President Butler’s Research Vision

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A Message from the President P. Barry Butler, Ph.D. 

Dear colleagues: 

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is well-known as the world’s leading aviation education and aerospace institution. But we’re rapidly becoming a top science and engineering university as well. 

I see this as a natural evolution for Embry-Riddle. We have a 90-year history of innovation, and now, we have an ambitious goal to double our research enterprise over the next few years. 

As we work toward that goal, we’re developing a research park and innovation corridor on our Daytona Beach, Fla., campus. Those facilities will allow our students to engage directly with both faculty and leading industry partners. They will also allow Embry-Riddle to support the local community, by advancing innovation and job growth. 

We have a brand new STEM Center and Jim and Linda Lee Planetarium on our Prescott, Ariz., campus, too. Students on both of our residential campuses as well as our Worldwide campus play a key role in our overall research enterprise. 

As Embry-Riddle’s research enterprise continues to grow, we will use our existing strengths as a foundation for moving forward. We have many current strengths at Embry-Riddle. We are the unquestioned leader in higher education when it comes to aerospace education and related aerospace fields. 

However, we have a lot of potential to grow our externally funded research programs. In order to do that, we need to make investments. We will be investing in Presidential Fellows to bring some of the best and the brightest to do research at Embry-Riddle. We will also be investing in state-of-the-art facilities in order to conduct that research. We will continue to grow our internally funded research programs, and lastly, we will be investing the support staff that’s needed for large groups of investigators to receive grants. 

We have recently received some excellent external research awards – such as …

  • A $1 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. That project will develop a highly sophisticated autonomous flight control system to navigate unmanned aerial vehicles in unknown dynamic environments.
  • A nearly $600,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research to support a large field of view, high-speed PIV, or “particle image velocimetry” system for a new wind tunnel that is being built on our Daytona Beach Campus.
  • A $900,000 research grant, also from ONR, to develop advanced communication, perception and energy systems for unmanned surface vessels.
  • A $750,000 NASA award to explore the role of cross-scale wave coupling processes.
  • And many, many others as well.

Science and engineering research at Embry-Riddle will shape the future of human mobility. It will provide fundamental insights to complex problems such as space weather. It will lead to innovative new ideas to advance business and improve quality of life for all of us.

Embry-Riddle researchers are helping all of us fly into the future.

I can’t wait to learn what that future holds. 

                                                            September 2017