Dr. Lercel has over 30 years of aviation experience managing a breadth of disciplines, which include manned and unmanned aviation, flight test, avionics, maintenance, quality and safety, education, and research. He has held leadership positions with UAViation, Saint Louis University, General Dynamics, Jet Aviation, Midcoast Aviation and Saberliner Corporation. As Program Director of Saint Louis University’s federally funded Center for Aviation Research he was responsible for overseeing a cross – disciplinary research team with a budget in excess of $4.0 million. Dr. Lercel has provided consulting and training for numerous organizations regarding the adoption and implementation of UAS technologies. In addition, his experience includes leading large research teams and developing global partnerships that support research and educational initiatives – creating significant contributions to the field of aviation science. Organizational leadership experience includes managing large operational teams with over 160 employees and annual revenues over $30 million.
Research activities include Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) sponsored research in the areas of safety, human factors, certification standards and regulatory policy. Extensive experience obtaining regulatory waivers and airspace authorizations to operate UAS in the national airspace, including operations in controlled airspace, special airworthiness certificates, and certificates of authorization. Professional credentials include FAA Remote Pilot Certificate, Aircraft Mechanic Certificate with Airframe and Powerplant Ratings, FAA Private Pilot Certificate, and Federal Radio Communications Commission’s General Radiotelephone Operators License. Professional appointments include Leadership Council Member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Indiana FBI/Department of Homeland Security Drone Working Group, NASA's Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Ecosystem and Crosscutting Working Groups, and FlightSafety International's Unmanned Systems Customer Advisory Board.
Dr. Lercel's research areas include the following:
Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Safety and Risk Management
Next Generation Aviation Maintenance
Advanced Air Mobility
Maintenance and Continued Airworthiness Considerations