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About the BARC

The Boeing Advanced Research Collaboration (BARC) is a strategic initiative that builds on the long-standing partnership between UW and Boeing in aerospace manufacturing. The BARC brings together Boeing engineers, UW College of Engineering faculty and students, and researchers from other disciplines at UW to work on joint projects that address the challenges and opportunities of aircraft manufacturing.

The BARC is the collaborative umbrella for all research between Boeing and the UW. For example, it encompasses the BARC Lab, formerly known as the Boeing Advanced Research Center, where innovative solutions for the factory floor are developed and tested. The BARC also integrates the Boeing Data-driven Engineering Education & Research Initiative and industry capstone projects, along with pursuing new sponsored programs of research, education, and workforce development across different departments at UW.

BARC is part of the UW College of Engineering’s strategic research area of Engineering and Manufacturing, where the goals are to become research leaders in next-generation advanced manufacturing and strengthen the innovation ecosystem in the State of Washington and the nation. Focusing on aerospace manufacturing, BARC aims to foster:

  • collaborative basic and applied research,
  • translational research and development, and
  • student education-related activities.

Through these activities, the BARC has contributed to advancing technology adoption, delivering engineering solutions, and preparing future engineers and leaders for the aerospace industry and beyond.

A brief timeline of BARC

  • 2015-01-19

    BARC Lab Ribbon Cutting

    BARC Lab Ribbon Cutting

    January 19, 2015
    Left to right: UW President Michael K. Young, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner, Governor Jay Inslee and UW College of Engineering Dean Michael Bragg at the ribbon-cutting. Brian DalBalcon


  • 2018-04-12

    UW students present research projects to Boeing engineering leaders

    UW students present research projects to Boeing engineering leaders

    April 12, 2018

    Students give presentations at Boeing

    Collaborative robotics, haptic alert systems for hearing-impaired employees and riveting safety. These are just a few of the projects University of Washington students from the Boeing Advanced Research Center (BARC) showcased at the Future of Flight Museum during a recent meeting with Boeing engineering leadership. University of Washington STEM students from the Boeing Advanced Research Center toured the Boeing Everett Factory after presenting their research projects to Boeing engineering leadership. (Photo from Boeing Communications.)

    We want students to gain hands-on experience in the BARC and come work for Boeing to build the greatest airplanes in the world,” said Todd Zarfos, Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) Engineering leader and Boeing focal for the University of Washington, during the kick-off of the event.

    The group of undergraduate and graduate students span multiple UW Engineering Departments and presented on the technologies they’re developing in the lab with the guidance of Boeing senior managers like Blaine Felton and lab manager Kevin Bray, among others. Bray, a Materials & Manufacturing Technology (MMT) engineer and team lead for the BARC, works on campus with the students providing guidance on their ongoing projects throughout the year. Project engineers from BCA Product Development, BR&T MMT and Manufacturing Technology Integration (MTI) and Environment Health and Safety (EHS) meet students and faculty weekly to advise and assist on project strategy and implementation.

    This year’s group of students focused on collaborative robotics, mechanic-assisting technology, riveting safety improvement and additive manufacturing processes, among other advanced manufacturing solutions.

    Parker Owan, a University of Washington graduate student, shared how his Mechanic Assistance Collaborative Tool (MASCOT) could help mechanics perform assembly tasks in enclosed spaces more safely: “Using collaborative robots for remote or hazardous manufacturing applications could help ensure mechanics’ health and safety in the production environment, especially when visual access is limited.”

    The solutions developed in the BARC are designed to one day transition from the lab to the factory. Amy May, director of Boeing Workplace Safety, said, “This type of work needs to happen and will help Boeing team members build our products as safely as possible.”

    In 2017 Boeing hired its first full time BARC alumni. Six BARC students have been hired as 2018 Boeing summer interns and will be working in BR&T and BCA Product Strategy and Future Airplane Development.

    Above writeup adapted from article by Janelle Bernales, Boeing Communications

  • 2018-05-11

    A visit from Boeing CEO

    A visit from Boeing CEO

    May 11, 2018

    BARC and the Boeing CEO Mullenberg

    Dennis A. Muilenburg (president, chair, and chief executive officer of The Boeing Company) visited BARC and UW. Photo with students, faculty, staff at UW and Boeing affiliates

    Dennis was on UW campus receiving the Dean’s Award at the College of Engineering Diamond Awards. The visit to BARC highlighted the robust partnership between Boeing and UW.

