Sean Black Senior Vice President - Chief Technology Officer & Chief Engineer Spirit Aerosystems


Sean Black is senior vice president and chief engineer, Engineering and Research & Development for Spirit AeroSystems. In this role, he has oversight of Spirit’s global engineering and research and development teams.

Black joined Spirit AeroSystems in 2016. During his tenure at Spirit, he has held leadership roles as Vice President of Commercial Engineering across all Boeing, Airbus and Rolls Royce programs, and as Vice President of Research and Development. In addition, he has held company level Delegated Design approvals cascaded from OEM customers. 

Black has over 25 years’ experience in the defense/aerospace industry. He started his career in the UK as a Research Engineer at BAE SYSTEMS Advanced Technology Centre and then as Engineering Manager for BAE SYSTEMS Aerostructures business unit. Black transferred to Airbus with the launch of the A350XWB program where he held a variety of leadership roles both in Europe and the United States spanning the full development lifecycle from “clean sheet” design to industrial ramp up. In his last assignment in Airbus as Senior Director - Head of A350XWB US Program Management, he worked closely with a number of Tier 1 Aerostructure, Cabin and System suppliers across North America to secure critical development milestones. Prior to his industrial career he held a Lectureship in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Dundee (Scotland).

Black earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Dundee Institute of Technology (Scotland). Thereafter, he undertook research study, sponsored by DeBeers Industrial Diamond Division, in the field of Superabrasives. This led to an award of a Doctor of Philosophy from Liverpool John Moores University, England. Black has also published a number of research papers in technical journals and conferences including the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. He received a national Tribology Medal and the AM Strickland Award for his research work. 

Black is a Charted Engineer (CEng), a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE), and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS).