Frank McCleary: the Lego man

Frank McCleary never thought he’d make consulting a career. “I’m an engineer at heart,” says the 35-year-old University of Florida graduate, who used to work as a research scientist with aerospace companies Wyle Laboratories and Lockheed Martin, at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and in close collaboration with NASA.

But after seven years in research, McCleary was ready for a change. He was looking for “something different, yet connected with what I did for NASA”, he says. Something where he could do a detailed data analysis, take a step back, and put his findings into a bigger, broader picture. A colleague then made an introduction to Porsche Consulting. That’s where he’s been working since March of 2012, and he hasn’t regretted the move to Atlanta one single moment. “It gave me the opportunity to grow beyond what I was doing before, to get more experience working cross-industries and cross-functions,” says McCleary, now a senior consultant. “I get to change industries and focus every time I take on a new project,” adds the wiry former track-runner who holds a master’s degree in sports science. “I got the chance to work with an automotive manufacturer, a train manufacturer, and an airline, all in one year.”

His favorite success story is a project Porsche Consulting did with Canadian railways manufacturer Bombardier in 2013. McCleary¹s team worked on improving the flow of material from the warehouse and the suppliers to the line. “When we left Bombardier after six months, the line was able to produce 25 percent more trains."

After several years with Porsche Consulting, McCleary finds himself slowly adapting to what he calls “the very structured German style of doing business.” He used to plan out his day in his head, he says with a smile. “Now I tend to write it all down and check it off as I go, in order to have a more documented, more efficient approach.”

Frank McCleary, the researcher turned consultant, will always be an engineer at heart, even when his workday’s over. Married with two daughters, he enjoys putting together Lego sets in his spare time. His dream project for the future: building the International Space Station out of Legos. “That should be a fun challenge,” he says.