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Paul Edwards
Research Engineer


Boeing
Seattle, WA

Category:  Researcher/Test/Engineering
 
High School:  Entiat High School
Entiat, WA
 
College:  University of Washington, Engineering

My focus is friction-stir welding of titanium parts. Friction-stir welding is a solid-state joining process that softens rather than melts metals.

What's a typical day like in your job?
I lead the welding and forming technology group for commercial airplanes. My focus is friction-stir welding of titanium parts. Friction-stir welding is a solid-state joining process that softens rather than melts metals. I'm also in the shop developing ideas or making test parts.

Why is your job important?
We facilitate new airplane designs and high-performance structures that allow Boeing to make a better airplane. But the work we do here impacts the state of technology across multiple industries and countries. We explore innovations at the leading edge of research. We're the guys working on new stuff of the future.

What do you like most about your job?
Being in the shop and playing with the machines. I'm not stuck behind a desk. I get to work work with my hands, apply the fundamentals of science in the real world and see the fruits of my labor.

What kind of training and education did you need to get this job?
An engineering degree in any field gives you the background you need, but mostly you are learning on the job. I've always like science and math and enjoyed hands-on work: things like shop class in high school and machine class in college. I didn't know what I would end up doing until I was in the middle of my master's program and began working with one of my professors on a stir-welding project. Now I'm pursuing a Ph.D. with support from Boeing's "Learning Together" program, which covers tuition and includes a stipend for books.

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