Boeing’s Teare named a 2020 distinguished alumna


Amanda Maher

MechSE alumna Wendy Teare
MechSE alumna Wendy Teare

MechSE alumna Wendy Teare (BSEM ’88) has been awarded a 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award from the department. She was one of three alumni honored this year.

Teare began her career with McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in 1988. The company merged with Boeing in 1998 to become The Boeing Company. Soon after, she began work on a hypersonic transport aircraft doing high-temperature materials and structure testing on the National Aerospace Plane Program, where she worked with NASA Dryden engineers to pioneer high-temperature design, analysis, and testing on Titanium Matrix Composite Structures. While working full-time, Teare pursued a graduate degree in mechanical engineering with a focus in solid mechanics at Washington University in St. Louis.

In 1991, she transferred to the F-15 program, where she focused on addressing issues that arose due to cracking in the aircraft wings. Within a year she was in a position focusing on stealth technology research and development. Through her 15 years in this position, Teare had the opportunity to design, analyze, and test the nozzle for the company’s Bird of Prey stealth technology demonstration project.

In the decades since, she has enjoyed positions in operations analysis, experimentation, and program management. Teare said she enjoyed her time in Operations Analysis. “I really liked the bigger picture perspective in this position. Where previously I had been focused on how to meet the program requirements, I shifted my focus to why I cared: just because I can meet or exceed the program requirements, does it make a difference in the operational capability of the platform?” 

In the experimentation role, she combined constructive and virtual simulations to aid Boeing and the government to determine where to focus their investments. She became the experiment lead for multiple projects studying both manned and unmanned versions of the F-22 and F/A-18. As a senior program manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) her work focused on a virtual welfare center for various government clients.

Teare began her current position as the Cruise Missile Systems International Execution Manager in October last year. She leads a team of nine project engineers who support foreign military sales of Boeing’s cruise missiles, including the Harpoon and SLAM/SLAM-ER. Teare and her team work with 30 countries and the U.S. Navy to help support America’s military position around the world.

As part of her participation in Boeing’s External Executive Education Program, Teare enrolled in Purdue University’s International Master of Management Executive Global MBA program with the intention of helping Boeing Phantom Works expand internationally. She graduated at the top of her class. As a recipient of several degrees, Teare said she is most proud of her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois.

“I appreciated the courses, the faculty, and the other students. When I graduated, I was well-prepared for my early assignments and was able to become a contributing member of my team right away.”