College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Flying high: ME alumnus brings engineering and business skills to ICON Aircraft

Lei-Huang_2Lei Huang earned his concurrent mechanical engineering and MBA degree in the fall of 2012 from Iowa State University. Today’s successful engineers often need strong business management skills to complement their degree in engineering.

Huang is currently a manufacturing engineer at ICON Aircraft in California. It is here that he makes innovative impact in Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) history, by designing a production line that can output 37 aircrafts per month and create manufacturing processes for mechanical installations. Huang works on projects of integrating MES with ERP and PLM and purchasing capital equipment, but most importantly he is having fun around aircraft!

ICON Aircraft designs, manufactures, and sells full carbon composite amphibious aircrafts called A.5. ICON also provides training and services for A5 customers. The company is focusing on customer’s experience and is committed to delivery innovation and excitement! ICON was founded in 2006 and is currently headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Huang’s favorite part of his job is that it has different challenges every day and he continues learning. ICON is a start-up, so there are many challenges. “The job provides me opportunities to explore different areas, not necessarily just in mechanical engineering. For example, I have chances to work with vendors for purchasing equipment and provide leadership to the shop floor.”

For a LSA, the maximum taking of weight is 1,320 pounds. The top speed should not exceed 139 mph in the air. There is only one engine and a maximum of two seats are allowed. They are fairly affordable. A LSA only needs 20 hours of training, compared to a private pilot license which requires 40 hours of training, but with that said, no night flying is allowed in a LSA.


For the original College of Business story, click here.