Project Title: Create COE Strategic Framework – Modernization of Airworthiness Training
- PI: Dr. Scott Martin, Research Engineer, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- SMEs: Dorenda Baker, Glenn Greiner, Dr. James Ladesic, Geoffrey Murray, Scott Olson, Dr. Richard Stansbury, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- FAA Sponsor: Luis Ramirez, Aircraft Certification Services/Enterprise Operations
- FAA Technical Monitor: Dustin Talkington, Aircraft Certification Services/Enterprise Operations
Work completed under this grant focuses on the development of the COE TTHP roadmap and advancement of research and technical training goals of the FAA and the NAS as a whole. Along with other members, ERAU will collaborate with the FAA and other agencies to identify strategic research. ERAU will propose solutions for existing issues related to newly hired FAA personnel and anticipated issues related to technical training and human performance and provide FAA with a roadmap proof of concept, four week training for newly hired FAA aerospace safety engineers. Created in conjunction with SMEs at ERAU, the training will be derived from the ERAU MSAWE program with additional topics of interest to the FAA. ERAU will lead strategic discussions with various stakeholders regarding these findings and other challenges and goals.
Institutions of higher education customarily have not included treatments of airworthiness certification, precepts essential to national air transportation and flight safety, in undergraduate and graduate engineering curricula of all types. The same programs that serve as the supply outlets for most entry-level engineers employed within the aerospace and government complex. If ignored, airworthiness requirements can have daunting repercussions that seriously restrict a product’s function well beyond the obvious erudite engineering justifications defined through classical configuration design and analysis taught at most engineering programs. Moreover, aside from loosely associated notions of safety needed for an air system’s end use, comprehensive understanding of just what are airworthiness and certification frameworks remain foreign to most engineering graduates and teaching faculty. Conversations with industry and government key representatives have all pointed to an anticipated vital demand in this distinct area. A need exists for such education based on the current demand from the US government and the aero-industry. Job requisitions in the aerospace market for engineers with capabilities in deducing and interpreting the regulatory structure and implications are currently very high. This research endeavor proposes to address this need by developing formal educational elements in this field directed toward the learning maturity levels of different individuals at various points in their professional development by defining methods and techniques for integrating such learning into the engineering culture.
Investigations will focus on developing engineering educational strategies, suitable content, and delivery methods that address the precepts of airworthiness and certification. Instructional and training research will focus on presentation modalities (live, pre-recorded, textual self-paced, use of simulation, interactive immersed realities, case studies, and so on) to assess their effectiveness in comprehension, skills attained, and the assimilation of such, as well as content breadth and depth needed for success and delivery duration/retention relationships. Instructional strategies employed will be assessed for effectiveness against the audience types, learner maturity, degree of prior education, and accumulated experience.
The goal of this project is to create teaching and training materials to serve as a foundation for airworthiness precepts that can be infused into engineering education and professional training. This effort is targeted at discerning the relationship between the learning maturity and resulting retained knowledge and is used as a trial to support FAA airworthiness engineering employee training. As a function of outcome successes, future concepts will be incorporated into other teaching efforts at a national level to support defining airworthiness engineering as a new formal discipline.
Expected Project Outcomes:
- Create and launch a Pilot Project to address the precepts of airworthiness and certification.
- Incorporate lessons learned from the Pilot Project and modify the class to be partially online delivery.
- Deliver the updated new hire class.
- Develop a roadmap to update and modernize all FAA airworthiness classes.
- Update two of these classes using the teaching methods developed of the new hire course.
- Deliver both of the new classes once.
- Develop a course for teaching university faculty how to incorporate airworthiness engineering into their courses.
- Develop short courses to deliver at engineering conferences to provide working engineers an introduction to airworthiness engineering.
- Deliver the pilot of the ‘teach the teachers’ class.
- Develop ways to collaborate with other certification organizations and aerospace manufacturers.
Value of Research:
The first phase of a two phase project was proposed to generate a proof of concept curricular content and learning performance strategies. FAA and professional SMEs will assess this content to assure the airworthiness principles needed for preparing FAA and industry entry-level engineers are applicable for their jobs. The first of the two phase project will focus on outcomes from a summer training program that will be evaluated and modified for further effectiveness testing in phase 2 by working aviation adult-learners. This refined pedagogical content will be laced into graduate-level courses of the ERAU Master of Science in Airworthiness Engineering. A Pilot Project will be launched to develop initial engineering educational content and methods to address the precepts of airworthiness and certification. Instructional and training research that will focus on presentation modalities (live, pre-recorded, textual self-paced, use of simulation, interactive immersed realities, case studies, and so on) to assess their effectiveness in comprehension, skills attained, and the assimilation of such, as well as content breadth and depth, delivery duration/retention relationships. Elements to be measured against the audience types, learner maturity, degree of prior education, and accumulated experience
The phase 2 scope will cover 4 related tasks.
- Migrate the 4 week new hire airworthiness class developed in phase 1 to be partially online delivery.
- Work with the FAA to update/modernize other engineering classes and migrate two of them to partially online delivery.
- Develop a class to ‘teach the teachers’ of airworthiness engineering.
- Partner other certification organizations and aerospace manufacturers on airworthiness engineering training.
In addition to improving the initial 4 week new hire class and migrating a portion of it to online delivery, the phase 2 effort will work with the FAA to update and modernize their other airworthiness engineering classes. The overall goal is to develop a suite of courses to provide new and experienced FAA engineers the knowledge needed to perform their jobs. To provide future engineering graduates with some airworthiness knowledge, a course to teach university faculty about airworthiness engineering will be created and an initial offering given. This class will include examples on how to incorporate airworthiness engineering into various universities.