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Ticket to Fly: Engineer and STEM Advocate Alisha Davis-Kent Will Take Us to the Paris Air Show

June 08, 2023 | by Tiara Atwater
If you can dream it, you can be it.

Those powerful words serve as Alisha Davis-Kent’s personal mantra.

Growing up, her parents instilled in her the importance of education and using it to fuel her dreams. Now, she has one of the coolest jobs at GE Aerospace.

As an evaluation engineer, Davis-Kent has a front row seat to GE’s specialized jet engine testing. Her role is to help coordinate development tests of commercial and military engines, gathering the engineering data that help certify jet engines and further the capabilities of flight.

Thus far she’s helped test the GE9X, the CFM LEAP*, the GE90 and her personal favorite, the GEnx. And while she’s seen them all many times in test cells, she’ll get a whole new vantage of them at the Paris Air Show in a few weeks, where she’s taking GE Aerospace Instagram followers behind the scenes at the show.

“This will be my first time at the Paris Air Show, one of the most spectacular events in aerospace. It’s truly an engineers’ paradise,” she said. “I can’t wait to show fellow engineers and av geeks all the sights and sounds. My hope is that everyone who follows GE Aerospace on Instagram will feel like they are there with me.”

Alisha Davis-Kent at Peebles Test Operations Facility

In addition to the excitement of each day working toward the future of flight as an engineer, Davis-Kent’s favorite part of being in her role is the community that it's fostered for her at GE Aerospace. From the engines she works with to the volunteer initiatives, being a part of GE has shown her the impact that the business has on people across the world.

“At GE Aerospace, we're not just here to pump out these engines. It's really to make sure that we are contributing to the world around us in a very impactful and meaningful way,” she says. “My favorite part of the job is learning alongside others. Collaborative learning and problem-solving as taught me the real value of inclusion and the importance of relationships.”

A huge part of that impact is her advocacy for underserved populations. Growing up in an underserved community herself on the west side of Louisville, Davis-Kent wasn’t aware of the impact of engineering on her life, until she stumbled upon an informational booth during a college tour. What piqued her interest was how they explained how engineers tackle the challenges of the world through problem solving.

Now, the University of Louisville industrial engineering grad is an advocate in lifting-up students who might not have exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

“College was more than the socially acceptable next step following high school. It was the key to escaping the cycle of poverty,” she says. “There are a lot of kids that share this reality, and it’s part of my job to make sure I leave the door open for them. I have that opportunity to help fill the gap for young students at this point in my life in. That is why I tutor and extend my time however I can, to help provide opportunity for the generations that follow me.”

Her advocacy also extends to GE’s volunteer initiatives such as Next Engineers, a program that gives students additional resources and opportunities to explore STEM careers.


Being a woman in STEM, she understands the importance of representation and how impactful it is. At GE Aerospace, she believes that performing at her best requires her to show up as her true self and encourages others to do the same.

"I feel empowered as a woman in STEM by seeing other women in leadership positions. That alone gives me empowerment, because it shows that her voice mattered enough to get her there, and mine does as well,” she says. “I don't have to stop being a woman to be a leader or a professional because being fully who I am holds significance in my ability to make an impact."

As she says, if you can dream it, you can be it. And she hopes that her takeover of GE Aerospace’s Instagram account will excite existing aviation enthusiasts and entice others who might not have jet fuel in their blood… yet.

Follow us on Instagram as Davis-Kent heads to Le Bourget to cover the 2023 Paris Airshow from June 19-21!

*The LEAP engine is a product of CFM International, a 50-50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.

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GE Aerospace is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, as well as integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft.