Out of the Classroom and Into the World of Tech Ops at Atlas Air

Atlas Air office

Mechanical Engineer Student, Jordan Reed, visits Atlas.

Earlier this year, Atlas’ Tech Ops team hosted Jordan Reed, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Louisville Speed School, who is set to graduate in May and is exploring opportunities in the aviation industry.

Shelby Robinson Hodgson, Principal Structures Engineer and Bradley Hubbard, Senior Structures Engineer, planned an exciting two-day visit to show Jordan a day in the life of a structures engineer at Atlas.

“Opportunities like this make Atlas Air a strong contender for top talent,” said Leisa Spears Snyder, Director, Workforce Development, Human Resources. “What we do at Atlas Air is extraordinary and we all know it takes extraordinary talent to get the job done. Job shadow experiences for students like Jordan, in highly competitive programs, provide an inside look at what we do. That exposure creates interest and an exciting introduction to our employer brand.”

“The job shadowing experience at Atlas Air was an incredible introduction to aerospace engineering,” said Jordan. “It was refreshing to see the enthusiasm for the company as well as the variety of ways my skills as a mechanical engineer could translate into an unfamiliar industry.  I’m looking forward to exploring other opportunities with the Atlas team.”

Below, we hear directly from Shelby about Jordan’s visit!

Day One: 

Atlas Air aircraft cockpit

Jordan got to sit in the cockpit of a 767 during his visit.

Brad went over what it takes to repair a damaged aircraft structure, how Atlas tracks repairs and what it looks like to manage an aircraft in heavy maintenance. I taught Jordan about Federal Administration Aviation (FAA) regulations and reliability projects. I even showed him how we perform a root cause analysis to identify solutions for problems we experience.  

Day Two: 

Now, it was the time to put words into action. We started the morning by taking a tour of CVG4, where we house a variety of different parts and materials for the Atlas fleet. Thus, Jordan got exposure to the supply chain portion of the business, and I explained why that was important for engineering as well. 

Atlas Air 767

Jordan in the belly of a 767.

After lunch, we visited the FEAM hangar where one of the Atlas 767s was going through an A check*. Brad went over what a typical A check looks like and the maintenance representative on-site walked Jordan around and showed him the aircraft structure, while explaining the purpose and design. I even got to show him one of the projects I implemented and explained the reasoning behind it. 

As we were ending our tour of the aircraft, we were told that engine runs were about to happen (where aircraft engines are brought to full power to test them), and we were so excited to have this opportunity to show him this! This is not something you see every day and we were glad the timing worked out so perfectly.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to host Jordan here at Atlas Air and are always excited to show students the many ways they can have a career in aviation. It is essential in developing the next generation of aviation leaders.

Needless to say, Jordan learned a good bit about airplanes and aircraft engineering in just two short days. I think it was a huge success and I hope Jordan feels the same way!

*An A Check takes place about every 1,000 flying hours and includes changing filters, lubricating hydraulics and undergoing a detailed inspection of emergency equipment.