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Alumni Spotlight: Chris Trickle

Chris TrickleBrookfield East Class of 2009

Chris Trickle has soared from Brookfield to Boeing where he is a Structural Design Engineer for some of the largest airplanes on the planet.

Chris began his educational journey at Tonawanda Elementary and Pilgrim Park Middle School before attending Brookfield East High. Throughout his 4 years at East, he was active in FIRST Robotics, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Swim Team, and the Spartan Banner. "The number of teachers that took a genuine interest in their students is what I appreciated the most," said Trickle. "In addition to enabling me and my peers to think big, our Elmbrook education prepared us to succeed in college and in the professional work environment."

Chris spoke to his appreciation for his East Science teachers, Christine Frank and John Harder for instilling a passion for STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) in him and for steering him towards an engineering degree. His English teacher, Christine Bustle, and Spanish teacher, Monica Lentz, helped improve his writing and communication skills that he uses every day to effectively and succinctly communicate his ideas.

Trickle graduated from Brookfield East in 2009 and continued his education at Purdue University. While at Purdue, Chris was an ambassador for the School of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, and was involved in a number of honor societies, including Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, and Sigma Gamma Tau, the Aerospace Engineering Honor Society. During his college years, he interned at Gulfstream in Appleton, WI, where he worked on VIP and military business jets to design custom interiors, and at Boeing in Seattle, WA, where he worked on performance improvements for the 747-8 Jumbo Jet.

Chris graduated from Purdue in 2013 with a Bachelors in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and minors in Mathematics and Chemistry. Following graduation, he continued working for Boeing full-time. Chris worked on an aerodynamic performance improvement package for the 747-8, allowing the plane to fly further while burning less fuel, before transferring to the 767 Program. In the program, supported the KC-46, a military refueling tanker for the United States Air Force, and the 767-300F, a freight airplane for cargo operators like FedEx and UPS. In May 2015, Chris earned his Masters in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue, with a focus on Structural Optimization.

Today, Chris is a Structural Design Engineer and works to support the primary structure of wings and empennages. "Most of my work involves designing wing components to enable aircraft to be built quicker and at a reduced cost while not degrading the performance of the aircraft," he stated. "I really enjoy the problem-solving aspect of my job - often times I work on production issues that have existed for over 30 years and it is very satisfying to bring closure to those problems."

Chris also spends time volunteering at the Museum of Flight in Seattle where he is helping to restore a De Havilland Comet Mk. 4C, the first jet-powered commercial aircraft, to ultimately be preserved in the Museum. "I love having the opportunity to work hands-on on a vintage aircraft and preserve it for future generations," said Trickle. He is also engaged to his classmate and fellow Spartan graduate, Tara Martin, and they are planning their wedding for next summer!


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