Date of Award
Campus Access only research projects
Dual Degree in Master of Science & Master of Business Administration
Systems Engineering and Leadership Program
School or College
Seaver College of Science and Engineering
Intro: The aerospace industry as a whole is facing a challenge with the upcoming retirement of the baby boomer generation. The generation that helped bring a nation together during uncertain times, and grow the US economy to the goliath it has become today, is the same generation that could help unravel the aerospace industry they were so pivotal in creating. The large departure of the senior workforce is inevitable yet so many Aerospace companies do not fully understand the magnitude of this phenomenon. However, many companies see this shortcoming and are taking actions to mitigate risk. These mitigation factors generally have been very reactive and not preventative enough. A study was initiated in hopes of looking at the breadth of the issue around the industry, how companies are handling the issue, what the potential impacts are to a company and to the industry, as well as to try and find a solution to the problem through the use of knowledge management.
Results: During the course of the study a survey was conducted to poll users within the industry about their experiences regarding the aging workforce, mentorships, and how they learn as well as what knowledge management techniques they believe would be helpful in transferring knowledge between people. The results of the survey paralleled indications that aerospace retirements are a very real concern for companies as well as employees. Many workers in the industry feel that their workplace is unequally balanced amongst the age groups, featuring many employees on each end of the spectrum from very old employees to very young employees without having a good balance of employees between the two age groups. Furthermore, many workers believe that the young employees in their work groups do not contribute or have the necessary technical knowledge to take over for their senior workforce on the verge of retirement. These workers believe that this is due to many reasons, especially the lack of a real structured program for transferring knowledge between generations within the workforce.
The survey results address how the individual participants learn, as well as training techniques they feel are most effective, were then combined with knowledge management best practices to develop a proposed solution for how to effectively transfer information from older employees to younger employees in a timely manner. The proposed solution combines a backbone software system which is integrated with external hardware offerings to offer companies a fully functional linked system called KMinfoshare. KMinfoshare will offer companies a way to easily and effectively transfer information by utilizing audio, video, and text files integrated together for seamless linking and quick referencing.
A full description of KMinfoshare is presented along with an extensive business case outlining the necessary funding needed to create the KMinfoshare software, a start-up company, and the marketing campaign needed to begin penetrating the market. The business case will also focus on pricing of the software as well as returns on investment for the companies looking to purchase KMinfoshare and the forecasts for yearly income when the software would become available for purchase.
A process flow was then developed for KMinfoshare to describe how a company would implement the software system and how a junior engineer direct out of college would prosper by using the software system. In addition to the descriptions of the product details and the process flow for the company's implementation, a partial systems architecture is presented for KMinfoshare using the DODAF system. The views described for the software will give an overarching perspective on how the software will work and interact with all the other modules in the KMinfoshare system as well as all the hardware that will be used to populate the systems database with the pertinent information.
A sample website was also created to show what the finished KMinfoshare software interface might look like as well as show some of the key capabilities of how the software system will work. A sample product website was also created to show how the KMinfoshare software could be marketed.
All of these details are presented in an attempt to showcase the issues of the upcoming retirements as well as provide an integrated solution for the knowledge drain issue that the industry is currently facing.
Lesovoy, Jeffrey, "The Rise and Potential Fall of the Aerospace Industry: A Study of the Impacts of the Baby Boomers and a Proposed Solution for Bridging the Knolwedge Gap between Generations" (2011). LMU/LLS Theses and Dissertations. 412.