David Nieuwsma takes reins of Collins Aerospace's avionics unit

David Nieuwsma

Collins Aerospace
David Nieuwsma Collins Aerospace

David Nieuwsma has been named new president of Collins Aerospace’s avionics business unit, following Steve Timm’s ascent to company president.

Nieuwsma will oversee aviation electronics and information management solutions for commercial and military aircraft customers worldwide as head of avionics, one of Collins Aerospace’ two business units based in Cedar Rapids, out of six nationwide.

Parent company United Technologies Corp. announced Friday Timm would serve as Collins’ president, effective immediately, succeeding CEO Kelly Ortberg, who instead will serve as special adviser at UTC in the lead-up to its merger with Raytheon Co.

“Having worked in commercial avionics during the early portion of my career, as well as previously leading both the Information Management Services and Military Avionics and Helicopters portfolios, I’m excited to build upon that experience in leading our Avionics strategic business unit,” Nieuwsma said in a statement to The Gazette.

“I’m acutely aware that our avionics team represents much of the world’s top talent, and I can’t wait to work together with the team to deliver unparalleled solutions to the aerospace industry and the customers we serve.”

Nieuwsma previously led Collins Aerospace’ interiors business unit, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., which encompasses “a broad portfolio of aircraft interior solutions,” the company’s website says.

Other leadership positions Nieuwsma has held over his more than 28 years with then-Rockwell Collins have included senior vice president for Information Management Services, vice president for Government Systems Strategy and Business Development and vice president and general manager for Airborne Solutions.


Nieuwsma received a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Chapman College in Orange, Calif., and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

Collins Aerospace also announced on Monday it planned to open a new 110,000-square-foot Landing Systems facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and — in 2021 — expand its carbon brake manufacturing facility in Spokane, Wash., to include 75,000 square feet over three new buildings.

The Dallas Business Journal reported the new Fort Worth site would be close to Lockheed Martin’s 16,400-employee facility, where it builds its F-35 Lightning II fighter jet.

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