When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, the world faced a plethora of unknowns. For GE Aerospace’s Kate Beyer, the pandemic only added onto the unknowns of her new role in operations – a position she transitioned into after years of being an engineer.

She was just five months into the role and through budget planning when suddenly everything needed to be reassessed.

Adjusting to change was nothing new for Beyer, as she’s been tackling new and different roles within GE for over a decade. Beyer, a Senior Engineer in thermal design at GE Aerospace, began her career in fielded product engineering and heat transfer. As some of her co-workers moved on to work with the GE9X and LEAP engines, Beyer took on more responsibilities within the heat transfer team for several engine programs, even coordinating work with global teams and contractors.

Following a successful project with a customer, and recognizing that her children were at an age where she could take on more responsibility, Beyer sought out a role where she was working on new hardware. When a role opened up in the aeroderivative division for the LM9000, she knew she was up for the challenge.

“In my role for the LM9000, I was building on knowledge that I already had, but in a newer, systems role. I was able to coordinate with familiar people on the heat transfer team, but I was also working with different disciplines at different engine sites,” she said. “I even got to cover engine testing in Italy, which is something I never thought I’d be able to do.”

Beyer’s unforgettable experience in Italy led her to the work she does today. She wanted to work in a role where she could see how the business operates. Despite it being an area out of her comfort zone, she said it’s been an incredible learning experience.

Images curtsey of Kate Beyer.


“For the first two months, I thought, ‘What have I done?’ because I was moving from the world of hands-on engineering to a world of finance. When the pandemic hit, I could really see the value I’m bringing to the company, financially, through helping our people and making sure they have what they need. That’s what I wanted out of my operations role.”

Beyer graduated just down the road from the Evendale plant at the University of Cincinnati and interned with the Air Force Research Labs during her studies. After graduating, she started working part-time at a hypersonics start-up in Dayton, but her connections led her to GE.

“I first began working on the GE90, and I really enjoyed working on hardware that supported things already in flight. When you work on the commercial services side, you often get calls to work on assessments that determine if planes can get back to operations,” she said. “It was great to see how my work was directly helping people.”

Beyer just celebrated 15 years at GE and is currently working on CFM International’s* RISE program,  Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines Program, launched in 2021. She loves the opportunity to solve problems and says her longevity with the company stems from its commitment to supporting a healthy work-life balance. Beyer had her first child during her first role at GE, and prioritizing her commitment to her family was always a determinant in choosing work.

“In my early years, I was looking for something that allowed me the flexibility to step away when needed for my children, and I was very happy to work in fielded product engineering and heat transfer,” she said. “My goal was to add value to the company while prioritizing my personal life, and I was lucky to join the company at a time when managers were really starting to push for positive work-life balances. I don’t think I would’ve been able to get that from any other company.”


One of the best aspects of Beyer’s work is the opportunity to mentor and be mentored by others. Beyer’s work with the thermal team is unique in that the team is much smaller than other departments, and she says that the team’s family-like bond is what keeps her going.

Images curtsey of Kate Beyer

Beyer now gets to help others as an instructor for the Advanced Course in Engineering (ACE) program, GE’s instructive class series for master’s students to become acquainted with the complex technology behind aviation and aerospace. She said that advocating for and encouraging more women to join the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics field has always been at the forefront of her work. As one of only two women in her STEM program in college, she wants to encourage more women in STEM fields, adding that the best products come from a diverse team.

As the only engineer in a family that is full of lawyers, Beyer considers herself the black sheep – but she said it makes for some funny stories along the way. She can always count on calls from her dad asking how to fix something.

“The other day, he called me saying, ‘My phone is dark, how do I fix it.’ Two weeks ago, he somehow managed to disconnect his digital antenna, and I had to walk him through how to rescan the channels,” she says. “We have a joke that the butter knife is the family screwdriver because I have to walk him and my brother through everything mechanical.”

When she’s not working or driving her two children to their extracurricular activities, she loves to craft, cook and read. She loves to travel with her family, and she has a goal to get her children to all fifty states.

*CFM International is a 50-50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.