Local Students Engineering Smart Solutions for Boeing

Collaborative robotics, haptic alert systems for hearing-impaired employees and riveting safety — these are just a few of the areas that University of Washington (UW) students want to develop for use in the aerospace industry.

The students took a big step towards that recently when they shared their ideas with Boeing leaders during an event at the Future of Flight Museum in Mukilteo. The students are developing their ideas while working at the Boeing Advanced Research Center, or BARC, on the UW campus.

“We want students to gain hands-on experience in the BARC and come work for Boeing to build the greatest airplanes in the world,” said Todd Zarfos, Commercial Airplanes Engineering leader and Boeing’s executive representative for the University of Washington.

During their event at the museum, undergraduate and graduate students discussed the technologies they’re developing in the lab with the guidance of Boeing leaders including lab manager Kevin Bray.

Parker Owan, a UW graduate student, shared how his Mechanic Assistance Collaborative Tool, which he’s dubbed MASCOT, could help mechanics perform assembly tasks in enclosed spaces more safely. “Using collaborative robots for remote or hazardous manufacturing applications could help ensure mechanics’ health and safety in the production environment, especially when visual access is limited,” he said.

The solutions developed in the BARC are designed to one day become a reality in aerospace.

“This type of work needs to happen and will help Boeing team members build our products as safely as possible,” said Amy May, director of Workplace Safety at Boeing.

Company leaders say the partnership with BARC is providing a real return on investment in terms of talent recruitment. In 2017 Boeing hired its first full-time BARC alumni. Meanwhile, six students working at the BARC have been hired this year as interns in BR&T and Commercial Airplanes Product Strategy and Future Airplane Development.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Marketplace

Future looks bright for popular Redmond cannabis shop

Hashtag Cannabis preparing for move to large new site in downtown Redmond, café to be added

Put a little Soulstice in your spring!

March 14 fashion fundraiser in Seattle to help Justice and Soul expand local outreach and education

A dance fest for everyone!

Chop Shop returns for another year of art, education and fun

Chef Murray Fields recently opened his state-of-the-art kitchen in Tukwila as the heart of his Gourmet Meals to Go.
Gourmet to Go can be this good!

Chef makes it simple to enjoy restaurant-quality cuisine at home or office

Buying a home? Here’s inside knowledge that pays

In real estate, location is key. But how do you find that… Continue reading

5 reasons to get excited about what’s coming to the heart of Redmond

The amenities at the brand-new Hilton Garden Inn will appeal to locals and visitors alike

Bail can be a motivator for positive change

All City Bail Bonds works closely with defendants and their families following an arrest

Excitement is building for Redmond’s coming sip and savour destination!

Hilton Garden Inn’s Fork and Spoke will be your downtown food-and-beverage hub

Airport Winter Weather 101

When the weather outside is frightful … and you’re worried your trip… Continue reading

(Lucky Louie Fish Shack photo)
Savor the Season at SEA!

SEA Airport is bustling during the holiday travel season! In the midst… Continue reading

Four reasons you’re waiting on the plane at SEA

You’ve just landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) after flying for what… Continue reading

Accessibility tools for low-vision travelers at SEA

We all have tools that help us get through our every day… Continue reading