Elena’s high-flying role in aircraft parts study

As the International Women in Engineering Day approaches (June 23), a Midlands engineer is playing a key role in creating the next generation of aircraft components.

Elena Izvolensky, linear friction welding process engineer at KUKA Systems UK, is using her expertise to help develop an advanced manufacturing system for joining  structural airframe parts.

She is a member of the TiFab project team which is studying ways in which aero companies can make major savings on component raw material costs by adopting innovative production technologies.

The three-year, £2.6m programme, which comprises KUKA, CAV Advanced Technologies, Ten Solutions and The Welding Institute, is the largest-ever research assignment backed by Innovate UK for developing cost-effective titanium alloy airframe parts.

Multi-lingual Elena, who has degrees in mechanical design from the University of Technology of Compiègne and design of rotating machines from Cranfield University,  is involved in a range of tasks such as performing weld trials, inspecting components and liaising with management, design and production team members.


She joined Halesowen-based KUKA in 2012 as a design engineer and moved to its linear friction welding department in 2015 where she works on a variety of projects for major OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers.

“I feel very lucky to work in engineering as it was always my ambition to follow a scientific path. From my studies at university to my current role, I’ve always had plenty of support to help me succeed,” said Elena, whose sister is studying to be a civil engineer in France.

Elena’s final role in the project will involve the completion of an industrial scale demonstrator tooling system and components. Further details on the TiFab project are available online at


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