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A&A students learn a new model of aerospace manufacturing from local CEO

Amy Sprague
January 29, 2024

Autonomous Machining CEO Mike Dunlop shares his innovative approach to aerospace manufacturing with A&A students.

Mike Dunlop

Mike Dunlop

Autonomous Machining CEO Mike Dunlop loves entrepreneurship and automation and now, at this stage of his career, mentoring rising engineers. He engaged A&A students on leadership during his presentation for our Undergraduate Seminar Series. As the conversation continued after class with a smaller group of students, he extended an exclusive invitation to tour his operations in Kirkland where he is transforming aerospace manufacturing.

Autonomous Machining is leveraging the latest advancements in automation. The company's advanced manufacturing production cells, showcased during the tour, create aerospace parts with top precision around the clock.

He says, “The ultimate goal of Autonomous Machining is for it to become an on-demand service where a customer requests a part on our website, we spec it out immediately and give a quote and delivery date. Then the customer could watch it being manufactured remotely.”

Group smiling to the camera during a facilities tour

A&A students on a Autonomous Machining tour with CEO Mike Dunlop

With such a successful machining operation, Dunlop is shifting the manufacturing model from a process which requires many employees in hard-to-fill positions to one with a few highly-sought-after technical positions leveraging the latest technology that prove to be not only more productive, but more rewarding as well. The tour provided our students an exciting glimpse into potential for career paths that offer both job satisfaction and competitive compensation.

A&A chair Kristi Morgansen emphasized the immense value of having Dunlop speak to students and provide the tour, stating, "Mike's visionary approach to aerospace manufacturing aligns so well with our commitment to preparing students for the future. Mike is showing them what that looks like now. His innovative model not only addresses the challenge of filling positions but also opens up exciting opportunities for our students to be at the forefront of technological advancements in the industry."