Kyle Kayfus leans an elbow against a Safran seat

Mechanical and energy engineering Alumnus Kyle Kayfus (’13) knows the value of hard work and dedication.

He started his career as a design engineer at Safran, a company that supplies systems and equipment to the aerospace and defense industries. He then quickly worked his way up to a project engineer role, leading projects, running meetings, and overseeing the design and certification phases in the manufacturing process.

"Kyle has been an outstanding leader, mentor and innovator during his career at Safran as a project engineer," said Safran Project Engineering Manager Macario Ruiz.

Kayfus and his team work on developing customized seats for airlines, an industry that’s been challenged this past year with the COVID-19 pandemic. The team had to adapt and find new ways to evolve their seats to include passenger separation. Safran also converted their manufacturing process to create PPE for healthcare workers.

"Everyone has an effect on something, and being at a global company, it’s amazing to watch. I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s been a difficult journey, and I think it’s the difficult situations that show the real you," said Kayfus. "The workforce can seem really cutthroat and very difficult to get in, but I have seen it pay off for many people, so take the opportunities you can. If you do your best, you will be recognized. Take everything as a learning opportunity and not personally, because we’re constantly learning and growing, especially after school."