Engineers Cite Mission and People as the Best Part of Boom

Interested in a supersonic career? Here’s what two engineers had to say about the experience.

Senior Structural Engineer Gustavo Silva is a mechanical and aerospace engineer by training, but works as a software engineer and numerical methods expert. He supports multiple engineering teams in determining how to best solve problems mathematically. Then, he helps implement the software that makes the math a reality, bridging the communication gap between multiple-discipline experts.

Aerodynamics engineer Marshall Gusman leads the preliminary design of Boom’s supersonic airliner, Overture. He works with teams across the organization, and specifically the engineering disciplines, to develop the best overall aircraft design to meet every requirement.

Marshall Gusman (left) and Gustavo Silva (right) stand with Boom’s fully assembled supersonic demonstrator, XB-1.

The two engineers have inherently cross-functional roles at Boom, as aircraft development requires constant communication and collaboration across disciplines. Like most of their colleagues, Silva and Gusman are highly involved in every facet of design, because it’s up to everyone to ensure Overture meets the needs of not just engineering and production, but the expectations of customers, airlines and passengers too.

Ask them both and they’ll tell you—the collaborative culture is what makes Boom great.

Gusman was an integral part of wind tunnel testing for XB-1, before leading aerodynamic design for Overture.

“It’s immensely challenging and fun to balance the competing constraints of aerodynamics and propulsion, structures and systems — not to mention marketing and economics — together into a viable airplane design,” said Gusman. “I love working as part of a super sharp and highly motivated team because it inspires everyone to achieve their highest potential.”

“Everyone I work with is incredibly capable, intelligent, and focused,” added Silva. “We have a lot of smart people, but no smarty-pants to ruin the day. The workplace environment is very data-driven with no politics, no egos, no heroes, no villains.”

A sharp eye for data, combined with a passion for the product, has allowed the engineering team to not only advance aircraft design, but think creatively about the type of solutions made.

“Good airplane design requires both cutting-edge technology and historical understanding of previous designs,” said Gusman. “It’s a special combination of learning and doing that keeps the work exciting.”

While both engineers recognize that there is a significant ‘cool factor’ to designing the world’s fastest and most sustainable airliner, they agreed that the passion comes from somewhere bigger — mission. “While I love to dive into the technical aspects, I am also inspired by the goal of reducing travel times to make the world more accessible and familiar,” said Gusman. “I hope that mainstream supersonic flight fosters better understanding and appreciation of our neighbors and the amazing planet that we all share.”

“I’d like to see people travel to faraway lands more often,” said Silva. “I think it’s harder to hate other people if you’ve seen them face to face, enjoyed their food, experienced their hospitality, and seen the context of their lives.”

The dream of supersonic speed is one that’s been close to Silva’s heart — and those of his team members — for years.

“It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but I grew up a nerd before being one was socially acceptable,” concludes Silva. “As a true nerd, I watched tons of science fiction, especially Star Trek the Next Generation. I was such a nerd that I never wanted to be Captain Picard, or any of the ‘cool kids’ who got to join the boarding party in the Borg starship. Nope. I wanted to be an eccentric scientist in the nameless space station working to make deflector shields a full 3 percent more efficient. I never stopped watching these shows, and never stopped pretending they were true. And, here I am, helping us take that very important baby step toward warp speed.”

Silva and Gusman are two of many of the top-flight engineers focused on the design and development of Overture, Boom’s supersonic airliner. Career opportunities like theirs are added every week. Check here for updates.


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