Henry Yeh, an electrical engineering professor at CSULB, recently completed the Boeing Welliver Faculty Fellowship Program, an eight-week program designed to provide faculty with a better understanding of the practical industry applications of engineering, information technology and business skills.
The program’s approach is to expose a small number of competitively selected faculty fellowship participants to the key elements and the business realities of the industrial workplace by enabling them to “look over the shoulder” of working professionals at several levels of the technical, business and management career paths.
“The fellowship was truly a unique opportunity that will not be forgotten,” said Yeh, a faculty member at CSULB since 1983. “This program offered me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe through many laboratory tours and meet some world-class engineers and managers at different levels and different locations.”
During the eight-week summer fellowship, Yeh visited Boeing Company sites in Seattle, Anaheim, Long Beach, Huntington Beach and El Segundo.
“I was able to freely interact with employees about significant projects and problems and to view next-generation platforms and capabilities,” Yeh pointed out. “The program exposed me to a number of new concepts, such as the large-scale system integration, the system-of-system concept and the paperless designed 777 and 787 aircrafts.”
The CSULB professor said the paperless design Boeing 777 and 787 aircrafts really surprised him.
“When I saw the largest building for producing Boeing (aircraft) in Seattle and heard that Boeing can assemble an entire 747, 767 or 777 within a week, it does open my eyes to see how Boeing can integrate so many parts within such a short time period and so efficiently,” he explained.
There are two primary objectives of the Boeing Welliver Faculty Fellowship Program. First, Boeing aims to influence the content of undergraduate education in ways that will better prepare tomorrow’s graduates for careers in a global industrial environment.
Second, the company wants the faculty fellows to observe the Boeing environment, process and procedures with a “fresh set of eyes.” They are asked to document what works well at Boeing and what they would recommend for improvement. During the last week of the program, the fellows present a report that contains their observations and suggestions for improvements.
Yeh said he will be doing his part to help fulfill the first objective. “I will be taking many aspects of the program back to the university to affect curriculum in the Electrical Engineering Department and the College of Engineering,” he noted. “A number of design projects will be considered and undertaken by undergraduate and graduate students. Some topics in digital signal processing, wireless communication systems and mobile communication networks will be introduced and integrated into an existing course or new courses. Some courses in systems engineering will also be discussed.”