Boeing Strengthens Engineering Function with New Structure, Key Appointments

CHICAGO, Jan. 6, 2010 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] has announced that several new senior-level engineering leadership positions have been established to help drive engineering excellence and ensure program success across the company.

"Boeing's reputation for engineering excellence is built on an array of outstanding products designed and developed under the guidance of strong engineering leaders," said John Tracy, Boeing chief technology officer and senior vice president of Engineering, Operations & Technology (EO&T). “Our new senior engineering leaders will help ensure that engineering excellence continues to be driven through all our products and services to satisfy our customers and grow our company."

Appointed as vice presidents of Engineering, the new engineering leaders are all recognized authorities in technical fields critical to aerospace development (see below). They will work closely with program managers and chief engineers to help ensure the technical integrity of their products by providing technical guidance in their various areas of expertise. This guidance will be provided in a number of ways, including direct and active involvement in key system requirements and criteria definition, critical design and production readiness reviews, technical risk assessments and issues resolution, and any other important engineering challenges that may arise.

In addition to reporting to Tracy, the new engineering vice presidents will also report to either the Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Engineering or the Boeing Integrated Defense Systems vice president of Engineering and Mission Assurance, who also co-lead the Enterprise Engineering function within EO&T under Tracy.

“By having these vice presidents report to the engineering leaders of the business units and to me, we can assure that they are focused on the most critical engineering issues of the company,” Tracy said.

The newly appointed leaders and their technical areas of responsibility are:

Boeing Commercial Airplanes

  • Mike Delaney -- Airplane Performance & Product Architecture. Delaney was vice president, chief project engineer for the 787 program.
  • Keith Leverkuhn -- Propulsion Systems. Leverkuhn was vice present/general manager of Propulsion Systems for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
  • Jim Ogonowski -- Airplane Structures. Ogonowski was director, chief structures engineer for the 787 program.
  • Mike Sinnett -- Airplane Systems. Sinnett was vice president, systems chief engineer for the 787 program.

As part of their new assignments, Delaney, Ogonowski and Sinnett will continue to focus on the 787 program, which is currently the most important engineering challenge for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Integrated Defense Systems

  • Bill Carrier -- Structures. Carrier was previously director of mechanical/structural engineering.
  • Laurette Lahey -- Flight & Controls. Lahey was previously director of flight engineering.
  • Jack Murphy -- System-of-Systems / Systems Engineering. In addition, Murphy will continue to serve as vice president of mission assurance.
  • Darrell Uchima -- Mission Systems Payloads & Sensors. Uchima was director of the satellite development center for Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems.
  • James Farricker – Networks & Communications. Farricker is a senior technical fellow and was most recently chief engineer of Boeing’s Enterprise Network Organization in EO&T.

Revitalizing the role of senior engineering leaders represents another in a series of strategic steps Boeing has been taking over the past several years to strengthen its drive for functional and program excellence. As part of this drive Boeing formed in 2006 an integrated Enterprise Engineering function chartered to identify best processes, systems, tools and training, and deploy them as standards across Boeing.

Led by Tracy in conjunction with the Commercial Airplanes vice president of Engineering and the Integrated Defense Systems vice president of Engineering and Mission Assurance, the Enterprise Engineering function has made significant progress toward improving the efficiency and effectiveness of engineering support across Boeing programs. By being able to share more processes, systems and data, Boeing engineers in the different business units are now able to work more effectively together on joint programs – such as the P-8A and 767 International Tanker programs – which leverage Boeing’s unique ability to combine its commercial and defense capabilities.

Just as important, Boeing engineers can now cross business unit lines to support any Boeing program. For example, more than 1,000 Integrated Defense Systems' engineers have helped support Commercial Airplanes’ 787 and 777 programs over the past two years, while Commercial Airplanes’ engineers have helped Integrated Defense Systems resolve technical and flight test issues on the 767 International Tanker program.

Now, by focusing the technical expertise of proven engineering leaders on the top engineering challenges of the company, Boeing is strengthening its ability to ensure that engineering quality, effectiveness and efficiency are being driven into the design, development and production of all the company’s products and services, Tracy said.

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Daryl Stephenson