Boeing to grow its presence at Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach

Plans call for 400 engineering employees

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A building a little larger than a U.S. football field has been taking shape on the grounds of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Research Park here, its purpose and the identify of its anchor tenant a mystery until Tuesday.

At a ceremony, Boeing’s Steve Nordlund said the company would lease the entire 6,000-square-meter facility to provide engineering services, particularly software engineering, for its Air Dominance division and later the entire Defense, Space and Security business unit.

Boeing plans to staff the building, and an adjacent hangar space designed for research, with 200 employees by the end of the year, plus 200 more in the next two years. Among their activities, these employees are to focus on engineering to assist in the manufacturing of fighter aircraft, autonomous or uncrewed vehicles and training simulators.

“There’s a good possibility as time goes on that there’ll be further growth,” Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing Air Dominance, told me in a brief interview after the ceremony. “We gotta get in, get settled, get operating and working. And from there, we’ll see where it goes.”

The center, which Boeing will lease for an undisclosed term and fee, will also include some staff working on Boeing Phantom Works products, many of which are classified, he said.

Boeing Air Dominance builds or services the F-18 Super Hornet, F-15EX, T-7A training aircraft, and the MQ-25 refueling drones and MQ-28 combat drones.

Nordlund said Florida’s growing aerospace industry and Embry-Riddle’s “talent pipeline” are what attracted Boeing to Daytona Beach. The company in 2019 moved its Space and Launch division to Titusville, 80 kilometers south of Daytona. Boeing’s facility to build and maintain the Starliner space capsules is nearby at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

The new building, the Cici and Hyatt Brown Center for Aerospace Technology, is still under construction and is scheduled to open in October. It is named after philanthropists Cici and Hyatt Brown, who pledged $25 million to Embry-Riddle in 2022. Boeing’s name is also attached another building on the campus: the Boeing Center for Aviation and Aerospace Safety, for which the company donated $5.1 million in 2023. That facility is run by Embry-Riddle to conduct research related to “safety improvements” for the wider aviation industry, the university says.

Boeing says the Brown Center will house offices, conference rooms and lots of collaborative spaces. Most of the 400 positions will be entirely new, although Boeing anticipates some current employees will seek transfers to the center.

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A large building under construction with workers on a blue lift, yellow insulation panels on the left, and white protective sheets covering sections of the structure.
Cici and Hyatt Brown Center for Aerospace Technology is scheduled to open in October. Credit: Paul Brinkmann

Boeing to grow its presence at Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach