Testing an adventure at 30,000 feet

Matt England, seated inside an aircraft

At 30,000 feet, the pilot pulls back on the throttle. Soon warning lights illuminate the cockpit, the wings begin to wobble, and flight test engineer Matt England ('11 Aerospace Engineering) checks the data that's filling up his computer as a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner starts to stall. This wasn't the type of "office" he expected to be in after graduation. But it was one he couldn't refuse.

Before telling the pilot to resume cruising speed, Matt came to Iowa State. He wanted to learn how to make machines work efficiently and how to make aircraft fly. With his determination and some assistance from professors, he honed the skills that leading companies were looking for. And before he even graduated, he received amazing offers from companies like Caterpillar and John Deere.

Today, Matt works out of two offices. One is at Boeing's facility in Seattle, Washington. The other office is a brand-new aircraft that travels the globe testing the limits. "It's a great way to experience the future of aviation firsthand," Matt said.

At Iowa State, our professors and advisers put our students first. We help them develop the knowledge and tools to accomplish their dreams in everything from aerospace engineering to acting. So they'll be able to get their career off the ground and reach the heights that others only imagine.

This story is part of the Iowa State University Alumni Association’s Visions Across America series. Read more great alum stories here.