Materials science and engineering alum Ricole Johnson ’90 received a Patent Recognition Award at the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) WE20 conference in November. 

Johnson, who is an engineering project lead for the airplane product development division at Boeing and is pursuing a PhD systems engineering at Colorado State University, currently holds four patents. The award relates to a patent involving aircraft lip skins, or “the material used on the thin silver ring found on an airplane’s engine,” which “must be perfectly smooth to reduce fuel consumption and noise output.”

She discusses her academic and career journey—from “steel to timber to airplanes”—in a recent story published by Colorado State, where she’s working on a dissertation related to the use of aeronautics in the urban setting with the use of the colloquially named “air taxi.”

“Think of a small aircraft that uses vertical take off and landing technology and doesn’t need a runway,” Johnson says. “The point is to take small flights within cities and between cities to relieve road congestion. They are the next big thing in aerospace.”

Read the full story on the Colorado State Systems Engineering website.

Ricole Johnson

Materials science and engineering alum Ricole Johnson ’90 is an engineering project lead for Boeing and PhD student at Colorado State University. She currently holds four patents.