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Frontiers November 2013 Issue

a team of 25 engineers who execute advanced air vehicle study contracts from the likes of NASA, Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. In a sophisticated engineering environment like that at Boeing, Brown said, it’s been important to him to connect on a human level with those he works with. One way he’s done that—for as long as he’s worked at the Huntington Beach site—has been taking interns, co-workers and even a few customers out on the waves. “It’s a great way—outside the formality of the office—to get to know someone, to really build trust,” Brown said. On several Saturday mornings this summer, Brown took Nick Pera to the beach and taught him surfing fundamentals. Brown was supervising Pera’s 11-week intern-ship at the site, where Pera was assigned research on aircraft emissions from auxiliary power units. “Surfing with Eric definitely helped foster a good positive relationship,” Pera said. “Out on the water, you talk about things in a different way than when you’re both in the office trying to get work done.” For Brown, water and surfing will always be an important part of his life. But just as meaningful are the opportunities he’s had as an engineer to work at the Huntington Beach campus. “It would be so easy for this site to rest on its laurels given its impressive history,” Brown said. “But there’s always something new percolating. The focus on innovation provides a haven for engineers like me who love a challenge. Huntington Beach—the city, the beach and Boeing—have definitely provided good opportunities for me.” Kevin Castleberry, Market Engagement manager, agreed. Having worked in customer relations, domestic trade shows and special events at the Huntington Beach site for 14 years, he’s seen the facility change with the times and stay in front of customers’ needs. “I’ve seen quite a transition from the manufacture of Delta rockets years ago to the work now being done on futuristic space vehicles, as well as advances in areas like intelligence, cybersecurity and unmanned systems,” Castleberry said. “In a city known for its laid-back surf culture, I feel a real sense of pride supporting the sophisticated level of work being done here.” n diane.l.stratman@boeing.com “The focus on innovation provides a haven for engineers like me who love a challenge.” – Eric Brown, senior manager of Advanced Concepts, Boeing Research & Technology PHOTOS: (Far left) Kristie Kassem, left, industrial engineer, and Steve Gall, electrical engineer, review a 3D prototype for the Tactical Compact Communications Relay, a small communications device that is installed on unmanned aerial vehicles to provide extended data and voice relay capability. (Below) Engineers Dave Carter, left, and Keith Woo prepare a developmental wideband satellite communications modem for planned demonstrations of airborne connectivity. BOEING FRONTIERS / NOVEMBER 2013 39


Frontiers November 2013 Issue
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