2022 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Chanel O O’Brien, ACE

Dec. 13, 2022
Chanel O O’Brien, ACE, Airfield Electrical Designer, Arora Engineers
Obrien, Chanel 2021 07 Env In Conference Room

Chanel O O’Brien, ACE, Airfield Electrical Designer, Arora Engineers 

Chanel O’Brien, ACE initially joined Arora in 2019 as a CAD technician due to her previous experience drafting telecommunication distribution and was promoted to airfield electrical designer less than one year later. O’Brien attended Drexel University earning her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2015, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree while working full time at Arora.

Since joining Arora three years ago, O’Brien has been recognized repeatedly by her peers for exceptional accomplishments in support of the firm’s core values. Last year, Arora recognized O’Brien’s continuous hard work and dedication to the firm by awarding her an Outstanding Achievement in Professionalism award at the annual all-company meeting. O’Brien is an experienced airfield design professional and is directly involved in the design of airfield lighting and lighting control systems as they pertain to FAA policies and standards.

“The most exciting part of my job is getting out to an airport for surveys,” she said. “You really get reminded of the importance of the work when a giant jet engine rolls by and you get a better understanding of the equipment, we spend so many hours specifying and drawing out in CAD. At the end of the day, I have two clients: the pilots who we are tasked with keeping safe and the maintenance staff whose jobs we try and make easier. The best way to accomplish that is to be out on the airfield with the staff and seeing the equipment firsthand.”

O’Brien remains actively involved with Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority philanthropic work, including participating in organizations such as the local Special Olympics and Girls on the Run. She also volunteers in her neighborhood community maintenance events located in East Falls, Philadelphia.

“I hope that my involvement in this industry attracts more young women to aviation and that they are brave enough to share their visions for industry,” she said. “Half of the customers airlines service are women and we cannot properly cater to them if they aren’t part of the conversation. I am incredibly lucky to work for an organization that views their female colleagues as valued members of the organization instead of just a box they check.”