Engineer Profiles


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    Engineer Profile: Dylon Rockwell

    Dylon Rockwell, an engineer at The Boeing Company, explains airfoils on airplane wings and helicopter rotor blades and describes the V-22, a vehicle that can fly as an airplane or a helicopter, in this video from WGBH and The Documentary Group. As a child, Rockwell was attracted to things that flew. With the positive influence of his uncle, a pilot, he grew up thinking that he could do anything. Rockwell worked on the V-22 program, which has revolutionized search-and-rescue operations to help save lives. He believes that you don’t have to be a genius to be an engineer—you just need the curiosity to figure out how things work. This resource is part of the Aerospace Engineering collection.

    Grades: 6-12
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    Engineer Profile: Tony Castilleja

    Tony Castilleja, a mechanical engineer at The Boeing Company, describes the revolutionary design of the CST-100 Starliner Crew Space Transportation system, in this video from WGBH and The Documentary Group. Castilleja was inspired to become an engineer and design the next-generation spacecraft by watching the Space Shuttle launch as a 12-year-old boy. Today, Castilleja works with mentor engineers who have experience on heritage space programs, including the Shuttle program. The CST-100 Starliner is autonomous, meaning it is designed to launch, dock, and return to Earth without any interaction of a human with the vehicle, and features wireless Internet and tablets, as well as a weldless design and LED “Sky Lighting” technology. This resource is part of the Aerospace Engineering collection.

    Grades: 6-12
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    Engineer Profile: Victoria Wilk

    Learn what drew Victoria Wilk, an engineer at The Boeing Company, to a career in aerospace engineering, and learn what airplane designers must account for when designing and testing aircraft, in this video from WGBH and The Documentary Group. Engineers contribute to the world by making practical solutions for society’s needs. Wilk describes her path to engineering and reveals some of the challenges she faced in grasping difficult concepts along the way. After establishing that an airplane’s design is determined by an understanding of how many people it will fly and how far they need to go, Wilk describes the testing that airplanes undergo to ensure they are safe no matter where they fly around the world. She concludes by explaining why working with failure is important in engineering. This resource is part of the Aerospace Engineering collection.

    Grades: 6-12
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    Engineer Profile: Myron Fletcher

    Myron Fletcher, an engineer at The Boeing Company, talks about the Space Launch System (SLS) program and the educational experience that propelled him into his career as a rocket scientist, in this video from WGBH and The Documentary Group. The SLS is a rocket designed to take humans into deep-space exploration. Fletcher, who works in rocket propulsion and knows that a lot of thrust will be needed to get the SLS off the ground, explains his excitement about being involved in the program. He credits his education in Little Rock, Arkansas, in a school with a direct historical connection to the civil rights movement, for allowing him to dream big. This resource is part of the Aerospace Engineering collection.

    Grades: 6-12
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    Engineer Profile: Tricia Hevers

    Tricia Hevers, an engineer at The Boeing Company, describes the significance of satellites, what it takes to launch them, and the missions that small satellites can perform, in this video from WGBH and The Documentary Group. She describes her interest from a young age in aerospace engineering and her role model, female astronaut Eileen Collins. In her job, Hevers uses complex mathematics to ensure that the satellite is pointed in the right direction. She also helps facilitate communications on her team. Looking toward the future, she says that small satellites will do everything, from creating the next GPS constellation to performing satellite-to-satellite repair services. This resource is part of the Aerospace Engineering collection.

    Grades: 6-12
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    Engineer Profile: Simon Bahr

    Simon Bahr, an engineer at The Boeing Company, explains lift, the force that keeps a plane in the air, and describes the safety testing that planes go through before they are allowed to fly, in this video from WGBH and The Documentary Group. Bahr relates lift to the sensation you feel when you stick a hand out the window of a moving car and demonstrates how lift works using a paper airplane. Next, he details the exhaustive testing planes go through, including the “ultimate load test” of the wing, in which a wing is subjected to 1.5 times the force it will ever experience in flight to prove its strength. Bahr then describes the work at Boeing’s lightning lab, where engineers simulate lightning strikes and learn to safely channel their electrical energy through a plane. This resource is part of the Aerospace Engineering collection.

    Grades: 6-12

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