Who is this guy?

About Ben

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.

About this Site

This site was created as a hub for sharing my research (both the exciting results and the gory details and dead ends along the way) and for helping you stay updated on the fast-moving field of electric flight. Since returning to the private sector I unfortunately will not be able to share much, if anything, about my personal research activities but I may share general insights about the field from time to time.

If you are technically inclined, you can view the source code for the site at my GitHub repo below!

Editorial Policy and Fair Use Statement

I sometimes use copyrighted material (such as publicly-available images and renderings of vehicle designs created by manufacturers) as an integral part of my technology news reporting and analysis. I claim that use of these images constitutes fair use under the CMSI “Set of Principles for Fair Use in Journalism”, specifically “When copyrighted material is used as illustration in news reporting or analysis.”

  • Purpose and character: This is an educational and scholarly site engaging in commentary and analysis. ( Nature of the copyrighted work: I only use images that are freely available on the web from the manufacturer / designer, usually made available for promotional purposes rather than for sale or licensing.
  • Effect of use on the market: Images I use are made freely available and not offered for sale or licensing; my use of the work does not deprive the copyright owner of income related to the copyrighted work.

As required by the CMSI standard, I will properly attribute the source of the material. If you believe that my use of an image you own does not constitute fair use, please contact me using the comment box.

I do not comment on or publish analysis on stories about my current employer for ethical and professional reasons.

Any content presented on this site is expressed solely in a personal capacity and in no way represents the official views of Joby, Boeing, the University of Michigan, or the National Science Foundation.

I moderate all comments at my discretion. If you keep it professional I’ll approve your comment. If not… I won’t.