WSU Engineering Professor Earns Boeing Fellowship

OGDEN, Utah – Manufacturing engineering technology associate professor George Comber will spend eight weeks this summer with the Boeing Corporation, after being named one of its 2009 Welliver Faculty Fellows. 

The Weber State University faculty member was one of nine engineering professors worldwide to be selected to the prestigious fellowship program.

Comber will spend eight weeks learning about key research and technology programs at Boeing and sharing his perspectives as part of the Welliver Faculty Fellowship Program. The program will include site visits to Boeing’s operations in Everett, Wash., and Portland, Ore., where the professors will shadow Boeing personnel to get a closer look at the company’s technical and business programs. The faculty fellows will have access to Boeing senior executives and the opportunity to build contacts within the company.

“I’ll be able to observe and learn about the latest processes in industry, and share what I learn with students in my classes back here at Weber State,” Comber said.

This fall, Comber will be leading the implementation of a new academic emphasis on plastics and composites within the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology. He hopes to learn more about how Boeing is using plastics and composites in its operation.

The professors also are expected to share their expertise by suggesting how Boeing could improve the areas observed. During the last week of the program, they will present their findings to Boeing executives and other leaders during meetings at the company’s Leadership Center in St. Louis.

“As one of the largest global aerospace companies, Boeing places a high value on the engineering and technical skills required to grow and sustain our business,” said Dale Ramezani, the company’s director of university relations. “We offer this program because these professors are educating our future workforce, helping students develop the skills they need to be successful in engineering, business, and manufacturing and technology careers.”

WSU manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology students frequently receive internships at Boeing and many of the school’s students are hired by the aircraft manufacturer. Comber said the fellowship may lead to additional partnership opportunities between WSU and Boeing.

Approximately 150 university professors have participated in this program since it was established in 1995. Interest has come from schools in China, the Congo, France, the United Kingdom, India, Australia and Poland as well as the United States. This year’s cohort includes engineering professors from Baylor, Drexel, The Ohio State University, Tuskegee and Villanova, as well as the Florida Institute of Technology and Cranfield University in the United Kingdom.

The program is named for the late A.D. “Bert” Welliver, who was a Boeing senior vice president of engineering and technology. Welliver was recognized throughout the aerospace industry for his vision and leadership in promoting a close working relationship between industry and academia.

Visit for more information about the Welliver Faculty Fellowship Program.

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John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
801-626-7212 •

George Comber, associate professor manufacturing engineering technology
801-391-4487/801-626-6920 ·

Loretta Morgan, Boeing
253-250-9282 ·