Where are they now? Caite Beck, BS ‘16
What are you doing now?
After graduating from the University of Illinois, I began working at Northrop Grumman as a Supply Chain Quality Engineer in Promontory, Utah. In that role, I relayed quality requirements from our customers to our suppliers and ensured that those requirements were being upheld. After being in that role for just over two and a half years, I have changed groups and am now a Structural Design and Analysis Engineer for the Metals Structures, Seals and Joints group. I am pursuing a M.S.E. in Interdisciplinary Engineering with a concentration in Aerospace Engineering online from Purdue University and I anticipate graduating from this program in December 2019. I’m also pursuing a M.B.A. from Indiana University Kelley School of Business that I plan on completing in spring of 2022.
In my spare time, I’m on the executive board for the Utah Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. I’m also actively involved in the Junior League of Ogden, which is a local chapter of a national service organization. I run with our local Ogden Pub Runners, and enjoy hiking, skiing and doing triathlons around Utah and the surrounding states. My husband and I also love visiting our national parks and travelling the world!
How did your education and experiences at Illinois help you get there?
My Illinois education gave me the technical acumen that I needed to be qualified for my career. Illinois also gave me the invaluable opportunity to present my technical work to industry experts. This gave me the communication skills that were necessary to set myself apart from my peers. Participating in RSOs also gave me the leadership experience that has propelled me to be an active member of my community.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done since graduating from Illinois?
As for my work, I have had the opportunity to work on the metal structures as a procurement engineer for multiple development programs such as the GEM 63 and OmegA boost stage rocket motors. I got to experience the static fire of GEM 63 and the OmegA first stage, and have now been working on the post-fire analysis of the OmegA static test. I have been honored to work alongside some of our greatest engineering minds and thrilled to have had the opportunity to personally influence developing programs so early in my career.
What advice do you have for current Illinois aerospace students?
I would advise current Illinois aerospace students to get involved in extracurricular activities while they are in college, even if they do not apply directly to their major. Illinois has a plethora of activities available that allow students to explore a multitude of opportunities and passions. The connections made through these outlets will help to develop personal and professional relationships that last a lifetime. More importantly, once they find something they deeply care about, they should continue to develop that passion after leaving the university. This will help them develop a well-rounded life both personally and professionally.