Bell Industrial Design Engineer Reimagines the Impossible

While in a company-wide meeting, Aisha Thaj, graphic design intern, asked a question that would ultimately propel her in a position as Bell’s first industrial design engineer: how can we take our industrial design capabilities to the next level?


The next day, Aisha was approached by Jason Hurst, executive vice president of engineering, who presented her with a product design and asked for her insights on how to improve the model. Aisha hand-sketched her ideas onto paper, impressing the engineering team with designs that haven’t been conceptualized before.

Fast forward to present day, Aisha is now Bell’s first industrial design engineer tasked with creating aircraft model designs for HSVTOL, military, and concept products that redefine the future of vertical lift. As a member of the advanced concepts group, she frequently works alongside the aircraft conceptual design team on putting her design ideas into models that will eventually become aircraft or integrated technologies.

“I approach projects with a ‘can’ mentality - how can we transform the current designs? What limits can we push?” said Aisha. “I like knowing that the products and designs that we create will be used for many years to come.”


Pathway to Innovation

Aisha kickstarted her aviation career as a graphic design intern at Bell. Following her internship and graduating from Western Michigan University with a degree in product design, she started her journey at Bell full-time. From intern to industrial design engineer, this year marks three years since Aisha’s been in her current role.

When asked about advice that she’d offer to others thinking about taking the leap into the engineering field, she commented, “Some advice that I was offered when I was an intern was ‘if nothing else, always ask questions’. Asking questions is a great way to decide which engineering field you’re interested in, and to also learn from your peers in the industry.”


Aisha is one of the many Bell employees that are committed to pioneering new possibilities of flight through their innovative ideas. Bell continues to pave the way for developing innovative solutions to real-world challenges. Through High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) technology, which blends the hover capability of a helicopter with the speed (400 kts), range and survivability features of a jet aircraft, Bell continues to invest in risk reduction efforts to raise the technical maturity of this technology.

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About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit:

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