Like many employee scholars, James Thomas wanted to grow and keep pace with the highly sophisticated technology that is a hallmark of UTC Aerospace Systems.
Says Jam es, “As I was given greater responsibilities, I realized that there were facets to my role that I needed to develop. I felt that a master’s degree in engineering management would round out my education and prepare me for future career opportunities.”
Today he leads a team of 30 multidisciplinary colleagues that works with Irkut, a key customer, to help ensure the slat/flap secondary flight control system is certified for flight.
Using business models he learned from his master’s program, James developed a test rig matrix that is now used to assess and select suppliers for his team. “The classes I took have brought tangible benefits in many areas,” says James, “from developing strategies and identifying business strengths and weaknesses to quantifying financial performance indicators.”
They also led to him becoming a chartered engineer with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, one of the oldest and most prestigious engineering societies in the world.
However the greatest benefit may well be a personal one. “I was very proud to receive my degree in front of my family,” says James. “It made all of the hard work worthwhile. And I like to think I set a good example for my children to follow.”