One quick fact about Nixon Opondo: he has a lot of degrees. He obtained an aeronautical engineering degree in Kenya, received a bachelor’s degree in the U.S., followed by two master’s degrees, two doctorates, and four certificate programs.

“I’m a lifelong learner,” said Nixon, a Quality and Process engineer based in Everett, Washington. “I never want to be left behind when technology changes, and furthering my education feels like the best way to stay ahead.”

Nixon had that in mind when he entered the Doctor of Technology program at Purdue University, where he received his second doctorate, achieved this goal through the Learning Together Program (LTP), our company's industry-leading tuition assistance benefit.

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Nixon received his Doctor of Technology degree in 2022 at the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo courtesy of Nixon Opondo)

“LTP has been there for me every step of the way since 2008 when I joined Boeing,” Nixon said. “It gave me the flexibility to pursue my areas of interest and study remotely.” Nixon had never set foot on the Purdue campus until graduation—where he received a standing ovation for being the singular Doctor of Technology graduate.

Nixon’s studies focused on advancing quality of life for people who use prosthetic devices. Those studies are informed by personal experience; during the Purdue program, Nixon developed a tumor in his jaw and had surgery to receive an oral prosthetic device just five days after graduating.

“I can now speak clearly to you because of the prosthesis I received,” he said.

Nixon sees a crossover between prosthetic device technology and his work at Boeing, where artificial intelligence, machine learning, and ergonomics research enhance employee and customer experiences.

“As a product and quality engineer I’m always looking for more efficient ways to improve user satisfaction,” Nixon said. “A prosthetic device user like myself can always benefit from incremental value of a product or service and so can our customers.”

Nixon’s journey has been a long and winding road, ultimately giving him hope that technology can improve people’s lives.

“I’m a long way from the small village in Kenya where I grew up, so I’m extremely grateful for the exposure and educational opportunities Boeing has given me,” Nixon said. “Gaining knowledge is always powerful, and LTP has helped me explore new worlds throughout my career.”

About the Learning Together Program

Boeing’s industry-leading Learning Together Program provides tuition assistance for teammates around the world.

Eligible tuition and expenses for select STEM degrees and certificate courses are fully funded. And generous allowances are available for many other degree and non-degree programs, including up to $7,500 per year for associate degrees, $15,000 per year for bachelor degrees and $25,000 per year for graduate degrees.

Best of all, we’ll pay your institution directly, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket.