Flying is a wonder of our time. It connects a global network of people and goods, and enables not only economic growth and millions of jobs worldwide, but also exploration, adventure and a frontier for innovation and dreams.
The marvelous science of aviation is made possible through engineering done by professionals like Maryknoll alumnus Brad Chun ’82, senior director of engineering at Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii’s biggest and longest-serving airline. Chun, along with his staff, makes sure planes are in tip-top shape, taking care of fleet products and modifying them so they meet safety, legal, maintenance and airworthiness requirements.
“As an engineer, I love being able to solve problems that can help resolve an issue,” says Chun. “It’s very challenging to take hold of the issue, do a little analysis to understand the root of the cause, and then figure out some options on how to solve it.”
Having to choose a career, however, was an easy thing to solve, thanks to Maryknoll. Chun developed an interest in engineering in his junior year of high school. “At that time, I didn’t know what kind of engineering, so I talked with some of the counselors at Maryknoll, and they steered me. I chose one of the electives, electrical engineering, and that led to a career in the aviation industry.”
Along with his pre-engineering endeavors, Chun was involved with extracurricular activities such as sports, speech and drama. Reflecting on his own experience, Chun recognizes the outstanding learning opportunities that are available for students today.
“As an employer at Hawaiian Airlines, as someone who tries to hire talent, I know that Maryknoll is doing a great job in preparing students for the workforce,” he says. “Especially at Hawaiian, we can’t wait to find someone with the technical skills that can do an engineer’s job here. The Mx STEM & Aerospace Program will definitely help.”
Chun is one of the first professional Mentors for Mx STEM & Aerospace and is excited to be matched with students who aspire to careers in engineering.
“The students I have met are among the top 5 percent, the cream of the crop,” says Chun. “They have direction. They have structure. I know they will go far.”