Crystal Harris

Current Position: Engineer at Boeing
Crystal Harris
Highlight I enjoy having the opportunity to make a positive impact in the advancement of science and to show support of my country.
October 19, 2012Her job: Liaison Engineer, Boeing
Describe what you do in your current work situation? I'm a Boeing Liaison Engineer.
Why did you choose engineering? I chose engineering to get a better understanding of how objects move through space. I figured if I want to fly them, I had better know why and how they work.
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have? I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, AL
What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work? I started my professional engineering career as a Flight Test Engineer where I developed critical test plans and procedures to ensure company products and services comply with customer, regulatory and company requirements. I currently support the global fleet of the C-17 Globemaster as a Liaison Engineer. The Boeing team and I support the United States Air Force strategic airlifter on a global scale ensuring the structural integrity and safety of the fleet.
What do you like best about being an engineer? I enjoy having the opportunity to make a positive impact in the advancement of science and to show support of my country.
Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of? I am most proud of my decision to make the big jump into the corporate world leaving the comforts of home, and join the engineering team of The Boeing Company.  
What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career? I have overcome the challenge of meeting new people and moving around the world. Setting goals and constantly pursuing them is always a feat, but I have continued my passion for flying by completing my Instrument rating and soon my Commercial rating.
Please tell us a little about your family. I am fortunate to have many friends and family that help to motivate and inspire me to do my best.
What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals? My short term goals are to transition to an aeronautical career as a pilot and engineer. My long term goals are to help open and maintain an aerospace academy for underserved communities.
What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices? My goals, family and close friends have the greatest influence on my life choices.
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering? You can do anything that I can do, but you can do it better.
Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book. My life outside of work is pretty humbling. I love volunteering in the community and shoe shopping with my sisters. One of my favorite books is Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Also, attending Tuskegee University and earning my pilot’s license at Moton Field is one of my most inspirational experiences because my world became 10 times larger than I had ever thought it would become. Moton Field is famous for being the home of the Tuskegee Airman, a group of African-American pilots who were World War II heroes. I learned to fly in the same plane flown by the legendary C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, one of the original flight instructors for the Tuskegee Airmen!