Posted by Mary Ellen McCandless
On June 19, Boeing opened its new research and technology center at the Redstone Gateway and Jetplex Industrial Park in Huntsville, Alabama. The research center will serve as the company’s hub for collaborative technology development with academic institutions and research partners in analytics and simulation in the Southeast United States.
Local government leaders and Boeing Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Engineering, Operations & Technology John Tracy joined employees to open the 80,000-square-foot facility’s laboratory and office space devoted to the creation and development of technologies for Boeing products.
“The next 100 years of innovation starts here,” said Steve Swaine, leader of the Boeing Research & Technology-Alabama (BR&T-Alabama) research center. “We’ve brought together a team made up of the best and brightest in data analytics, advanced engineering and many other disciplines to help Boeing create, develop, produce and support the best aerospace products in the world.”
In addition to continuously modernizing and improving Boeing products and operations through analytics and simulation technology development, the 220 engineers, technicians and staff at BR&T-Alabama will develop a variety of other technologies for existing and future Boeing products and services. The team works on technologies that include simulation and analytics, systems analysis, applied mathematics, chemicals, composite materials, metals and ceramics, propulsion, avionics systems and sensors, communication and sensing, cybersecurity, materials and processes, and product standards.
“The Boeing Research & Technology facility here in Alabama is an 80,000-square-foot powerhouse,” said Congressman Mo Brooks. “A highly skilled and dedicated workforce is addressing some of the nation’s toughest problems and finding the solutions that will enable our men and women in uniform to maintain a technological advantage no matter where they are in the world.”
To drive advances in all areas, the BR&T-Alabama team has lab space equipped with autoclaves that heat-treat composite materials, an accelerated rate calorimeter to test heat reactions, state-of-the-art machines to test the properties of metals, and computers to simulate and test vehicle management systems. The team has built multiple computing networks that enable researchers around the globe to integrate simulations and further technology development in a fast and collaborative environment.
“Today’s announcement is a great example of how by working together, we can continue to position Huntsville as a global leader in research and technology,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “This facility will be key to solving the problems of tomorrow while bringing high-tech job opportunities to the region.”
BR&T is the company’s advanced and central research and development organization, providing technologies that enable the development of future aerospace solutions while improving the cycle time, cost, quality and performance of existing Boeing products and services. The company’s research and technology development is conducted at 11 Boeing research centers in Australia, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Russia and the United States, including Alabama, California, Missouri, South Carolina and Washington.
“Boeing’s new research center represents a continued commitment to the Huntsville community,” said County Commission Chairman Dale Strong. “Boeing is bringing together a highly skilled workforce to drive innovation, collaborate and develop meaningful solutions that will benefit our county now and well into the future.”