Two PhD degree programs to meet new challenges in aviation/aerospace industry

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 16 October 2009



(2009), "Two PhD degree programs to meet new challenges in aviation/aerospace industry", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 81 No. 6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Two PhD degree programs to meet new challenges in aviation/aerospace industry

Article Type: University and research news From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 21, Issue 6

The daily challenges of aviation and aerospace are too complex to be solved by specialists alone. In an uncertain economy, airlines struggle to hedge fuel purchases and adjust routes. Space agencies work to stabilise orbiting spacecraft, study the atmosphere and space weather, and design rovers to explore planets.

To serve the need for more broadly educated experts, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a leading educator in the science and business of aviation and aerospace, is launching its first two PhD degree programs – in Aviation and Engineering Physics. The new degrees take the university's unique approach to education – a blend of theory and applied research – to the highest level.

Embry-Riddle's PhD in Aviation is the only one in the USA.

Approval to offer the new doctoral programs was granted by the university's accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“This approval to offer the PhD is a historic moment for Embry-Riddle,” said John P. Johnson, president of the university. “It moves us to a new level of scholarly pursuit that will result in a more robust research program. It also allows Embry-Riddle to participate more fully in the national aviation and aerospace conversation.”

The PhD in Aviation is designed for working professionals who seek to enhance their contribution to the aviation and aerospace organisations that employ them. The program combines advanced analytical and research tools with a broad understanding of the issues affecting the aviation industry.

Students in the PhD in Aviation program will conduct research on challenges faced by their employers, ranging from airline fuel hedging, ticket pricing and route scheduling to pilot training and safety curriculums, customer services and lean manufacturing processes. Courses for the PhD in Aviation are offered online to enable working professionals to pursue the degree without disrupting their full-time work schedules. Students also complete a six-day residency experience each year they are in the program; residencies are offered at an Embry-Riddle campus and are designed to allow students to interact with faculty, yet minimise the impact on their professional schedules.

Embry-Riddle's PhD in Engineering Physics builds on the university's solid program of space research, which is funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation, US Air Force, and other agencies. Faculty researchers probe Earth's upper atmosphere for clues about global warming, as well as space weather events like solar storms that can compromise satellite systems and disrupt power grids and pipelines. Others conduct studies of spacecraft dynamics and control, space robotics, cosmology and star formation, quantum optics, and the physiology of space travel.

The PhD in Engineering Physics blends theoretical physics with practical engineering applications and problem solving. It is designed for those who wish to conduct cutting-edge research ranging from the remote sensing of the Earth's upper atmosphere and space weather to the engineering of spacecraft control systems and scientific instruments.

Students in the PhD in Engineering Physics program will be enrolled and in residence at Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach campus for at least two semesters per year, although internships at an aerospace corporation or government laboratory will be allowed with university approval and supervision by the student's research advisor.

Graduates will work as researchers at universities and agencies like NASA and NOAA and as educators.

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