Don Barnes is an Assistant Professor of Practice of Aeronautical Engineering Technology in the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology at Purdue University, West Lafayette. His teaching focus is on aircraft electrical and avionics systems, aviation maintenance practices, and related topics. He served in the United States Navy from 1986 to 2006, where he served as a crew chief on the UC-12B and a flight engineer on the E-6A/B Mercury aircraft. Don has over 35 years of aviation experience, and since his retirement he has worked primarily as an avionics technician/lead technician for companies such as Standard Aero, Lockheed-Martin and Beechcraft/Cessna/Hawker. Don has avionics experience on a variety of aircraft, ranging from a Cessna 172 to a Boeing 757. His research interests include all electric aircraft and aircraft maintenance practices.
Don is a Purdue IMPACT Fellow and he serves as the faculty advisor for the Purdue Beta Chapter of Alpha Eta Rho (AHP) and the Purdue Airsoft Club.
April 2022 - Exceptional Early Career Teaching Award, School of Aviation and Transportation Technology
Professor Barnes routinely engages with global aerospace and air transportation companies. He is known for involving students directly in a variety of hand-on projects and technology integration projects where students themselves present to industry leaders and demonstrate prototypes. He also invites industry leaders into the classroom to talk first hand about current state of the industry and brings company recruiters into the classroom to discuss various aviation careers.