For Embry-Riddle’s global base of accomplished alumni, the horizon looks bright and clear. We are building on our 90-year history of innovation to ensure the institution flies even higher in the future. We are also helping the aviation and aerospace industries to address challenges and seize new opportunities as they arise. We have continued to strive toward doubling our research enterprise within the next five to 10 years. Our elite community of alumni represent our greatest achievement, and we remain grateful for your continuing support.
I have been honored to serve as your interim president. Now, I am excited about Embry-Riddle’s future under outstanding new leadership. Dr. P. Barry Butler, former executive vice president and provost at the University of Iowa, was named Embry-Riddle’s sixth president, having received the full endorsement of the Presidential Search Committee and the Faculty Advisory Committee. Dr. Butler’s expertise in aeronautical, astronautical and mechanical engineering, and his extensive contributions to aerospace science make him uniquely well-suited to help Embry-Riddle achieve the next level of excellence.
Dr. Butler has joined Embry-Riddle at an exciting time in the institution’s history. This year, U.S. News & World Report named Embry-Riddle Worldwide as No. 1 in the nation for offering the best online bachelor’s degree programs. Embry-Riddle’s top-ranked aerospace engineering bachelor’s programs are already renowned nationally and internationally.
With our research successes, Embry-Riddle is poised to become a premier source of transformative science and engineering and the world’s leading aviation university. Key to those efforts is the debut of the John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex (MicaPlex) on our Daytona Beach Campus, which opened March 23. Our new research park will support entrepreneurs and start-ups to lead the next wave of industry innovation and job creation. This first phase of construction includes business acceleration and incubation capabilities, flex-lease space and cutting-edge instrumentation.
Soon, a second building will begin that will include a wind tunnel and test facility featuring the most advanced measurement capabilities in its class. Meanwhile, we continue to work on some 250-ongoing research projects to prepare our students for a broad range of career opportunities.
In this issue of Lift, we highlight our efforts to better understand and mitigate the pilot shortage and its impacts on the aviation industry. For the past several years, Embry-Riddle has organized working summits for the airlines and conducted research in the area of pilot supply and demand to help confront the issue. On April 3, we hosted a lively Lift, Off the Page discussion and in-depth examination of the pilot shortage. If you missed it, you can view a recording of the event at: lift.erau.edu/videos-spring-2017.
Through Embry-Riddle’s new ResearchER magazine, which debuted in March, and related news on our website, we will keep you well-informed of our progress to achieve the next level of excellence, honoring our university and your legacy with us. Thank you for the good work that you do in your careers and communities. Please be sure to share your ideas with Dr. Butler, and join me in welcoming him to the university as we move forward together.
Karen A. Holbrook, Ph.D.