Australia in 1999 where he applied his Electrical Engineering degree to the Vigilare integrated air battle management system.
Webster’s engineering career led him into the business development environment which he describes as ‘the practical application of engineering to solve problems’.
“As we look to support our customers, I’m focused on ensuring that the systems and products we design and install will provide the solution they need, and that we understand how they will be maintained over time,” said Webster.
“My career as an engineer has taken me around the world, and exposed me to situations I could have only dreamed of.
“It’s far from the case that working in a technical career only takes you on a path of working in heavy industry or being confined to an office. At Boeing, I get to work with those who dream of an idea, those who design and build it… and those engineers, like me, who help sell ideas and make them a reality for our customers.”