Safran USA: Employee Spotlight > Justin Agren
October 5, 2020
Who: Justin Agren, Product Line Manager, Safran Aerosystems Arresting.
What: Safran Aerosystems is the world's leading supplier of ground-based arresting systems, which are used when military aircraft perform emergency landings. As a Product Line Manager, Justin Agren is responsible for gathering information on the market, competition, and customers for use in planning projects that are aligned with the company's overall strategy to improve the position of products within the market space.
Why: Aircraft arresting systems is a unique market where Agren has the opportunity to interface with military aircraft operations in a manner that saves lives. As part of a relatively small team, he is able to work and impact the entire product life cycle in a multitude of ways.
How: "We design, test and build arresting systems that are used to bring aircraft to a safe and controlled stop," Agren explains. "The most commonly known are systems used on aircraft carriers, but almost all military airbases have land based arresting systems in place for emergencies. We've used our expertise in aircraft energy absorption, and translated that to other industries to safely stop vehicles, trains and the Space Shuttle."
Working at Safran: The aircraft arresting systems business of Safran Aerosystems serves military branches around the world, including the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps; the French Air Force, and the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force. According to Agren: "It's a positive feeling knowing that the products you work on save lives. Our customer base is extremely diverse, so I get to travel and engage with customers across the world."
Career challenges: After transitioning to the Product Line Management position, Agren quickly found he had to become comfortable with more uncertainty than in his previous engineering job. As an engineer, his work always was supported by math and science; in Product Line Management, creating strategies and roadmaps is less definitive and more ambiguous. "It took time and experience to become comfortable with this reality," Agren concluded. "Now that I'm in this role, establishing meaningful relationships with military customers who rotate in and out of roles often is an enduring challenge."