Simone Drakes, AMT 2018 Next Gen 40 Under 40 Award Winner

Sept. 20, 2018
36, Vice President of Engineering, Avionica, Miami, FL Years in Aviation: 15

Simone Drakes says "Aviation has always been a part of my life as my father was an air traffic controller, and my brother is a pilot."

Drakes was mentored by Lauren Nelson whom she met at EMTEQ. He was the former director of aircraft engineering at Eastern Airlines and co-founded AVITAS Engineering which was acquired by EMTEQ in 2002. He was president of engineering from 2008 through 2012.

She received her bachelor of science degree in avionics engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and also received training at FAA Academy, Boeing, Avionica and Aircraft Electronics Association. She is a member of Women in Aviation International, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and IEEE Women Engineers. Industry awards include the South Florida Business Journal Class of 2018 Top 40 Under 40. Yearly she attends AMC/AEEC Symposium, Flight Safety Foundation, NBAA-BACE, and EBACE.

She was nominated by Anthony Rios, vice president of sales, Avionica: "Simone Drakes started with Avionica in 2008 as an avionics project engineer, and in 2015, Simone became vice president of engineering, overseeing research and development, aircraft installation and global civil aviation certification, and technical publications. Simone leads a team of 25 engineers who design and deploy avionics enhancements that offer increased server capacity, data connectivity throughput, and improved reliability and safety across all Avionica products and platforms. Her achievements include: helped obtain new sales contracts with Kalitta, flydubai, Easter Jet, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Dragon, HondaJet, Bombardier, Air Greenland, Icelandair and Korean Air for Avionica products (satLINK MAX, aviONS, avCM and avSYNC service); completed the first Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for Avionica’s Iridium transceiver, the satLINK MAX; and as DER, supported Avionica’s numerous STC installation design approvals for Boeing 747 and 737MAX aircraft providing safe voice and data cockpit and cabin flight crew wireless connectivity, pioneering new certification regulatory compliance for Cyber Security."

To give back to the industry, Drake provides on-the-job training and mentorship of more than 10 recent university graduates and she makes presentations at industry forums and conferences.

Future gioals include attaining her Ph.D. in aviation.