Spark Award

Cindy Hoover, F.SWE

Spirit AeroSystems Inc.

For leadership and influence that uplifts others; for unconditionally supporting women in every stage of their engineering careers; and for lasting contributions to the mission of SWE.

Cindy Hoover, F.SWE, is vice president for defense and space engineering and research and technology for Spirit AeroSystems Inc. She creates the strategy and capabilities to deliver technical innovation to support the global business and to further develop and diversify the company through new growth initiatives. Hoover is also responsible for providing engineering services to the defense organization and leading advanced program development for the growing space business.

Hoover joined Spirit in 2007 and has held multiple executive roles leading lean operations, fuselage engineering, operations engineering, Boeing sustaining twin aisle programs, and business jet and strategic growth programs. Previously, she was program director for the Boeing 767 tanker and program vice president for the 737 MAX and 777X.

A career-long mentor, role model, and trailblazer, Hoover is the executive sponsor for Spirit Women in Engineering Professions and Technology (SWEPT), a position she has held for 12 years. Initially, there was little support for the program within Spirit, with just a few SWE members forming its core. Hoover helped create programs and networking events funded through her own organization, eventually building a groundswell of support. As impact and need for the organization have grown, SWEPT now enjoys top-down support throughout the company as a formal employee resource group. Among many successes, SWEPT was instrumental in creating a mother’s room program, a positive change for women employees and Spirit’s visiting customers. SWEPT members also volunteer to support the SWE Wichita Section’s yearly engineering expo, which gives more than 2,000 youth an opportunity to experience hands-on STEM activities.

Hoover led Spirit’s program management succession team, where she expanded the number of succession candidates in the pipeline for director and vice president positions and created a rotating mentoring program where existing program management vice presidents become mentors to directors.

SWE continues to inspire Hoover to give back to young women as a mentor and role model to help them succeed and thrive as engineers. She has been a SWE member and leader for nearly 35 years and has held multiple leadership roles, including treasurer and FY20 president.

Throughout her 32-year career, Hoover has also served her local community. She has been a board member for WSU Tech, United Way of the Plains, Girl Scouts of the Kansas Heartland, and the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. She serves as chair of the Wichita State University Alumni Association and is a member of the university’s national advisory council.

A certified Six Sigma black belt, Hoover earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Wichita State University and an MBA from Friends University. She and her husband, Bryan, live in Wichita, Kansas, and have three adult children, Jeremy, Marcus, and Cameron.