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Professional Society Leadership Opportunities - Aerospace

Table of Contents

By Laurie Strom

How and where do decisions get made? Governments – yes; Leadership positions in companies and organizations – yes. But where do decisions get made when they need to span countries, work for multiple companies, and are highly technical?  For example, where do decisions get made for how airplanes should communicate with satellites and control towers? How do the manufacturers know how to make a part that will work on multiple aircraft?  What about requirements for aircraft design, manufacture, and operation? How can we be sure that wherever these decisions are made, the products and processes will be safe, reliable, and high quality?

International Standards Development Organizations (SDO) are examples of Professional Societies where such decisions are made. All the reasons put forth by Tepeyac Leadership Institute on why we need Catholic laity on boards also apply to the leadership committees in these organizations. The impact of well-formed, moral, business ethics-educated technical leaders can be profound, even at entry levels.  Not only do these organizations need great technical leaders, but they also provide experiences and contacts which help build great careers and lifelong friendships.

The decision-making bodies in Professional Societies may go by many names – boards, committees, groups, consortia – and they are so numerous and expansive in nature – that even the release of a daily post would not cover them all! Every industry (technical and non-technical), every aspect of design, manufacturing, testing, validation, operation, communication, and transportation has organizations of this type, and they profoundly impact our day-to-day lives because everything is made from something by some process and relies on standards. The list below gives a few examples in the Aerospace Industry; it is not complete but provides a thought starter on how to become engaged.

So, who influences what chemicals products can be made from? Who influences the requirements for validation of Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning (AI/ML) software? Look at the list, check out the links and be amazed at the extent of the knowledge, content, and opportunities these organizations provide! These organizations want and need volunteers that can professionally contribute meaningful knowledge and insights.  Let’s ensure they get the best, well-educated, well-formed professionals!

ARINC Industry Activities

Technical standards adopted by the AEEC, AMC, and FSEMC are published as ARINC Standards by the ARINC Industry Activities secretariat. ARINC Standards describe avionics, cabin systems, protocols, and interfaces used by more than 10,000 air transport and business aircraft worldwide.

· The AEEC develops engineering and technical standards for airborne electronics of common interest to all segments of the aviation community.

· The AMC develops maintenance-related technical standards.

· The FSEMC develops technical standards related to simulation and training.


Technical Committees develop and maintain ASTM standards. They are grouped by designation according to related activities within a particular scope of work (ex: A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel and Related Alloys). ASTM Committees are made up of over 32,000 volunteers from industry and include manufacturers and consumers, as well as other interest groups such as government or academia. Any interested individual can participate on a Technical Committee through ASTM membership.

AWS - American Welding Society

“Advancing the science, technology, and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes worldwide, including brazing, soldering and thermal spraying.”

That is our mission, and it’s why we exist. Whether you’re here to explore membership, certification, advanced training, updated standards, conferences, professional collaborations or the many exciting career opportunities in welding today – we are here to support you. Count on AWS for the leading-edge industry knowledge, resources, and tools you need to achieve even greater business and career success, as well as inspire new generations to see the exciting career opportunities available today.


· Build Electronics Better: Wondering how the standards you rely on get developed? Do you want to help make those standards better? Have you always wanted to find out why a certain criterion was included?

· Use your technical expertise to improve IPC standards. Committee participation takes place in meetings, by teleconference, or by e-mail. Distance shouldn’t deter you from joining a committee, IPC welcomes global input.

· Committee members sharpen their presentation skills and negotiation skills during the committee process. You’ll personally benefit from developing a network of experts with similar interests. In addition, committee participation can help build your resume and show potential employers that you’re keeping up with technological changes in the industry.


How to get involved?  Standards are developed by groups of experts called technical committees. These experts are put forward by ISO’s national members. If you are interested in getting involved, contact your national standards body. Your national standards body is the ISO member and represents ISO in your country. Contact details can be found in the list of national members.  Companies and individuals are not eligible to join ISO as members.

PRI - Performance Review Institute Bodies of Knowledge

PRI Qualification Bodies of Knowledge are created in collaboration with industry experts through our Technical Review Boards. These detailed documents capture current industry expectations for personnel performing a range of aerospace manufacturing roles. Each Body of Knowledge breaks down a role into its key elements, which include knowledge, skills, personal attributes, and experience. The Bodies of Knowledge utilize international aerospace standards as a baseline for their content and are regularly updated to ensure they properly reflect current aerospace manufacturing practices.

SAE International

· Launch your professional development through paper or book publishing:

· Research, draft and submit a technical paper to one of SAE’s professional events or to a scholarly journal. Or share your knowledge with the industry at large by serving as a book author, editor or reviewer.

· Guide future generations through school and university programs:

· Use your passion and experience to nurture the next generation of engineers in the early stages of their careers. Connect with elementary or middle school STEM students through SAE’s A World in Motion Program or advise university engineering majors through the Collegiate Design Series.

· Elevate your experience through a position on a professional committee:

· Maximize your leadership potential through a wide variety of high-profile positions on SAE’s Technical Standards Committees or other professional technical committees.

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