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Jamel Bland, MSEM '19

Advanced Lead Engineer
GE Aviation

Undergraduate University: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Degree and Major:: B.S. in Aerospace Engineering
Work Experience before Tufts: Wing Structures Engineer, New Product Development, The Boeing Company; Thermal Protection/External Tank Engineer – United Space Alliance

Where were you in your career and what drove your decision to go back to school?

I’ve accumulated a broad range of engineering experiences across the aerospace industry. I’ve focused primarily on composite parts, as well as the design and analysis of aircraft structures. Today I am responsible for all of the composite parts that go into the Navy’s F18 engine. As my responsibilities expanded, I realized that there were key skills that I needed in order to be competent in my current role and future roles, including: Project management, operations and supply chain management. More importantly, as my role changed from an individual contributor to team lead, I recognized that I needed to learn and to be coached in leadership skills and techniques. Going back to school provided a path to accomplish this.

Why did you choose to pursue a M.S. in Engineering Management at Tufts?

The Tufts MSEM program was my first and only choice - in part because of the university’s reputation, and also because it was highly recommended by my peers who had completed the program. My home and work life were already fully loaded, so I needed a program that provided ample flexibility. I was particularly attracted to the curriculum’s emphasis on leadership, and the summer practicum - it’s an opportunity to put everything that you’ve learned over the past year into practice in a new industry.

How have you been able to apply aspects of the MSEM curriculum at work?

Lessons from the leadership courses have already adjusted my mindset about my purpose within the organization. I recognize that my environment and role is not necessarily set in stone within my professional structure. I now see things as fluid and constantly changing – I feel empowered to play a role and effect those changes. Another aspect of the curriculum I’ve used is strategic thinking. We have had ample opportunities to practice this in the classroom. Now, whenever the opportunity arises, I’ve taken the initiative to implement this process at work with positive outcomes. Every instance has been a learning experience, and my peers recognize that I’m growing and adapting to new challenges.


Favorite MSEM course so far:
Business Strategy

What scientific or engineering innovation would you like to see in the next 100 years? 
I’d like to see most, if not all, forms of human illness eradicated by either gene editing or immunotherapy. Additionally, I’d like to see power become ubiquitous across the planet - I believe that it can be achieved by a combination of renewable clean energy and solid-state battery technology.

What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means valuing yourself, others, and what you do enough to act on it.