Alumni Testimonials 


Steve Simpson, Aeronautical Science, Flight Science '06

“Currently, I’m working as a flight instructor in South Florida. The quality of education and flight instruction I received at LeTourneau exceeds every other flight school I have visited. I feel extremely confident in my skills and abilities as a pilot.”


Mark Espeland, Aeronautical Science, Electronic Systems ‘03

Systems Engineer, Rockwell Collins
(Here’s an in-depth look inside the industry!)

“I am a systems engineer working on the Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) for the Army 160th Special Operations Airborne Regiment (SOAR), whose platforms include the Chinook (CH-47E/G) and Blackhawk (MH-60K/L/M) helicopters.  CAAS is basically an integration of the helicopter’s avionics onto five 6x8’ Multi-Function Displays (MFDs), two Control Display Units (CDUs), and a Data Concentrator Unit (which basically gathers engine/aircraft data), all of which are connected on an Avionics System Local Area Network. 

“As a systems engineer, I am responsible for designing the Pilot-Vehicle Interface (PVI), writing operational requirements and sometimes testing.  When a new piece of equipment, such as a radio or a Forward-Looking Infrared Red (FLIR), is integrated into the system; designing the PVI consists of working closely with the customers (in this case pilots) to determine which functions of the box will be used, how they will be used, how to display the information on the MFDs and CDUs and how to control the functions of the box.  When this preliminary design is complete, we then write the high-level system requirements.  These requirements are then broken down into Software Requirements by the sub-systems teams, and then the software is coded from the Software Requirements.  Once the software is complete, we perform System Integration Testing using a cockpit mock-up and eventually actual flight testing.  I have flown on both the Chinook and the Blackhawk during flight testing.

“The Aeronautical Science, Electronics Concentration (ASEL) degree fits with this position very well.  It provides a strong understanding of basic aircraft systems that many of the systems and software engineers I work with do not have. 

“When it comes to doing design, integration and testing, having an aviation background helps with understanding why a component/system is present, how it is used and how it interacts with other components/systems.  Perhaps more importantly, it helps provide insight into what the pilots are looking for, and what design ultimately works best for them.”


James “JD” Terry ATBU-AT/Business Option, ‘98

Avionics Specialist, Cessna Aircraft Company

“I have been employed at Cessna Aircraft Company for the last ten years and love it.  I am an avionics specialist and enjoy new projects and managing people. 

“Doors have been opened because of my technical knowledge which I learned in class and labs at LeTourneau University.  I can guarantee that everything you learn will be used at sometime, or in someway, in your career. 

“Graduating from LeTourneau with a four-year degree, A&P and a FCC license makes you a very desirable employee for almost any aviation company.  I have continued on in my education by earning my MBA and am currently in the process of getting my pilot's license.  LeTourneau laid the foundation for a wonderful career in aviation.


Ben Wigton, Aeronautical Science, Electronic Systems (ASEL) ’98

ProAv Aircraft Services

This is how Ben describes his job at ProAv Aircraft Services in Ohio:
Part Owner, Avionics Manager, Assistant Airport Manager, Morning coffee maker  

  • Interact with potential and returning customers to answer technical and sales questions. Develop written job estimates when required (our customer base is mainly aircraft under 12,500 max gross weight).
  • Planning, engineering, supervision of or performance and Return-to-Service of installations, certifications, and maintenance on various configurations of GPS, VOR, ILS, DME, TCAS, TIS, ADS-B, Transponder, Flight Instrumentation, Airborne Weather Radar, Flight Data, Engine or Flight Management Systems, Autopilots, Multi-function and Primary Flight Displays, and aircraft electrical systems.
  • Supervision of or performance and Return-to-Service of Pilot/Static Systems and ATCRBS Mode A and C inspections required by FAR 91.411 and 91.413.
  • Airframe and Powerplant maintenance of various reciprocating and turbine aircraft, when required.
  • Develop and maintain FAA certified repair station manual, training manual, and internal paperwork. Interface with FAA concerning any issues regarding the repair station.
  • Develop and maintain authorized dealerships with aircraft electronics original equipment manufacturers.

FAA Certified Repairman at FAA CRS# E9TR271N (Radio I, II, III, and Limited Airframe). Supervision and/or performance, and Return-to-Service of various avionics equipment for which the repair station is rated.