Emirates Project Design Authority

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Digital Disruption: Project Design Authority Transforms In-flight Experiences

Emirates Project Design Authority

Rebekah Valero-Lee Aerospace Mechanical Engineering

Ivy Man is part of a team of highly skilled software engineers dedicated to revolutionizing the flying experience of Emirates’ customers as part of a four-year development programme with the aviation giant.

Based out of Thales US’ Irvine, CA base, the Emirates Project Design Authority is spearheading the Engineering team working on the Boeing 777X aircraft; one of the largest projects that it has ever worked on.

Ivy explains:

“I can’t really say too much about the project due to confidentiality reasons, but what I will say is that the work we’re doing will transform the passenger experience of flying with Emirates; not just inflight but every touchpoint that the customer has before they even climb on board to after they’ve landed.”

As design authority for the programme, its Ivy’s responsibility to define the scope and definition for the deliverables and different solutions, interface with engineers and programmers on the technical teams as well as manage budgets, resource planning, scheduling and more.

“We’re approaching a critical stage of development so I’m frequently on conference calls and in meetings liaising with key stakeholders around the globe to ensure we’re all working collaboratively towards common goals, activities and deadlines,” continues Ivy. “There isn’t room for a traditional working day on this project as the 11-hour time difference with Emirates’ Dubai HQ can see me on calls from 7 am through to 9 pm.”

Having moved to the US from Hong Kong aged 18, Ivy studied Mathematics at Boise State University, ID, before completing her Masters in Computer Science at the University of Colorado.

Ivy continues:

“Looking back, it really was my dad who has really inspired me to reach where I am today. Our family was never rich but he worked hard so I could come to the US for my education, and a lot of the traits and attributes that I have today, I value to him and his guidance.”

Having first worked as a software engineer throughout various roles, Ivy joined Thales in 2005 as a Principal Software Engineer. Her 13-year career with the company has seen her take on various roles and progress throughout the business to her current position as Project Design Authority.

Ivy added:

“When I first joined Thales I was working in a very small defined area of software. As my knowledge and experience has grown, I’ve gained more of an understanding of the larger components to see how everything fits together and take on more responsibility as a bigger picture thinker."

“This project is one of the most challenging that we’ve ever worked on here at Thales and it’s great that my 13-year career has led me to here. I love the complexity of the programme; I’m not only exposed to new areas and opportunities to learn but the demands pushes us to the next level to test and implement new technology and features that have never done before."

“Every decision that I’ve made has led me to where I am today. You never know what new things you and your team are going to create and develop to make tasks better and I love this variety and the unknown of what the future holds.”


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