I have been asked to serve on the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Aerospace (www.mtsu.edu/aerospace/) †Advisory Council. This is a newly formed group†created for†the purpose of assisting the Aerospace Department in developing and implementing long term goals and strategy, as well as helping with financial support.
Over the last 28 years our company has employed hundreds of MTSU aerospace students and graduates in all areas of our company including flight operations, maintenance, line service / FBO management and accounting. Today we have around 40 students and alumni of the program working with us including my business partner and several key members of our management team.. MTSU has been a great partner with our business in providing a resource of educated and skilled people to help us grow our business.
As I listened, in our first meeting, to the professors who are in charge of the various disciplines within the department I was impressed with all that is going on at the school. I guess over the years of being close to MTSU I did not realize how far the program had progressed.
MTSU offers bachelorís degree programs in professional pilot, maintenance, dispatch. air traffic control, technology and administration and a masterís degree program in aerospace administration. The department has around 700 students as majors from 32 states and 16 foreign countries making it one of the largest aerospace programs in the country. The biggest concentration of majors is in the pro-pilot program but the other programs are growing every year.
More impressive than the numbers are the developments on the near horizon that will propel the aerospace program to new heights.
Coming in the next 12 months is a state of the art Air Traffic Control Simulator lab that will be the best in the country and the only one if its kind in the world. Not only will this lab be used to train future controllers but it will also be used to test new technologies developed as part of the FAA NextGen system being developed over the next ten years.
The simulator will include a 360 degree wrap around Control Tower, automated scenario systems, realistic DSR, ARTS, and STARS, and Dual enroute TRACON simulators.
MTSU has one of the most modern fleets of trainers utilizing the Diamond Star DA-40 all glass cockpit single engine aircraft as the primary trainer. Last year MTSU competed with the nations top programs and†was awarded a $800,000†grant from the FAA to train FAA inspectors on Technologically Advanced Aircraft.
There is much more to brag about and I hope to have more for you in future posts on MTSU and the exciting things going on there.
I am proud to be a member of the advisory council and look forward to playing a small part in a big success story that will do a lot to keep the aviation industry in the US competitive on a global stage. It all starts with world class education institutions like MTSU.