2016 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Nick Ryan, PMP

Nov. 10, 2016

Nick Ryan, PMP
Age: 37
Vice President, Aviation Practice Lead
Arora Engineers Inc.

  • Alma Mater: Drexel University
  • Something people may not know about me: Opened first business at 18 years of age. From 2000-2009 organized and produced over 500 events/concerts.
  • Favorite book: The Bible
  • Favorite TV show: Power
  • Favorite movie: Scarface
  • Favorite hobby(s): Playing Basketball, Watching Football/Basketball, Auto Detailing and interacting with my wife/children

An aptitude for math and a high school guidance counselor led Nick Ryan into his career as an electrical aeronautical engineer.

“In high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career, but I was good in math. I went to my guidance counselor and asked what jobs pay the most money,” he recalled. “My counselor said that I was good in math and engineers are good in math and they make good money.”

Ryan said he was lucky to get into the engineering program at Drexel University. “Drexel had a co-op program where you worked for six months while in school. My third co-op was in airfield development,” he said. “I was interested, so I adjusted my schedule as a senior in college where I took classes two days a week and worked three days a week. I had a job when I graduated at the consulting firm where I did my third co-op.”

Ryan has 18 years of experience in electrical aeronautical engineering, specializing in areas including navigational aids, instrument landing systems and approach lighting for small, medium and large hub airports throughout the U.S. He has provided design, program, project and construction management for more than $1 billion in aeronautical electrical construction work in more than 15 states.

For Ryan, the best part of his jobs are problem solving and interacting with people. “When an airport brings in a request, I enjoy collaborating with them to find a solution,” he said. “I like being part of different phases of an airport project, where we go to procurement, create a concept, see it being built, then seeing passengers going through the final project. That drives me.”

Ryan hears a lot about airports that are enhancing the passenger experience. “They’re making strides, but I want to do more in my capacity to expand those efforts,” he said. “I have three young children and want them to have the same passion about aviation and going through airports and on airplanes. To do that, I want to help make airports as seamless, fun and more of an event as possible.”

But it’s not just about airports for Ryan. “I’m into auto detailing. I started working at a car wash when I was 14 and was assistant manager by 16. At 17, I opened my first auto detailing shop just as I was starting college,” he said. “I don’t have time to do it much anymore, but  I love the attention to detail and the chance to get away.”