Engineering a Flight Path

By Chris Pederson

March 2016

I was lucky to get hired out of graduate school in the early '90s. Boeing wasn't hiring many engineers at that time, but I guess I had the right background at the right time (composite materials).

Up to this point I hadn't been exposed much to aerospace or airplanes, so I had a lot to learn about the industry. On my first day, my boss kept telling me stories about his background and his first programs. One story he shared had to do with the "elevators" on the 747 program that he worked on. I was dumbfounded, having never seen an elevator on a 747 and perplexed on why they would even need one, let alone where they would place it ... like I said, a lot to learn.

I was lucky enough to have a lot of good teachers, and over my 10 years at the company I had the fortune to work on many wonderful programs. To this day, more than 25 years after my first engineering job out of school, I still look back on those first 10 years as the years where I "cut my teeth" as an engineer. I am grateful to the Boeing company for educating me and starting me on my path.