Engineering Spotlight: Katelyn Cerankosky
This second spotlight in our ongoing series coincides with the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, so it is only fitting that we feature Systems Test Lead Engineer, Katelyn Cerankosky. Katelyn is just one of approximately 121 female engineers employed by the Moog Aircraft Group who make a difference every day in the world of aviation.
Katelyn’s love of engineering and science started at a young age, in her hometown of Cleveland, OH, where her father would often find her taking things apart to discover how they functioned. As she jumped from considering one college major to the next, her father continued to remind her of her innate abilities and pushed her towards engineering. Katelyn’s mom joined the effort as well, buying her a math book one summer and making her do the exercises so she didn’t fall behind. Katelyn’s mom likes to joke, “Money well spent!”
As her engineering journey loomed before her, she discovered that her neighbors owned Kelly Aerospace. This opened the door for several internships, starting as early as high school and leading to a co-op as part of her studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), in Rochester, New York. While at Kelly, she worked as a design engineer making de-icing heaters for the leading edge of wings and wind turbine blades.
After her co-op at Kelly, she moved on to a co-op program with the Moog Aircraft Group. What she liked most about the program was the autonomy. She was given a project that had real-life implications and was told to run with it! She also had the ability to speak and be heard, which Katelyn said “is just one of the many benefits of Moog’s amazing culture.” In fact, her mention of a “cool material that she’d heard about called nitinol” launched an R & D project for F-35 actuators! For more information on Moog’s Internship and Co-Op Program, visit Moog Internship and Co-Op Program.
After graduation, Katelyn was hired full-time at Moog as a product engineer. She spent four years working on Boeing Legacy, Hawker Premier and Embraer. This allowed her to learn specific applications, gain experience with hydraulic engineering, and, most importantly, develop the confidence and knowledge that led her to her current position as systems test lead engineer for the Gulfstream G600 Business Jet Flap Actuation Project. Always seeking out another challenge, this role was a natural next step in her engineering career that has not only expanded and developed her role within the company, but also as an individual. She oversees a four-person team, plus interfaces with several other functional groups. Ultimately, she is responsible for the system test schedule and budget, while ensuring all tasks related to test readiness and success are performed.
Flap actuation is a flight critical functionality of the G600 and is put into action when the plane lands. Katelyn’s team is working to certify the performance of the flap system – with a replicated system representation onsite in the lab. They do extensive testing for performance, robustness and to ensure that if there is a fault, the system will react appropriately and safely. The G600 is not yet in flight for public use, and the certification phase is ongoing. Each system test campaign takes about two months to run and Katelyn has been working on the program for a year and a half.
While enjoying her time as a product engineer, Katelyn loves her current role because it gives her the chance to interact with engineers of other disciplines such as electrical and software. It also gives her the opportunity to work with an entire system rather than a specific LRU and expand her overall knowledge. Katelyn says, “It’s great to be in a job where I learn something new every day and it’s never stale or boring. I’ve been very fortunate that my management here at Moog provides me with continual challenges. “
Katelyn knows the opportunities to grow within Moog are extensive. And after the G600 project wraps she sees her next role as either a full systems leader or integrated project team (IPT) lead staying on the development side. While she enjoys her experience in commercial programs, she is open to working on military programs should the opportunity arise. “Anything that provides the most challenge!”
In her free time, Katelyn runs a local brunch club in the Greater Buffalo Area, called Gals that Brunch! . The group meets monthly to network and socialize. She also enjoys yoga, skiing, reading, wine tours in the nearby Finger Lakes, and watching the Cleveland Indians, her hometown baseball team.
Written by Kay Bostaph, Marketing Communications Manager Aircraft Group