Position: Flight Test Engineer and Program Manager
I am originally from Chicago, IL, but I moved to the South for college. I graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. While in school I joined Honda Aircraft’s co-op/intern program, which led me to this job once I graduated. Since I had really enjoyed my time interning here, it was an easy choice to make when they offered me a full-time position. The innovation mixed with the opportunity is what sold me.
I am a Flight Test Engineer and Program Manager here. I do a little bit of everything and every day is different, which is what I love about my job. My responsibilities vary with each phase of the program, but initially it involves working with Design Engineers to develop system specifications and test plans. The second phase involves working with pilots and test teams to evaluate the changes (and if I’m lucky fly on the plane). The third and final phase is the data analysis and technical report writing.
It’s tough for me to say what is unique about this company, given that this has been my only job since graduating. Based on others’ descriptions, I would have to say that it is the investment behind us. Global Honda has invested in the latest technologies to help ensure we’re able to develop the world’s most advanced light jet. What is unique about my position ties back to every day being different and to being fortunate enough to work with every group within the company. We work with Supply Chain and Manufacturing to confirm the plane is built to specification. Since we test the aircraft as a whole, each Engineering discipline provides their input to develop test procedures. And once testing is complete, we work with Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service to ensure the best possible customer experience.
What I enjoy the most about working at Honda Aircraft Company is the opportunity to learn and grow. Since Honda Aircraft is a startup company, there’s plenty of space to make a name for yourself and progress in your career. In my time here I have learned that safety is number 1, but within those bounds it’s key to push the envelope and always be willing to try new things. My ultimate goal is to grow into a leadership position. I enjoy the bigger picture, and bringing the different groups together to accomplish our objectives.
Outside of work I enjoy playing board games. I’m a nerd, and I embrace it. It can get a little competitive at times, but in the end we’re all having fun and spending time together. The other bit is triathlons, my wife and I are still at the Sprint level, but training together and finishing those races has been incredible.
My advice to someone beginning their career is to not be afraid to try new things. You’ll never know what could spark an interest and help shape your career.