Lydon-Rodgers named OEA for electrical engineering


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Jean Lydon-Rodgers ('85 B.S. EE), president and CEO of Military Systems at GE Aviation, has been named an Outstanding Engineering Alumna by Penn State’s College of Engineering.

Established in 1966, the Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed by the college and recognizes graduates who have reached exceptional levels of professional achievement. Lydon-Rodgers will receive her award, along with 11 other recipients, at a ceremony on April 14 at the Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus.

For Lydon-Rodgers, nothing compares to the excitement of a big project coming together. “You look around the room at the people who worked long nights and put in considerable effort, and you celebrate success in that moment.”

After earning her bachelor’s degree, the Princeton, NJ, native was accepted into GE’s two-year Operations Management Leadership Program (OMLP).

Jean spent her first year in Pittsfield, MA, working in GE’s Aerospace business unit and her second year in Evendale, OH, in the Aviation business unit.

“When I completed the OMLP, I decided I really wanted to remain in the Aviation division,” says Jean.

Over the next 15 years, she supported the development and certification of GE Aviation commercial engines; became certified in the use of Six Sigma tools and processes; and progressed to positions of increasing responsibility in GE Aviation’s Services division, including technology upgrades manager, and manager of overhaul and platform strategy marketing.

In 2002, Jean joined the Military Systems division as the manager of F136 supply chain programs. She eventually became the first female vice president of the F136 engine project and the first female president of the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team.

Jean was named president and CEO of Military Systems in 2009. In this role, she is responsible for GE Aviation’s military operations serving the U.S. Department of Defense and numerous international military customers for aircraft, helicopter and marine engines. She oversees more than 600 employees and $4 billion in annual sales.

In 2013, Jean was recognized for her accomplishments with the GE Chairman’s Award for expertise.

During her three decades with GE, Jean has appreciated various opportunities to be challenged with new projects and initiatives, and celebrate many successes.

However, she notes the shortage of females in leadership roles across the industry. “Throughout my career, I’ve worked in the aviation sector and with the U.S. military, which is predominantly male, so I tended to stand out. But women should not feel like they stand out because they are a woman; they should stand out because of their capabilities. My message to other women is: ‘Have the confidence to convert those capabilities to leadership.’”

Jean also holds an MBA from Xavier University.

She resides in Mason, OH, with her husband, John. They have two children, John and Lexi.


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Stefanie Tomlinson


Jean Lydon-Rodgers

“You look around the room at the people who worked long nights and put in considerable effort, and you celebrate success in that moment.”


The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was created in the spring of 2015 to allow greater access to courses offered by both departments for undergraduate and graduate students in exciting collaborative research in fields.

We offer B.S. degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering and data science and graduate degrees (master's degrees and Ph.D.'s) in electrical engineering and computer science and engineering. EECS focuses on the convergence of technologies and disciplines to meet today’s industrial demands.

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