Rick Buck, a program manager in Boeing’s Defense, Space and Security Business, started working for the company after graduating from Colorado State University’s mechanical engineering program in 1987. When asked how he got his job at Boeing, Buck responded, “After several months of sending resumes, I decided to get on an airplane to Seattle, and actually cold-called the Boeing switchboard. I finally got in touch with someone in human resources who had, coincidentally, also graduated from CSU. I found my way to the Boeing plant (without GPS), interviewed, and got the offer.” His first position was in Renton, Wash. as a 737/747 flight deck engineer. Twenty-eight years later, Buck continues to thrive at Boeing. He ended up developing cockpits for three different aircraft and rotorcraft and many other military work stations. Currently, he manages the development of some of Boeing’s surveillance aircraft programs with the U.S. and international military customers.
Years later, his CSU roots are stronger than ever. “My degree from CSU, and the career it allowed me to have, is an extraordinary experience. I really think we have one of the most exciting programs around. It’s a proud life engineers live, because everything we use in our lives has been engineered in some way. Along with the pride of building the world, comes the responsibility of keeping those who use our designs safe. It’s a big responsibility.”
During his college days, his favorite ME professor was Dr. Charlie Mitchell. When Buck took Fluid Dynamics of Compressible Fluids, he connected to Dr. Mitchell’s practical physics examples from his time at NASA.
When asked what his fondest memories at CSU were, he responded, “We had ‘College Days’ in the early 80’s, and those were always fun times. I’m a big Rams fan, and I loved the opportunity to see so many events with the activity card. I came from the small town of Fowler, Colo., so the campus was bigger than life to me at the time. I really grew up in those years, and it was fabulous place to do that. My two greatest friends are roommates I had at CSU, and those memories will be cherished forever.”
To this day, Buck remains a huge supporter of the mechanical engineering department. He currently serves on the Mechanical Engineering Advisory Boards and has been a key partner in the development of the department through the years.