Boeing Chief Tech Officer Inspires Chicago girls About Engineering

"You don't have to be a genius in math to become an engineer." So said Dr. John Tracy, Chief Technology Officer of The Boeing Company, in an informal talk to 35 students at the Metro Achievement Center for girls. "You just have to want to make a difference in people's lives."

 "For example, I'm an aerospace engineer. People get along better when they meet face-to-face. The aircraft we build help bring them together."

Dr. Tracy surprised the girls by revealing that he'd gotten an F in his first algebra class. "But later I got A's. I'm not as smart as most of you in this room. Engineers are people just like you!"

He also pointed out the importance of good character when it comes to building airplanes. "Would you want someone to take a shortcut on a calculation when they're designing a plane that will carry your loved ones? Integrity is crucial in this business."

Next summer, Metro will launch an engineering apprenticeship for high school girls, with funding from Tellabs.

Dr. Tracy will be honored by MEF on October 21 at its 22nd Annual Reach for Excellence Awards Dinner (to learn more, visit

Thank you, Dr. Tracy for spending your precious time with us and inspiring all about a potential future in engineering! Grateful for your visit, from the girls at Metro Achievement Center.