  • 2019-06-14

    WA Department of Commerce Award

    WA Department of Commerce Award

    June 14, 2019
    Washington State Department of Commerce awards UW Mechanical Engineering with $1.2 million to support research and infrastructure building that lay the groundwork for a new Advanced Composites Center. Former BARC Director Santosh Devasia was the lead investigator for the award.
  • 2022-06-02

    2022 BARC Graduate Student Presentations

    2022 BARC Graduate Student Presentations

    June 2, 2022

    Steve Chisholm giving the opening remarks.

    On June 2, 2022, graduate students in the Boeing Advanced Research Center (BARC) presented their research to Boeing Executives. In addition to highlighting their innovations they also discussed the impact on Boeing. Students also discussed the benefit of working with Boeing engineers on impactful problem on their graduate research and career.

    Steve Chisholm, the VP for Functional Chief Engineer for Mechanical and Structural at Boeing gave the opening remarks and ten student teams presented their work, and got feedback from Boeing engineers. Around 50 UW students and faculty, and Boeing Employees attended the event.

  • 2023-09-01

    Boeing Leadership Visits & BARC Lab Evolves to Boeing Advanced Research Collaboration

    Boeing Leadership Visits & BARC Lab Evolves to Boeing Advanced Research Collaboration

    September 1, 2023
    Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun visits UW and the BARC, along with Todd Citron, Chief Technology Officer, Steve Chisholm, Vice President and Chief Engineer for Boeing Mechanical and Structural Engineering, Michelle Carey, Exec Focal for UW, Irah Dizon, University Relations and Recruiting Lead, Mike D’Ambrose, Chief HR Officer and Exec Vice President, Kristy Hilden, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for Engineering Test & Technology, Howard McKenzie, Chief Engineer, Executive Vice President, Engineering, Test & Technology, Bill McSherry, Vice President, State and Local Government Operations, Case McGee, Executive Director, Global Talent Acquisition, Kari Schwark, Boeing Global University Recruiting Leader, Justin Walker, HR Director, Global Talent Acquisitions, and Christine Ramsdell, Director, Boeing Global Engagement for Higher Ed Relations
    Boeing president and CEO Dave Calhoun and leadership visit UW and BARC. BARC expands from Boeing Advanced Research Center to Boeing Advanced Research Collaboration, integrating the BARC Lab with the Boeing AI Education & Research Initiative and industry capstone projects, along with pursuing new sponsored programs of research, education, and workforce development.
  • 2023-10-03

    2023 BARC Student Presentations at Boeing

    2023 BARC Student Presentations at Boeing

    October 3, 2023

    Students outside of Being headquarters posing for photo.

    A group of BARC students visited Boeing factories and had the opportunity to showcase their research projects to Boeing Executives and senior technical engineering experts (called Technical Fellows) at the Boeing Airplane Integration Center in Everett, Washington on October 3, 2023. The students presented their innovative solutions to various engineering challenges and discussed how their work could benefit Boeing. The event also allowed the students to interact with Boeing engineers and learn from their expertise and feedback. The event was attended by around 50 UW students and faculty, and many Boeing employees.

    The event started with opening remarks by Steve Chisholm, the VP for Functional Chief Engineer for Mechanical and Structural at Boeing, who welcomed the students and shared with them the history of BARC. Michelle Caray, Boeing Executive Site Director at UW, and Tia Benson-Tolle, Director of Materials and Fabrication at Boeing Commercial Airplanes Production, also gave welcoming remarks and expressed their support for the collaboration between UW and Boeing. Seventeen student teams then took turns to present their research projects, covering topics such as safety, inspection, automation, materials, structures, simulation, and data analytics. The presentations were followed by Q&As where the students answered questions from Boeing engineers and executives and received constructive feedback and suggestions. The event concluded networking discussions where the students and Boeing employees exchanged contacts and discussed potential opportunities for future cooperation.

  • 2024-01-25

    Provost visits BARC

    Provost visits BARC

    January 25, 2024

    Provost Tricia Serio

    On January 25, 2024, University of Washington Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Tricia Serio visited BARC on Thursday to learn more about the importance of the collaboration to the educational experience at UW. During the interactive tour, BARC students in mechanical engineering, Jonas Beachy (second-year Ph.D.), Mohammed Safwat (second-year Ph.D.), Wade Marquette (fourth-year Ph.D.), and Ricardo Herrera (M.S. student) discussed the work in BARC as well as their research.

    BARC is a novel approach to industry collaboration. College of Engineering Dean Nancy Allbritton and Vice Dean Jihui Yang joined the tour and talked about the background of BARC. BARC Director and Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Xu Chen, Mechanical Engineering Chair and Professor Alberto Aliseda, and Materials Science and Engineering Chair and Professor Di Xiao, along with Boeing executives Scott Gunther and Shannon Dong, talked about the benefits of BARC, specifically the value to student research and industry growth.