Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, has selected Dr. Kei-Peng Jen, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, to participate in its highly competitive Welliver Faculty Fellowship program this summer.
Each year, Boeing invites nine professors from engineering, business, manufacturing, or computer science-related fields to work alongside its professionals and offer suggestions to improve Boeing’s processes. The program promotes a working relationship between industry and academia. Dr. Jen also plans to use this experience to further enhance his undergraduate teaching and research projects.
“My objective is to deliver up-to-date information to my students about how the latest technologies are employed in the aerospace industry,” says Dr. Jen. “Boeing is the ideal place for me to learn about the most recent developments in aerospace vehicle design, materials selection, fatigue control, nondestructive evaluations, and cost-reduction strategies.”
In June, Dr. Jen will join his fellow participants at the Boeing Leadership Center in St. Louis, Mo., before they move on to Boeing sites in Seattle, where they will embark on a customized fellowship experience designed to align with each professor’s personal objectives. “One of my teaching and research interests involves the fracture mechanics of aircrafts,” says Dr. Jen. “I’m especially interested in understanding how Boeing handles fracture prevention, as well as how they monitor cracks in aircrafts through non-destructive tests.” He also hopes to apply his investigation to helicopter technology at Boeing’s Ridley Park, Pa., site.
The fellowship culminates in August, when teams of fellows will make presentations to Boeing executives about their experience, findings, and recommendations for process improvements.
This award marks the second consecutive year a member of the College of Engineering’s faculty has been tapped for this program. Dr. Sridhar Santhanam, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, was selected as a 2009 fellow.