Chief Operating Officer Kevin Hiatt and Director of Communications Emily McGee visited Purdue University to launch the inaugural Flight Safety Foundation Student Chapter at the College of Technology’s Department of Aviation Technology. Chapter adviser Stewart Schreckengast, associate professor in the Aviation Technology Department, invited the Foundation to participate in its annual career fair and meet with the chapter officers and potential members.
The visit revealed the importance of this new effort. At the career fair, enthusiastic students from around the world stopped to talk about their work and how to get involved directly in safety efforts. The FSF team toured the Department of Aviation Technology’s facilities and met with professors and instructors. Local TV filmed the announcement of the launch and ran a story that evening.
The Foundation benefits from reaching out to these up-and-coming aviation safety professionals, and the students benefit from having access to all the resources that the Foundation can offer.
Purdue students already are planning chapter-wide projects in aviation safety that will be further developed under the guidance of the technical staff at the Foundation. Some of this research could be presented at future International Air Safety Seminars, where attendees would have a unique opportunity to hear from the next generation of safety professionals about the cutting-edge research being done in academics.
The Foundation still is shaping this new membership category and is developing academic-specific benefits and opportunities for the students. It expects to see students become directly involved in Foundation safety research, either through traditional on-site internships or through work projects taking place at the universities. Like all members of the Foundation, students will have access to seminar proceedings, new products and the soon-to-be-launched member-only website. The Foundation is developing a student-only LinkedIn page to allow for direct interaction among students around the world.
The student membership category is open to any student at any accredited school. While the Foundation encourages the formation of student chapters, individual students are welcome to join. Efforts will begin in the next few months to target other U.S.-based universities and global schools with aviation programs, and the Foundation has set a goal of at least 10 student chapters by the end of 2012.