Student Teams Collaborate to Create Solutions for Boeing

Eight teams comprised of business and engineering students will compete to pitch solutions to a manufacturing problem this week. At stake are cash prizes, valuable resume-building experience and a chance to shine in front of higher ups from one of the world’s largest aerospace companies.

The students are finalists in the Boeing Case Competition, which kicked off last month. To enter the competition, students from the LeBow College of Business must pair with either students from the College of Engineering or colleagues in LeBow who are studying business and engineering. Seven of the eight finalists include CoE students.

Each team is given the same hypothetical problem to solve: Boeing has been contracted to manufacture more than 320 Chinook helicopters by 2029 but does not currently have the person hours to meet the goal at their current pace. The teams were asked to work together to find solutions that made sound business sense and incorporated the creative thinking of an engineer.

 Team Griffy
Team Griffy

Team Griffy, which is comprised of teammates from the Drexel Men’s Swimming and Diving team, includes a variety of specialties – one student each majoring in finance and economics, business and engineering, chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering. The team was built to make the most out of their diversity of expertise.

“We split the work in a way to make use of the specialties we had,” said Nathan Piccolo, B.S. mechanical engineering ’26. “Our two business students, with the help of one of our engineering students, tackled the problem by looking at labor and management. Our other two engineers worked on improving the cost and efficiency of the Chinooks.”

Solutions include opening new manufacturing facilities, finding efficiencies in scheduling work shifts, improving cost of parts, and investing in new technology.

 Team Griffy
The Mockford Group

The Mockford Group, which includes two mechanical engineering students, an electrical and computer engineering major and a business and engineering student, used Lean and Agile, two project management frameworks that maximize efficiency while minimizing waste, to develop their solution. Cooper Kramer, B.S. business and engineering ’25, said that the team’s classwork has prepared them for this moment.

“Our engineering classwork has allowed us to understand the processes behind producing the aircraft, and has given us a concrete foundation for making decisions regarding underproduction,” he said. “Using Lean and Agile, along with continuous integration / continuous delivery implementation, which we also learned in class, have allowed us to fully understand the nature of the problem all the while producing reliable, feasible solutions.”

Throughout the process, three members of the Boeing staff have acted as mentors to the teams, making themselves available to answer questions about the nuances of Boeing’s operations, get clarification on the case, or give context about the defense industry in general. At the final presentations, another three senior Boeing leaders will judge the competition.

 Team Griffy
Mohammad Alavi (left) and Gabriel O'Brien, of Team GYMS Advisor

“I have to admit that, from the times I used to play with toy planes as a kid to my high school years when I used to build and fly unmanned air vehicles, working with Boeing has been my greatest dream of all,” said Ahmet Yalim Kiral, B.S. mechanical engineering ’27, a member of Team GYMS Advisor. “So I am really happy to have this opportunity of working with a company that is so highly regarded. It has been an experience of great importance for me.”

Teams will give their final presentations through the course of the day on Friday, February 24. The first place team will win $2,000, second place $1,000 and third place $500.

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