Carole Rickard Hedden

Carole Rickard Hedden
Aviation Week Names 20 A&D Students To Watch 

YouTube goes a long way in highlighting the creativity and delight some of today's university students take in being . . . well, a nerd.

Whether at Purdue University creating an over-engineered automated soft-drink dispensing system or at the University of Michigan putting a fresh take on dance-a-thon turned hack-a-thon, present-day engineering students add to the tradition of poking fun at who they are while reveling in what they do.

Jake Gamsky: Dual-Prong Space And Policy Pundit 

Jake Gamsky fits the profile of a space junky.

As a teenager, he looked at the night sky and was intrigued by cosmology and understanding the universe—when he was not playing baseball.

Baseball skills took him to a small Kentucky college where he decided to major in physics. During his sophomore year, he watched a six-part Discovery Channel miniseries, “When We Left Earth: the NASA Mission.” “That was when I was set on track to space, completed a NASA internship and transferred to the University of Kentucky.”

YaYu Monica Hew: Sports/Scholastic Skills Entwine 

Fencing is a complex dance of maneuvers and feints. It resembles more the choreography of a ballet than brute strength.

Kenneth Hart: Public Service/Engineering Are Dual Spurs 

When Kenneth 'Kip' Hart sat down to take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test as a high school student, he was supposed to check off career fields of interest.

“The first one was accounting. Nah, I didn't want to do that. The second was aerospace engineering. Now that sounded interesting,” he recalls. “I was good at math and science, so I checked that one.”

Brad Cheetham: Student Engineer, Budding Entrepreneur 

For any engineer or scientist, being part of a 'first' bolsters a career and for many, a lifelong pursuit.

Such was the case for Brad Cheetham while an undergraduate student at The University at Buffalo/the State University of New York.

Under the auspices of the school, he was an intern at Goddard Space Flight Center for a mission called Artemis.

Linda Kuenzi: Athlete/Engineer Achiever Values Failure 

As with many an engineering student, Linda Kuenzi is good at math and science.

Both her parents are engineers. So engineering seemed the obvious path after high school.

In fact, Aviation Week's 2013 Workforce Study found that 65% of engineering students choose their major based on their “respect for the profession”—most often because of a personal relationship with someone in the field.

Women Still Minority Of Engineering Graduates 

Young people seem to be getting the message that engineering offers opportunity: 84,000 U.S. students graduated from universities in 2012 with engineering degrees. That is up 12% from 73,000 just six years ago, according to the National Academies. And despite the downturn in the economy and in federal spending, the aerospace and defense industry continues to provide at least some of that opportunity.

Pay Is Best For New Hires And In Smaller Companies 

It pays to be the new guy, according to data gathered for the 2013 Aviation Week Workforce Study.

Pay for new college graduates rose by 3.4% between 2011 and 2012, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). In the aerospace and defense industry, the increase was slightly lower, at 3.2%. Companies with fewer employees worked to retain their workforces, awarding pay increases on average of 4.1%.

Protecting Key Talent In Lean Times 

As a war-weary nation grapples with how to cut military spending and a dysfunctional Congress allows meat-ax budget cuts to fall on the Defense Department and NASA, one might expect that the U.S. aerospace and defense (A&D) industry's best and brightest talent would be heading for the exits. Indeed, one-in-five A&D professionals under the age of 35 submitted resignations in 2012, up from 12% the year before. The good news: most left to go work for another aerospace company.

A&D Professionals’ Opinions On Retirement, Innovation 

Reduced retirement savings accounts and depressed home values are keeping older workers on the job longer than expected, postponing a wave of retirements that could have decimated the aerospace and defense (A&D) workforce. But the generation behind them is planning for shorter careers.

Wall Street’s Lure Worries A&D Companies 

Voluntary attrition levels in the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry have plummeted during the past two years, as young professionals and those nearing retirement age alike have opted to stay put in a poor U.S. economy. What concerns A&D leaders is what will happen as the economy rebounds and the competition for talent ratchets up again.

Best Places To Work In A&D 

Employees may question how their company executives are planning for the future and dealing with change, but A&D leaders are well aware of the challenges. Data from Aviation Week's 2011 Workforce Study shows that A&D employers are carefully balancing their cost-cutting efforts to assure they deliver in three areas employees feel are most important: Technological Challenge, Valuing the Individual and Learning/Career Opportunity.

Hiring, Layoffs Remaking A&D Workforce

North Charleston, S.C., is 400 mi. from Cape Canaveral, but as far as aerospace workers are concerned the two places are a world apart. At the Cape, NASA's space shuttle program dropped 3,200 contract workers the day after the final mission ended. Many of these are engineers who have little hope of finding similar work in Florida. The picture couldn't be more different in North Charleston, where Boeing has hired 4,000 workers for an assembly line that opened last month for its 787 jet. Suppliers feeding the new plant are expected to hire hundreds more.

Hiring, Layoffs Remaking A&D Workforce 

Wanda Austin, CEO, The Aerospace Corp.

Marion Blakey, CEO, Aerospace Industries Association

Alfred Grasso, CEO, Mitre Corp.

Paul Graziani, CEO, Analytical Graphics Inc.

Greg Hamilton, President, Aviation Week

Clayton M. Jones, Chairman, President and CEO, Rockwell Collins

Marshall Larsen, Chairman and CEO, Goodrich Corp.

Scott Seymour, CEO, Aerojet

Rick Stephens, Senior VP-Administration & Human Resources, The Boeing Co.

A&D Industry Seeks Talent, Diversity 

Aerospace and defense companies are looking for a few good men—and women—in spite of a very difficult 2009, which included freezes on salaries and merit pay, furloughs and layoffs. For the first time in seven years, the level of aerospace employment declined, according to 2009 year-end data from the Aerospace Industries Association.

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