Alumni Visits: Global aerospace leader and strategist Joseph Di Liello visits Laurier Macdonald High School
As part of an English Montreal School Board alumni series, Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Leonard welcomed back aerospace engineer and strategist Joseph Di Liello. He spoke to Joanna Kim-Dussault’s Secondary IV science class about his time at the school and his over 25-year career at Pratt & Whitney Canada.
“I was looking at the science labs just two doors down and I was having flashbacks,” said Mr. Di Liello. “I was sitting in those labs back in the late 1980s! It is a true honor to be here today.”
Mr. Di Liello, a graduate from Laurier Macdonald in 1986 by way of Dante Elementary, has since risen up the ranks at Pratt & Whitney Canada having begun as a manufacturing engineer at the company in 1998. He has worked as a Supply Chain Manager, Senior Manager of Strategic Sourcing & Technical Projects, Director of Supply Management, among other positions, before becoming Director of Continuous Improvement Strategies in October 2018. He has visited over 30 countries through his time at Pratt & Whitney, including Poland, India, Brazil and France, to name just a few.
Born and raised in St. Leonard and still residing in the city’s east-end, Mr. Di Liello admitted he wasn’t a top student in school and says he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life during his time at Laurier Macdonald.
“I didn’t have many people to look up to,” he told the students. “I was a child of immigrant parents from Italy who had little to no education. I liked science and enjoyed math and physics.”
Mr. Di Liello says students today have more options in the field of engineering, with the discipline having expanded greatly since he first started. In addition to aerospace engineering, students can specialize in automotive, biomedical, industrial, computer, software or environmental spheres, among others.
“Montreal is one of three aerospace hubs in the world,” he said. “The options are endless.”
Mr. Di Liello closed by imparting to students the importance of building their own personal brand and to continue to be curious and learn new things as they search for what they are most passionate about. “It took me years to find out what I was most passionate about,” he said. “Eventually, you’ll find things that make you curious and get you excited. Learning is not just in the classroom, but what you do outside the school. In the end, you build your brand.”
The visit was coordinated by local EMSB Commissioner Mario Pietrangelo and Vice Principal Ivan Spilak.
About the English Montreal School Board
With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 73 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at www.emsb.qc.ca.