Headlines

When Dawn Shaikh was an intern at Google in 2006, she was unique in her cohort because she had completed numerous full, beginning-to-end research studies of the user experience of products. This was one of the main aspects of her educational experience that helped her “land her job,” she said. Shaikh, now Google’s Director of User Experience, took classes in graduate school with Dr. Barbara Chaparro and worked in her Software Usability Research Lab (SURL) at Wichita State University. “Working in Dr. Chaparro’s Software Usability Research Lab,” Shaikh said, “prepared me so well for my future.”
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In a recent Forbes.com column, Embry-Riddle’s Dr. Stephen Rice, professor of Human Factors, focused on why women in aviation may face obstacles based on bias, what research tells us, and potential solutions. Why is it important to draw more women into the aviation pipeline? The aviation industry faces a worldwide shortage of qualified pilots as well as aviation maintenance technicians. The 2018 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook projects a need for 790,000 new civil aviation pilots and 754,000 technicians over the next 20 years. Given this need, the industry has recognized that it needs to tap the entire potential talent pool. Currently, only about 6 percent of all commercial pilots are female, according to the Air Line Pilots Association. Dr. Rebecca Lutte, an assistant professor of Aviation at the University of Nebraska at Omaha put it this way: “In an age where pilot supply is a global challenge, recruiting women and underrepresented groups to the cockpit is an essential part of the solution.”
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Aspiring student-space travelers last year explored a simulated version of the International Space Station, where they performed tasks from a Virtual Reality Laboratory on Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus. Soon, student pilots at Embry-Riddle will also be able to practice pre-flight inspections of a Cessna 172 aircraft in the new Virtual Reality Lab. “Embry-Riddle is keeping pace with the evolution of virtual and augmented reality technologies across many industries,” said Daniel Friedenzohn, associate dean of the College of Aviation. “We’re developing virtual systems to train our students more effectively in a safe environment.”
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Permanent $3 Million Endowment to Increase Underrepresented Populations in the Pilot Workforce
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Embry-Riddle’s Dr. Kristy Kiernan, program chair for the Master of Science in Unmanned Systems, focuses on bringing together the safety culture of aviation and the “innovation culture” of drones, particularly given the promise of drones to benefit society by improving public safety. Recently on Forbes.com, she explored the risks that drones could pose to air travel. Do small unmanned aerial systems, or drones, pose a threat to airplanes and airline passengers? If drones end up where they don’t belong, they could be a hazard to manned aircraft.  We have regulations and technology that should prevent drones from being in the same airspace as manned aircraft, but these safeguards don’t always work.  Alleged drone sightings have shut down operations at Gatwick, Heathrow, Newark, Dubai, Sao Paulo, and Dublin airports, among others. On Feb. 21, 2019, flight operations at Dublin airport were briefly suspended following a confirmed sighting of a drone over the airfield.
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Research that could lead to more lightweight, efficient aircraft wings, orthopedic implants, and a host of other consumer technologies, spearheaded by Dr. Ali Tamijani of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, has received a highly competitive, five-year, $500,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Award. An assistant professor of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus, Tamijani in 2017 received another early career faculty award through the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s (AFOSR) Young Investigators Research Program. That award, recognizing researchers showing exceptional ability and promise in conducting basic research, provided $360,000 in support for three years. Tamijani’s latest accomplishment reflects the depth of his expertise and confirms Embry-Riddle’s continuing transformation as a premier science and engineering institution, said Provost Lon Moeller. “The NSF Early Career Award is a tremendous achievement that will propel Ali’s research as well as his students to even greater heights,” he added. “We’re very happy for Ali and for Embry-Riddle.”
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Within the next 5-10 years, urban air mobility vehicles will “transform what airplanes look like,” and today’s engineering students are well-positioned to help shape the future of transportation, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Dr. Richard “Pat” Anderson said Feb. 20.
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When the Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) got the call that a man suspected of having killed one person and injured two others was holed up in an Ormond Beach motel, they assembled a six-person team trained to apprehend him.
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On the edge of the Pacific Ocean near Honolulu this past December, an odd–looking, pilotless 16 ft.-long boat navigated an open water obstacle course, adapting to the waves and wind on the bay, launching and recovering a small submarine and then returning to dock. This boat, which did not have any place for passengers … or a driver, is called Minion. It was built by engineering student members of the Robotics Association at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University and it is possibly one the most sophisticated self-driving boats in the world for its size.
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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University recently became the only university to acquire the Penguin C – one of the most sophisticated long-endurance, long-range professional unmanned aircraft systems on the market today – specifically for flight training.
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Will we get to Mars in our lifetime? Why do we need space lawyers? What’s the most exciting thing about NASA right now? Ellen Stofan, former NASA chief scientist and current John and Adrienne Mars director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, answered all of these questions and more at a recent Embry-Riddle SpeakER Series event hosted by Marc Bernier. Some of her responses have been paraphrased here, for brevity. Read highlights from her talk below, or watch the discussion in full on YouTube.
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Embry-Riddle’s own Alyssa Crystal and Jaclyn Wiley were among 38 students worldwide to receive 2019 Brooke Owens Fellowships honoring extraordinary undergraduate women in aerospace.
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The nation’s only undergraduate Aerospace Physiology program, based at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, recently dispatched its first cohort of students to complete clinical rotations, in collaboration with Advent Health (formerly Florida Hospital). Students Haleema Irfan, Jenifer Schuman and Morgan Ackermann have so far observed the diagnosis and treatment of patients in the hospital’s operating room, emergency room, hyperbaric wound center, physical therapy center and other settings. For Irfan, who wants to be a neurosurgeon, clinical rotations have helped her gain valuable interpersonal and communication skills.
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A prototype spacecraft capable of “hopping” from one asteroid to another effectively transforms water into steam, Embry-Riddle student-researchers have reported. The spacecraft’s steam-powered propulsion system suggests an endlessly renewable fuel that could be ideal for asteroid mining or “space prospecting,” said Aerospace Engineering Senior Ankit Rukhaiyar. Identifying renewable sources of spacecraft fuel has become increasingly important as NASA prepares to send humans to Mars and Earth’s finite supply of minerals keeps shrinking. Embry-Riddle’s steam-powered propulsion system suggests a way to keep spacecraft flying longer – in theory forever.
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An Embry-Riddle undergraduate has tested field research methods that demonstrate a cheaper, more efficient and less invasive way of identifying and assessing wildlife communities. The research, conducted by student Courtney Turner-Rathbone, originated at Embry-Riddle’s campus in Prescott, Ariz. The project involved drawing water samples out of the Verde River in Arizona’s central highlands and analyzing the DNA present in those samples using sophisticated sequencing methods. It represents the first research to come out of a collaboration between Embry-Riddle’s new Forensic Biology and Wildlife Science programs.
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