Crystal Harris
Crystal Harris
Manager, Northrop Grumman

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Close Up
  • 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.
  • Any other stories or comments you would like to share with EngineerGirl visitors?
    I enjoy having the opportunity to make a positive impact in the advancement of science and to show support of my country.
  • 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!
As a cool flight test engineering manager, I am beyond excited to support an elite group of engineers at Northrop Grumman. Supporting the global missions for multiple customers is a rewarding challenge. The rewards of helping others, making a positive difference, and travel, of course-just to name a few. My experience as a pilot, engineer, and volunteer has taught me many things but most of all, I have learned to be bold, ambitious, daring, and demanding.
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2005 Aerospace Science Engineering, Tuskegee University, Graduate
Volunteer Opportunities
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as a sponsor or coach for an engineering club or team.
Latest Questions
  • Carlos, Ortega

    Added Friday, February 3, 2017 at 8:52 AM

    1)Where are the engines located? 2)How much does an engineer get paid? 3)How many years of engineering does one need for airplane engineering? 4)Do aeronautical engineers only fix planes? 5)Is it dangerous? 6)Is it 24/7 worth of fixing planes? 7)What knowledge of planes should I know?
    Answers 1
    Crystal Harris, Northrop Grumman
    Answered Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 4:30 PM
    Hi Ortega, thank you for the great questions.  I am excited to know more about the final research paper.  So lets see if I can help..."how many year of engineering does one need for airplane engineering?" A typical engineering degree can be obtained from ...
    Read More
  • Serenity asked Crystal Harris, Northrop Grumman

    Added Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    How does art affect your career?
    Related to Internships & Jobs
    Answers 1
    Crystal Harris, Northrop Grumman
    Answered Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    As a middle school student, I could draw basic shapes and designs that most elementary school students had mastered. This is to say, art or graphic design wasn't my strongest subject. I came to realize in my studies through high school and college, ...

    Read More
  • Mirna, Kennesaw asked Crystal Harris, Northrop Grumman

    Added Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    I would like to ask what kind of jobs are available for aerospace engineering. Thanks
    Related to Aeronautical/Aerospace , Internships & Jobs
    Answers 1
    Crystal Harris, Northrop Grumman
    Answered Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    Thank you for your interest in Aerospace Engineering.  Most positions available or are related to aerospace engineering are usually regarding flight testing, space and defense systems, some structural positions as well.  Fluids, i.e. fields in ...

    Read More
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