This paper is a continuation of the author’s previous examinations of a suite of issues surrounding the putative decline in aerospace (and aeronautics in particular) conducted under the auspices of the American institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The purpose of this paper is to use recent aerospace industry experience as a lens for examining four specific issues believed to be of broader importance to the future of our industry and others as well. The first is the question of how many engineers we may need in our future as we confront the problem of an aging workforce and the globalization of our industry. The second is the question of what skills and abilities these engineers will need to possess as the overall industry continues to evolve. Third is the pervasive need for more systems-oriented, multidisciplinary-skilled talent. Finally, the issue of what academe needs to do to support the development of a future generation of engineering talent is addressed. A basic message of this paper, carried on from earlier writings, is that while aerospace may indeed be a “maturing industry” (at least in some major traditional product areas), there is much that we can and should do to create a vision of our future as vivid as that which has driven our past as a means to attract, educate and develop the talent needed to assure the future of our enterprise. Without this talent, few of the major technological advances that can be currently foreseen can come to fruition.

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