Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Boeing Opens R&D Center in Bangalore

Here is a new article that came over the newswires. The link below is for a local on line newspaper in India.


Here are some exerpts that caught my eye:

Bangalore, March 31 (IANS) Global aerospace major Boeing has set up a research and technology lab here to develop advanced aerospace technologies and solutions for its next-generation products and services, a senior official said Tuesday.

The India lab, Boeing's third of its kind outside the US, will initially have 30 aerospace engineers working on multiple projects that include advanced aircraft and spacecraft designs and new structure and materials technologies.

"Another 100 engineers will collaborate with our various projects being carried out with Indian academia, research and development (R&D) institutions and private and public enterprises," Boeing chief technology officer John J. Tracy told reporters at the unveiling of the lab here.

"The investments are in millions of dollars from our global R&D budget, which runs into billions of dollars per annum," Tracy added.

Boeing has six advanced R&D labs across the US, and one overseas lab each in Australia and Spain - which together employ about 4,100 engineers.

Clarifying that Boeing was not downsizing its operations in the recession-hit US or shipping projects to this country, Tracy said India's exceptional talent pool with high math quotient and analysis skill was the prime reason for locating its third overseas R&D lab in Bangalore.

"Core technologies are vital for global aerospace eco-system comprising R&D, engineering and IT (software). The criteria is to develop cutting-edge technologies to ensure affordability, breakthrough performance, sustainability and eco-friendly products and services to our customers worldwide," Tracy affirmed.

It is interesting to note that Boeing has specifically called out the "high math quotient and analysis skill" of Engineers trained in India.

The question in my mind - why go halfway across the world just to hire 130 engineers? Can't we get them here in Seattle? Don't our engineers have high math quotients and analysis skills?

What am I missing?


Christi said...

When I worked for a Defense Contractor, many positions required US citizenship because you needed to obtain a DoD security clearance. There has been a call for years that we aren't creating enough engineers to replace current engineers reaching retirement age. I wonder if sending any job overseas that doesn't require a security clearance is a way to "save" US engineers for sensitive positions.

Though that is risky because, depending on your level of clearance, the background checks and requirements are significant. Simply being a US citizen is not enough.

There is a job fair here in Phoenix that is only for those holding security clearances. I wonder if there is any data showing how many of these positions are not filled.

Sudhakar Kudva said...

My guess about what Boeing may be trying to do here is also the same. Most of their US engineers may eventually end up working on jobs open only for citizens, with their civilian projects farmed off to where they can find more talent.

I have seen presentations and papers by defense and security agencies ringing the alarm bell on the lack of qualified citizens coming out of our colleges, especially grad schools. With more and more districts turning out math challenged graduates, my guess is that it will only get worse before it gets better.

This is one problem that cannot be solved by just approving more visas. This will have to involve grass roots effort to provide world class math to a larger portion of our young.

reshma M said...
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