As a young girl growing up in northeastern Illinois, Hannah Kalinowski developed a fascination with airplanes. Her family lived close to a small regional airport, and Hannah would watch the planes come and go.
She said she didn’t really realize she wanted to be an engineer until high school, when a couple of people, including a guidance counselor, suggested that it might be a good fit because of her aptitude in math and science, and that was when it all clicked. She attended Marquette University and majored in mechanical engineering, but a career in aerospace or aeronautical engineering was always the goal.
Right after graduating college in early 2011, that goal was achieved. She was hired in at her dream company—Boeing. As a manufacturing engineer there, Hannah’s job includes creating build plans for planes and improving the manufacturing processes in place to make them more efficient.
Michael Beazer of Boeing, who nominated Hannah for 30 Under 30, said she has surpassed expectations in the five years she’s been at the company. “Hannah has undertaken projects above her level of experience, has excelled at driving them to completion, and has become a recognized expert in her area of focus,” he said. “She has very few peers who have shown her level of maturity and skill, at her age and experience level.”
One of Hannah’s initial projects at Boeing was the ground floor implementation of new noncontact metrology technology. Not only did Hannah become an expert on the equipment, she was instrumental in developing a process to translate the raw data into useable information and convincing employees at all levels of the data’s value.
“Collecting data is just one thing,” Hannah said, “but if you can’t do anything with that data, or you can’t drive any results or changes from it, then it’s really not all that useful. I think we were able to really show the value of how that data could help us drive changes.”
The new metrology technology evolved beyond the 747—the plane Hannah was working on at the time—and was adopted by other departments at Boeing. Hannah became the go-to person for training those teams in how to effectively use the equipment, analyze the data, and apply the results.
In 2014, Hannah took on another challenge. She was selected to be part of Boeing’s Airline Engineering Rotation Program and represented Boeing at Singapore Airlines. For three months, she lived in Singapore and assisted with plane maintenance and fleet reliability.
“It’s a different kind of sense of urgency” when people are waiting to board a plane, she said—every minute counts.
Now, Hannah is working in the Airplane Development division on a new version of the 777, the 777X. In this role, she is tasked to ensure the smooth implementation of a complex new production system. She’s performed tolerance analyses for a complex system of parts and assemblies for the entire airplane fuselage and developed an optimized data and index plan that will be applied through the entire supply chain.
In her new role, Beazer said, “Hannah has shown a strong aptitude for communicating her process knowledge and results to her peers across different functions, as well as to multiple levels of management.”
This article was first published in the July 2016 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine. Read all of the 2016 30 Under 30 Profiles as a PDF.