College of Engineering Leads Preparation of Future Advanced Air Mobility Leaders

The College of Engineering leads the preparation of future advanced aviation mobility leaders




NASA graphics by Lillian Gipson and Kyle Jenkins

Do you want to be at the forefront of new drone delivery techniques and prepare to lead innovations in an exciting new field? The U of A offers a recent graduate micro certificate in advanced autonomous air mobility operations to prepare leaders for the evolution of transportation systems and supply chains.

This exciting new offering prepares adult learners with little or no experience in aviation to earn their Federal Aviation Administration remote pilot certificate, obtain complex FAA exemptions, and program unmanned aircraft (drone) systems to perform complex tasks such as construction. of 3D models, performing thermal inspections, performing aerial surveys, measuring volume or distance remotely and monitoring construction projects over time. Additionally, students gain new skills by understanding future trends and uses in supply chain delivery via drones, future eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft), new supply chain models, airspace problem solving and demands. emerging job skills.

Deloitte and the Aerospace Industries Association estimate that the economic impact of advanced air mobility will be $ 115 billion by 2035 and more than 280,000 new high-paying jobs. Both NASA and the FAA highlight the emerging needs for on-demand air mobility, cargo and package delivery, healthcare applications, emergency services, and new connected multimodal transportation networks. The preparation of a skilled workforce is vital to the success of advanced air mobility. There is no faster way to quickly improve skills with a recognized credential than by obtaining a graduate micro certificate. A graduate micro certificate in advanced air mobility autonomous operations is open to anyone with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. The U of A Graduate Micro Certificate in Advanced Air Mobility Autonomous Operations requires a minimum of two courses and can be completed in one semester or two eight-week sessions. Courses can be completed online, via synchronous video, or live at the U of A headquarters in Bentonville.

Richard Ham, associate director of the Master of Science in Operations Management and Master of Science in Engineering Management programs at the U of A, has 40 years of experience as a pilot, air traffic controller, TERPS specialist (engineering and design of complex approaches to aircraft in weather conditions), airspace manager, airport manager, unmanned aircraft systems research and aviation workforce development. Ham developed the Graduate Micro Certificate in Advanced Air Mobility Autonomous Operations to bridge the gap between the current skills of the aviation workforce and the future needs of the AAM workforce.

“There is an immediate need for new skills in AAM as the support infrastructure is developed,” said Ham. “This is not a need in 10 years; there is now a need for a skilled workforce in this area, with rapid growth over the next decade. Whether we wish to design new systems or work as an operations manager, engineer or programmer, we now it is necessary to increase rapidly “.

Heather Nachtmann, associate dean of the College of Engineering and U of A’s lead for intelligent mobility initiatives, said, “We are grateful to Dr. Ham for his leadership in AAM. He has been a driving force on our campus behind the development. of workforce and public-private partnerships to accelerate smart mobility innovation. The AAM graduate micro certificate is a piece of U of A’s global vision to promote education and innovation on smart mobility. “

The College of Engineering’s Department of Industrial Engineering has three master’s degree programs: MS in Operations Management (MSOM), MS in Engineering Management (MSEM), and MS in Operations Analytics (MSOA). The MSOM program began in 1974 and is designed for professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, including commercial and government operations. Students learn how to create value for the production of goods and services while working with suppliers and customers around the world. The MSEM began in 2017 and prepares engineers to lead and manage teams, projects and organizations with technical staff to achieve strategic goals. MSOA, which began in 2020, helps students develop knowledge of analytical modeling principles and practices, such as optimization, statistical modeling, machine learning, simulation, and computational methods applied to strategic, operational control and tactical operations.

Programs also include graduate certificates in operations management, engineering management, project management, lean six sigma, and national security to broaden students’ understanding of the current skills needed by operations and engineering managers. All programs have the goal of “Learn it today. Use it tomorrow”.

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