Shruthi Kalasapura Kushakumar is a design engineer at Boeing in India. In this Q&A, Shruthi discusses design innovation and taking her next career step as a manufacturing engineer.

What is your current role?

I’m a design engineer with Boeing Test & Evaluation’s design build team. I work on designs for the installation of various equipment for flight tests, which can also lead to airplane modifications. My work includes data input analysis, design concepts, preliminary & detail design reviews, creating manufacturing drawings and release after review. I am responsible until the installation is done on flight, per the drawing.

What opportunities do you have to innovate?

Boeing emphasizes quality and innovation. Our management continuously encourage us to look for innovative ways to do our assigned tasks. At the execution level, we analyze whether new technologies like additive manufacturing, model-based definitions, and automation macros can be adopted.

Additionally, Boeing hosts various innovation contests that my team regularly participates in. We have also submitted four innovation disclosures which have been appreciated as trade secrets.

What are some of the opportunities you've had to grow and make an impact?

My journey with Boeing always makes me excited, as I’m part of the future.

My last five years have been wonderful. I have had an opportunity to work on a number of different flight test programs with Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and also supported Boeing Defense programs including the P-8I and transition of wiring designs from legacy formats to digital enterprise data standards. I was able to collaborate with different teams and come up with some innovative ideas.

Recently I got trained for a manufacturing engineering (ME) role and have started working on new assignments. Learning ME skills has helped me become a better professional and provides me with the big picture: realizing the product after the drawing is released. It made me aware of the factors to consider from a manufacturing and safety point of view, and the importance of each small thing in a drawing which might have a major impact.

What would you say to other engineers who are considering joining Boeing?

Boeing is not just a company that builds innovative products, with cutting-edge technology. More importantly, it is a great place to work. Everyone is well respected. There's work-life balance, and a culture of transparency and encouragement.

There are plenty of development options available in terms of learning programs, training, up-skilling, internal job opportunities, different roles, different programs and so much more.

Even after five years, whenever someone asks me if I’m working at Boeing, I get goosebumps while answering, "yes!".