Spring semester distinguished by partnerships, community involvement, growth

The spring semester was a busy one with classes, events, company visits, and much more. We had a record number of companies and industry representatives visit our campus. The annual Industry Advisory Board meeting was held and representatives from the aviation industry came to provide insight and information about current industry happenings and collaborate with School of Aviation and Transportation faculty on current practices. It is always a great to see collaboration between our school and industry partners. The SATT Career Fair was held in Hangar 1 and was a success, with a record number of companies in attendance (please see the related article).

John H. MottPurdue’s Flight team spent a week in Columbus, OH at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association SAFECON competition. Twenty-eight collegiate teams from all over the US competed in events. Our team placed 14th overall, which was up from 17th place at Nationals in 2015.

We continue to create partnerships with industry via bridge agreements, projects, and research. In particular, the Purdue Ergonomics Assessment Project in conjunction with Delta Air Lines was launched early this spring with student teams and faculty visiting Delta facilities in Atlanta on a regular basis. This project also incorporates students and faculty from the School of Industrial Engineering. In addition, we continue to develop our joint Powerplant certification program with Ivy Tech and our new Aeronautical Technology program in Indianapolis with Vincennes University.

Community involvement is also very important to us. In March, we conducted a UAS workshop for public safety members in Tippecanoe County and surrounding counties. The third annual Purdue Aviation Day was held in April, with roughly 2500 members of the community visiting the airport to learn more about aviation and take part in aviation-related activities (please see the related article).

The school continues to grow in terms of faculty and staff, with many vacant positions being filled and new positions created. We anticipate an additional four tenure-track faculty positions for the 2017-2018 school year. We recently bade a fond farewell to two long time faculty, Denver Lopp and John Young, in May 2017. Both served the school and Purdue for many years and will be missed by students, staff and faculty. Thank you to both for your long-time service to the students, the University, and the aviation industry.

A graduate seminar series was started in fall 2016, along with an undergraduate research seminar series. Several workshops are planned for SATT students beginning in summer 2017. A joint effort between SATT and the Political Science department has created a new second major program for students interested in working in the area of aviation policy.

Facilities are changing around the airport area. Construction of the Dispatch Center and Flight Operations Center have begun in Hangar 5. Space specifically designed for students to collaborate with their peers on senior capstone projects is being added in NISW 190 as well. Construction of a third office in NISW 172 will begin in early July so that the three academic advisors can relocate to that space. SATT was also awarded funding from the University to make repairs and improve Hangar 1, the powerplant lab in Hangar 2, and the avionics lab in TERM 255.

This academic year, the Purdue/Raisbeck Endowment for Raisbeck Aviation High School Scholarships was created and is to be endowed up to $750,000 for four annual scholarships. Students wishing to be admitted to SATT will have first priority for selection.

I have sincerely enjoyed serving the school as interim head over the past year. I invite you to welcome with me the incoming school head, Dr. Manoj Patankar, as he arrives to begin his time at Purdue on July 1. I will be returning to a faculty role on that date.

I truly believe that our school has a bright future, and that our wonderful students, staff, faculty, and alumni make it possible. I am excited about being a part of it, and look forward to continue to working with all of you to make it happen for many years to come.

Boiler Up!

John Mott is interim head of the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology.

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