Newsletter February 2020

dean’s headshot

The last few months have been exciting and busy ones in the College of Aeronautics and Engineering. The most recent coronavirus (COVID-19) precautions to teach remotely has only changed the format in which we deliver information to students, not our level of commitment to excellence. In order to stay in compliance, any face-to-face class will now be delivered remotely and campus events are cancelled through April 12. All faculty, staff and administrators are still reachable via email, telephone, and other tools such as Zoom.

The spring semester kicked off with our faculty and staff engaging in seminars and a workshop on Generation Z – the generation of students in our programs now and in the upcoming ten years or so. We absolutely believe in a Students-First mindset and are working hard as a College, rethinking everything we do so we can deliver the education students need, in the way that will benefit them most, so as to produce the forward-thinking professionals needed in industry, government and academia. Just this month, seven of our private pilot/flight technology students were given qualified offers by Delta, showing the success of the Propel Program and quality of our graduates. These students are on a pathway to a Delta career.

Our faculty have also been working with industry partners on the development of new programs for undergraduate and graduate students. By Fall 2020, we expect to see our first doctoral program in the College – a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. Along with this new program are a host of other graduate and undergraduate programs that will significantly expand our offerings, even while opening the doors for greater research engagement.

On the research front, our faculty have already brought in more than three times the research funding of last year – and we are only halfway through this year! Our faculty and staff are also heavily engaged in outreach and professional development, including plans for the upcoming Part 107 UAV Training and NIFA Region III Safecon Conference. We are also proud to report that Associate Dean Joycelyn Harrison, Ph.D., was selected as a 2020 Dominion Energy and Library of Virginia “Strong Men and Women” in Virginia History honoree. You will read more about her distinction in this newsletter.

We look forward to continuing to engage with our partners to move the College of Aeronautics and Engineering forward in ways that are beneficial for our students, our partners, and our region and state. Come for a visit if you haven’t been on campus recently. We would love to show you all the exciting things going on and discuss how you can help us advance our mission as a College.

Christina L. Bloebaum