Boeing to launch Engineering Services Program to train students in UMSL/WUSTL Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program

Three engineering students work in a lab in the Science Learning Building

As many as 20 students in the UMSL/WUSTL Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program could be hired this semester to take part in an Engineering Services Program at Boeing. They’ll be paid for their work and have the opportunity to gain experience working on real-world engineering projects. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Students in the University of Missouri–St. Louis/Washington University Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program will soon have an opportunity to receive technical training at Boeing while working toward their degrees.

UMSL and Boeing have signed an agreement to create an Engineering Services Program to recruit students in the joint engineering program to work on Boeing projects. The program is being funded for three years, and as many as 20 UMSL students could be hired to take part in it this semester. Interviews start Friday, and the program is expected to begin in February.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for students to be exposed to the Boeing work environment and participate in real-world projects,” said Haiyan Cai, a professor of mathematics and statistics and associate dean of the joint engineering program. “Boeing will provide technical training, and the students will have a chance to interact with the engineers in a real-world setting. Boeing is a leading engineering company with endless opportunities for these students.”

Students will be paid while working, and Cai said that financial support will also be a big help to UMSL students in the joint engineering program, many of whom are first-generation college students and who are in many cases Pell Grant-eligible.

This is not the first time Boeing has worked with UMSL to support joint engineering students. The company has contributed significant resources to fund scholarships for students in engineering and other disciplines at UMSL, and the university honored the company with the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Medal for Philanthropy at the 2022 Founders Celebration.

“It’s clear Boeing is committed to helping the St. Louis community,” Cai said. “They try to do as much as they can to support the economy in the region. They’ve been a really good partner with UMSL, and we appreciate their support and partnership.”

Boeing has long been one of the leading employers of joint engineering program graduates.

Evelyn Bailey Moore, now the chief engineer for the company’s F/A-18 & EA-18G programs and the 2015 recipient of UMSL’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award, is a graduate of the joint engineering program, having earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 2003. She went on to receive a master’s in engineering management from Washington University in St. Louis and also holds an executive master’s in international business from Saint Louis University.

Moore was invited to deliver the commencement address last May for the ceremony celebrating graduates of the joint engineering program, the College of Nursing and School of Social Work. That’s when she met Cai and the two began talking about developing the Engineering Services Program.

“This Engineering Services Program represents how a quality education from UMSL and a great career at Boeing are both beneficial for uplifting the St. Louis region and our community,” Moore said. “Our goal is to leverage the talent at UMSL and provide students with real-world engineering tasks that will ultimately help the students and Boeing. It’s a win-win, and I’m excited to get the program started.”

Administrators surveyed students over the summer to gauge their interest in potential opportunities to work at Boeing and received a positive response.

The program is structured so that upper-level engineering classes, held on the campus of Washington University, don’t begin until after 4 p.m., freeing up students to work and gain valuable real-world experience during the day without interrupting classroom learning. This provides an advantage over traditional programs in the region that only offer classes during the day.

Cai said he is working with UMSL’s Office of Human Resources to hire a program manager to oversee the Engineering Services Program, and they will work quickly to hire students to work in the program.

Students who are interested in working in the program should contact Mary McManus at mcmanus@umsl.edu.

Interested students also can learn more about Boeing internships by visiting jobs.boeing.com/internships.

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