For the 13th consecutive year, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Business Club dominated the PBL Arizona Leadership Competition, held April 12-13 at the Embry-Riddle Prescott campus.
Top executives in aviation at an Embry-Riddle panel discussion presented a picture of a booming industry that is meeting challenges with innovation, while career opportunities abound.
“Working in aviation is an exciting world, it’s an exciting opportunity,” said panelist Edward Onwe, vice president and general manager at VT San Antonio Aerospace. “And of course, the demand for aviation workers will always be there.”
Held April 8 at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach Campus, the “Business of Aviation and More” panel discussion featured Onwe, who represents a leading global maintenance, repair and overall company; Sherry Ortiz, senior vice president at United States Aircraft Insurance Group; Damon D'Agostino, president and CEO of Zephyrus Aviation Capital; and Steve Powell, CEO of Synensys and captain at Delta Air Lines.
Eagle alumnus and Airbus Americas CEO and Chairman Jeff Knittel is no stranger to change.
In his 35 years in the aviation industry, he has launched a company that helped usher in the boom of aircraft leasing and, since transitioning to Airbus, has made it his mission not only to understand the current market but also to anticipate its permutations. That second part is the key, he told students at a Wednesday, April 10, panel discussion on the Daytona Beach Campus. Focusing on career exploration and evolution within the aviation industry, the event also featured Airbus Vice President for Research and Technology Amanda Simpson, as well as alumnae Melody Bruce, a level III stress engineer at Airbus’ Empennage In-Service Repair department, and Kim Friedle, principal engineer at the firm’s Mobile Engineering Center.
Hosted as part of the Aerospace on Campus Series organized by The Wings Club and Aviation Week Network, the event offered students the opportunity to interact with leaders and employees of one of the world’s leading aerospace firms. Their discussion is paraphrased as follows:
Amy Ramos, a senior undergraduate at Embry-Riddle, and two accomplished graduate students – Karen Brun and Heidi Hammerstein – were selected to join a team of 13 talented female scientist-astronaut candidates who will serve as global ambassadors for space science and exploration.
The trio was chosen by an astronautics research and education program called Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere).
The PoSSUM 13 ambassadors -- so-named to honor the legacy of an earlier group of female astronaut trainees known as the Mercury 13 – will lead student teams participating in an International Microgravity Challenge. Female students between the ages of 13 and 17 are being invited to propose science experiments to be performed in microgravity this October, in concert with the National Research Council of Canada and Project PoSSUM.
In partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Citation Jet Pilots Association (CJP), the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation has annually presented Embry-Riddle students with scholarships to pursue careers in aviation since 2013.
This year’s recipients include Brandon Baber and Jacob Cook, both juniors at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus, as well as Prescott Campus students Matthew Gailey, a junior, and Otto Maytag, a sophomore.
All four recipients of the $25,000 scholarships are studying to become professional pilots and were selected for the award based on their academic excellence, leadership skills, service to others, work ethic, financial need and a written essay demonstrating their passion for, and commitment to, the aviation industry.
Prescott, Ariz. and Wichita, Kan. – Delta Air Lines is No. 1, and JetBlue is No. 2, according to the 29th annual Airline Quality Rating (AQR), released today, Monday, April 8. The AQR is the most comprehensive study of performance and quality of the largest airlines in the United States. The rating is a multifactor examination of the airlines based on mishandled baggage, consumer complaints, on-time performance and involuntary denied boardings.
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.”
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.”
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.”