Momentum Member Spotlight–November 2011 Written 7 November 2011

AIAA Salutes John C. Rose

By: Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications (2008-2017)

AIAA Associate Fellow John C. Rose, The Boeing Company

AIAA has selected John C. Rose, for its Member Spotlight for November, 2011. Mr. Rose is project management specialist at tBoeing, Engineering, Operations, and Technology, The Boeing Company, Seal Beach, Calif., for its Member Spotlight for November 2011.

Rose has been a member of AIAA for 18 years, and was recently selected to AIAA Associate Fellow class of 2012. Rose is the Region 6 Deputy Director for Public Policy, a member of the AIAA Public Policy Committee, and most recently served as Section Vice-Chair, Education Officer and Webmaster for the Orange County Section of AIAA. For his efforts in promoting STEM education, Rose is the past recipient of three Harry Staub Precollege Outreach Awards, and a Special Service Citation for leading Region 6 Congressional Visits Day efforts. 

When not working on AIAA related projects, Rose is also the Fundraising Chair for the Orange County Profession Chapter of Engineers Without Borders, an organization which consists of professionals and students from a variety of professions including engineering, public health, anthropology and business who work with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects, while creating transformative experiences and responsible leaders. In his role as Fundraising Chair, Rose works to support the chapter’s projects by writing grants, coordinating for corporate sponsors, securing event sponsors, and working with the teams to do their long term planning with regards to their budgets. 

Rose’s earliest inspirations for pursuing a career in education came from his toy chest. He noted that as a child he always enjoyed working with his hands “whether it was building models, constructing things out of LEGOS, or launching model rockets.”He continued: “Growing up in a military family, I was always amazed to see the full-scale, real-life versions of the equipment that my toys were emulating, so it wasn’t long before I fell in love with the space program and began to keep a scrap book of all the space related articles that came out in our newspaper.” He also stated that his father was a big influence on his decision to pursue engineering, as he always “helped create opportunities for me to indulge my engineering interests.”

When the discussion turned to what advice Rose would offer young engineers just starting out in the aerospace profession, Rose counseled: “Be patient, and take advantage of opportunities presented to you so that you get the broadest picture possible of your jobs and company.” He noted: “Too often people want to jump right into management or lead a project, but that takes time and there are opportunities along the way to learn from others, see different aspects of their job, their department, or even their company that will better serve them when they do get into leadership roles.” He mused that “it might be cliché to say ‘pay your dues’ but there is truth to the saying in that there is great value in working your way through the stages of your career.” He concluded the discussion by urging young engineers to communicate with their mentors and leadership, saying: “be patient, but work with your mentor and leadership to make your interests and desires known so that they can make sure that you are presented with opportunities to learn and grow in your role.”

When the discussion turned from those in the workforce to students entering the workforce, Rose stated that “Students entering the workforce need to understand that our industry has always been cyclical, and that it always will be. Those entering the workforce now will find that the industry is in a nebulous stage and all of our stakeholders – the government, industry and academia – are working hard at figuring out how things will look in the next few years. But this current state of affairs should not discourage them!” he noted, continuing: “There are so many areas of life that our supported by our workforce, that there will always be work.”

When asked what he observed about newly minted engineers just entering the workforce for the first time, Rose observed: “People new to the workforce want to come in, guns blazing, and go right to work on the coolest and most challenging projects. But now, those entering the workforce will have to understand that in many instances there is not a great deal of insight into what the future holds in terms of how projects will fare in the political process. While things will recover, workers just entering the engineering workforce will have to look for opportunities within their own companies where they can learn, network, and establish their reputation as someone who brings benefits to a project.” Rose continued: “If they do those things, when things turn around, their name will be at the top of the list of people to be selected for project teams.”

But, Rose cautioned: “Those entering the workforce might find themselves performing tasks which are not glamorous at first, but that they should execute those tasks with the same level of enthusiasm and professionalism as if they were working on a project for the CEO.” Rose continued: “They should remember that how you handle yourself with the less exciting work is going to speak a whole lot more about you to others than what they realize.”

When asked about the value of AIAA to its members, and if he would urge others to join AIAA, Rose stated: “AIAA offers so much more than people usually give it credit for. I have participated in AIAA at the section, regional and national level, and at every step along the way I have made connections and established relationships that have helped me progress, both in my career and in my service to the Institute. My work for the Institute in the area of public policy, both as a part of the Public Policy Committee, and as Regional Public Policy Director, has really given me a good look at how much more there is to our industry beyond the technical aspects that you see every day.”

Rose noted that involvement with AIAA has also helped his career at Boeing, stating: “My work for the Institute on public policy and workforce matters have allowed me to work with Boeing on hosting local events on these issues, which has lead to a greater understanding of these issues amongst the Boeing workforce and the local community.” Rose concluded the interview noting that: “There are so many ways to participate in AIAA, and all of the participation returns tangible benefits to the member’s career and general understanding of the industry at large. It would be hard for a member not to find their niche within AIAA, with technical committees spanning the fields of aerospace engineering and science to economics and on to history and public policy, AIAA offers something for everyone to become involved with.” Rose concluded by noting that “any involvement with the Institute would be a net positive for individuals, if only to have the chance to meet and work with the amazing people that make up our membership.”

AIAA salutes Mr. Rose for his many contributions to AIAA, as well as for his selection as the AIAA member spotlight for November 2011