Innovating on a massive scale: Boeing and the future of planes by Tian Hedstrom

Posted on January 20th, 2017 by

On Monday morning our group woke up early to take an Uber up to the headquarters of Boeing,  the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems.  The company supports airlines in the U.S., as well as allied government customers in 150 countries, holding the single largest building in the world, with a circumference of over 2.2 miles.  Boeing also holds the record for sales volume each year, selling more by dollar volume than any other company in the world.

The sheer size of the building was overwhelming, as our tour guide told our group all about their most popular commercial planes, including the 737 , 777x, and  787 Dreamliner, which is creating remarkable opportunities for airlines around the world to dramatically improve the traveling experiences.   Our group was lucky enough to be connected with Chris Edelbrock, a fellow Gustie grad of ‘09.  Chris was very welcoming and helpful in our experience at Boeing, as he is now a senior manager for the 787 Dreamliner, and leads a team of technical and business analysts in configuration and control change management activities.  

Throughout our “VIP tour” at Boeing, we learned about what  innovation means within the company.  In this industry, and specifically for Boeing, innovation means small steps, and not giant leaps.  As we rode through the massive building via golf cart, we learned that  the company is working to create a better experience for long flights, adding larger windows and a dim setting for lighting.  After the tour, the group had a panel with Chris and three of his colleagues.  We learned that Boeing creates a very flexible career paths for their employees, and gained valuable insight on internships and how to effectively manage a team.  Overall, Boeing was an incredibly interesting and great opportunity.  

Later in the day, the group walked downtown for a tour of the underground city, an unusual attraction in Seattle.  Our tour guide, Eric,  strolled with us through intriguing subterranean storefronts and sidewalks.  The underground city was entombed when the city rebuilt on top of itself after the great fire of 1889.  The rich history in the tour created a very rich and humorous history for the experience.












Wednesday ended up being a very successful and insightful day, as the group headed home and reflected on the day while eating a wonderful home cooked  meal made by Addam Velasco.


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