The Faces of Success
B.E. Aerospace Engineering, 1985
In 2003 Michael Delaney was named the chief project engineer on the Boeing 737 Next Generation airplane program. The "workhorse" of 130 airlines, this aircraft was redesigned from 1994 to 1997. Boeing delivered its 2,000th 737 Next Generation plane to airlines last year, he noted.
As chief project engineer, Michael said, "I was the executive responsible for the safety of the design, implementing the product strategy, partnering engineering with marketing and sales, and overseeing the technical integration of the airplane, including structural, aerodynamics and systems." Michael has taken those areas of responsibility one step further, having recently been named vice president of commercial airplanes test and validation.
Even as a youngster, Michael added, "I've always loved airplanes and wanted to design them." He chose Hofstra's engineering program in part because "I wanted to work at Grumman on Long Island, and a lot of Hofstra faculty were involved with Grumman. My first job after graduation was at Grumman as an aerodynamics engineer - until the end of 1988, when I joined McDonnell Douglas." Michael moved into commercial aircraft flight testing at McDonnell Douglas, which ultimately became Boeing.
One of his favorite aspects about Hofstra, he said, was its "small class sizes and good access to the facilities and faculty." An important lesson he learned as a freshman, he recalled, came from a professor who said, "you can be the most brilliant engineer but if you can’t articulate your ideas, it means nothing." Another professor prepared him for his current career, Michael added, by pointing out that "he wasn’t teaching us how to do something, but rather how to solve problems, a concept we could apply to changing circumstances."
His best advice for someone planning to enter his field: "You'll spend a lot of time in the work environment, so you should do something you really love. Go for what you really want to do, and enjoy your career - and life."