Boeing creates new VP structure

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Boeing has established nine new vice president-level engineering positions, continuing its focus on "engineering excellence" in the wake of major technical delays on both the commercial and defence programmes in recent years.

Of the nine, four will support Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) and five will support Integrated Defence Systems (IDS). The executives are tasked to "work closely with programme managers and chief engineers to help ensure the technical integrity of their products by providing technical guidance in their various areas of expertise," says John Tracy, chief technology officer and senior vice president of engineering, operations and technology (EO&T).

These positions are structured outside of BCA and IDS to create a single engineering support structure as Boeing works to move beyond high-profile delays on projects within its two major business units.

Three of the four executives promoted to vice president of engineering played direct roles in the 787 programme in the lead up to its first flight on 15 December.

Mike Delaney will be responsible for aircraft performance and product architecture, and previously served as chief project engineer for the 787 programme.

Keith Leverkuhn will oversee propulsion systems and previously was vice president/general manager of propulsion systems for BCA.

Jim Ogonowski will be responsible for aircraft structures, previously serving as chief structures engineer for the 787 programme.

Lastly, Mike Sinnett will oversee aircraft systems after serving as vice president and systems chief engineer for the 787 programme.

Boeing says Delaney, Ogonowski and Sinnett will "continue to focus on the 787 programme, which is currently the most important challenge for Boeing Commercial Airplanes".

In support of IDS, Bill Carrier will be responsible for structures, and was previously director of mechanical/structural engineering.

Laurette Lahey will oversee flight and controls, after serving as director of flight engineering.

Jack Murphy will be responsible for systems development and will continue in his current role as vice president of mission assurance.

Darrell Uchima, will be responsible for mission systems payload and sensors, and was formerly director of the satellite development centre for Boeing space and intelligence systems.

Lastly, James Farricker will head up networks and communications, and as a senior technical fellow was most recently chief engineer of Boeing's enterprise network organisation in the company's engineering, operations and technology division.