Redefining the Classroom

Boeing Technical Fellow to share 33-year career in aerospace

Posted: April 2nd, 2013

Public talk is 7 p.m. TONIGHT!

Steven Lien speaks to a first-year engineering class on April 3.
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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A Lake Superior State University engineering alumnus who worked 33 years in aerospace before retiring from Boeing in 2010 is making a visit to campus April 2-3 for a public talk and special working sessions with engineering faculty and students.

Steven Lien, a 1977 graduate in electrical engineering technology, will present a public presentation entitled "An Amazing Career in Aerospace: An all-encompassing adventure in technology over 33 years at Boeing" at 7 p.m., April 3, in the Cisler Center's Crows Nest.

During the day on April 2-3 he will speak to several engineering classes and meet with faculty from the College of Business and Engineering and staff from LSSU's Product Development Center. He will share insights into technologies that straddle engineering and business disciplines in many unexpected ways.

"A lot of technology - particularly in the areas of data and information fusion and communications - can be applied to almost any area in business," says Lien. "It's all about understanding communication constraints and possibilities, business models and customer needs."

As a research project lead at Boeing, Lien worked on project development and execution, project budgets, schedules, marketing to internal/external customers, and product education. His budgets ranged from hundreds of thousands to many millions of dollars.

Lien's first job out of Lake Superior State College in 1977 was as an engineer with McDonnell-Douglas's F-15 Electrical Group. The venerable F-15 Eagle fighter-bomber was first flown in 1972 and still forms the backbone of the U.S. Air Force and fleets of 15 other countries.

Line drawing of F-15 fighter, one focus of Steven Lien's 33 years in aerospace.
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Lien's expertise was power generation and distribution for the F-15C/D/E model aircraft from 1977-1982. His job included three years in Japan supporting the F-15J licensed production program. The F-15J opportunity provided a complete education on the F-15 aircraft and immersion into the Japanese culture. After his return from Japan, Lien joined the F-15 Tactical Electronic Warfare Systems (TEWS) group to round out his education on systems that were not releasable to Japan for licensed production.

In May 1987 he moved to McDonnell-Douglas's advanced product research and development division, an area he worked in until retirement. His job was to find or develop electronics hardware and software technology that would add value to products for future sales. Customers included all branches of the U.S. military, with programs in missile defense, space, intelligence, homeland security, and aircraft. Lien continued his career with Boeing after that company acquired McDonnell-Douglas in 1997.

Lien was elected to a Boeing Technical Fellowship in 2001 as an associate technical fellow, an honor reserved for only the top 5% of Boeing's technical community. He has one U.S. patent and three openly published papers. Up until his 2010 retirement, he trained the Boeing technical community in the areas he worked during his career and provided employee mentoring. He also made internal R&D technology presentations at Boeing Tech Fellowship Conferences, and sponsored technical colloquiums with leading national and international experts in the area of data Information fusion.

Lien makes his visit as a guest of LSSU's College of Business and Engineering. For all the latest news, including the campaign to renovate historic South Hall into a new home for the Lukenda School of Business, run a Web search on "LSSU business engineering."


CONTACTS: John Shibley, e-mail, 906-635-2314; Tom Pink, e-mail, 635-2315.