Visit To Washington State Inspires Senior MaryBeth Feeley to Pursue Materials Engineering

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Imagine you are standing on a balcony situated some two stories above the ground floor. There you stand next to a railing, the only thing between you and a large open space.

On the opposite wall from you sits another balcony. From there, you scan upwards counting one…two…three more of them, each stacked on top of the other as people peer over the railings. Your eyes are directed upward to the top of this enormous building, only to be greeted by blinding brightness emitted from rows of LED lights.

From the left to right appears to stretch an area equivalent to almost 97 football fields, making your tiny spot in the whole expanse an insignificant dot among the masses.

Yet, in this vast expanse, you are closest to some of America’s finest aircraft. Just a leap away below you, their white bodies seemingly rise out of the ground.

This is Boeing Everett Factory, the largest building in the world…and it’s one amazing place to be.

MaryBeth Feeley, senior at Glenbard West High School, had the opportunity to get an inside look at this place over the summer during her to visit to Washington state. She recently shared more details about this experience and how it has impacted both her summer and her future studies.

The experience itself was “overwhelming,” but it was also an opportunity to better understand the process of making these planes. The best part about it was that this process could be observed in real-time right in the Everett manufacturing plant.

Part of what made the experience so unique for MaryBeth was that there were three to four 747 Dreamliner planes — massive airplanes made to fit 600 plus passengers — in the warehouse, one of them ready to be sent out. The rest were in varying stages of production (the process takes approximately 3-4 months according to airliner.net)

Expressing her amazement at how many materials are needed, MaryBeth also mentioned that her intended major is materials engineering, something directly related to Boeing. The occupation itself involves an array of job types, but essentially involves the study, creation, and testing of materials based on their atomic level components.

MaryBeth attributes her uncle, an electrical engineer, and her interests in math and science as some of the main reasons for her choosing her major. However, her experience at Boeing gave her additional motivation.

“Going to Boeing showed me how useful [materials engineering] actually is,” she said. “I think that it would be really cool to go into something so big that you could see it every day. Anything in that field is pretty interesting.”

Although MaryBeth is uncertain whether she will want to work at a place as huge as Boeing, she aspires to have a job that involves making useful and impactful materials.

To see for yourself what kind of work materials engineers do, check out the tours offered at Boeing Everett Factory. Tickets go fast and it’s an opportunity no one should miss!

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