My name is Ben Brelje (BREHL-jee) and I’m an aerospace engineer. In a nutshell, I create simulation and optimization tools to foster the next generation of aircraft. Currently, I am a multidisciplinary optimization engineer with an electric aviation startup, Joby Aviation.
I hold a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering and Scientific Computing from the University of Michigan Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Lab (MDOlab) where I was also an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. I previously earned Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering at Michigan and a systems engineering certificate from MIT.
Prior to joining Joby I was a configuration design engineer with Boeing Research and Technology’s Computational Aero Optimization group (2017-2021, intermittently on educational leave). From 2015 to 2017 I worked full-time for Boeing Commercial Airplanes Product Development, running MDO trade studies on jet transport aircraft concepts. Before that, I was a full-time rotational engineer with Boeing’s Engineering Career Foundation Program, starting in 2014. I served in rotational engineering roles spanning all stages of the product life cycle (from preliminary design to post-production support) across the company’s Commercial Airplanes, Defense, and Technology business units.
In my spare time, I love exploring the outdoors, especially travelling light and fast in the mountains. My favorite activities include trail running, hiking, ski touring, mountaineering; though now that I am midwest-based for the time being, I have taken up more gravel cycling and cross-country skiing. In the past I have maintained the outdoor blog Elevated.