Instructors - Orlando Aerospace Short Course

View of Orlando waterfront

KU Aerospace Short Courses in Orlando


Thomas W. Cash

Tom Cash has been involved in the test and evaluation world since graduating from college. He has supported all levels of testing, ranging from laboratory workbench technical testing through major system operational testing for the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy. He has written specification documents for distributed simulation systems, authored and conducted various system validation and verification plans and conducted those tests, and co-authored Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP) documents. He has supported the operational testing of various seeker, radar, and low observable systems. He spent almost 13 years as the Senior Test Lead for the Army's Utility Helicopters Program Office and provided airworthiness testing and analysis support for the many items to be installed on or operated from the H-60 family of aircraft. He has also been a Principal Systems Engineer with Sierra Nevada Corporation and the Systems Engineer for the Army's AMRDEC Degraded Visual Environment Aviation Systems Integration Facility (ASIF) working on various aspects of the Army's Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) system.

2022 Aerospace Short Course: MIL-STD Qualification: Purpose, Testing and Design Considerations

George Cusimano

George Cusimano is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Vector LLC aviation consulting services. He is a flight test engineer and educator with more than 40 years of experience in research, development, and test of important leading edge technologies. He has flight-tested complex systems, such as the F-117, B-2, X-33 (single stage to orbit prototype), DarkStar UAV and X-35 (Joint Strike Fighter prototype). In addition to multiple postings as a flight test engineer, George was: the Director of Test and Evaluation for the F-117 System Program Office; the Chief of Flight Test Engineering for the B-2 Combined Test Force; the Deputy Director of the Joint STARS Combined Test Force; and the Director of Flight Test at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. George has also taught at the National Test Pilot School and has served as a Technical Advisor to the United States Air Force. He retired from the United States Air Force as a colonel after 24 years of service. George holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering and an M.S. in industrial engineering from Arizona State University. He is a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School and a Fellow of the Society of Flight Test Engineers.

2022 Aerospace Short Course: Operational Test and Evaluation: User-Centric Systems Testing

Travis L. Dahna

Travis Dahna is the Principal member and Electrical Systems and Equipment DER for TD Aerospace, LLC, a professional aerospace engineering design and certification company based in Kansas. He started his career over 25 years ago as an avionics technician and troubleshooter in the United States Navy, where he served with distinction and was honorably discharged. As a Gulf War Veteran, Mr. Dahna joined the civilian aviation sector where he has worked on, designed, and certified a wide variety of new products and articles for the last 20 years. He has held positions as a senior electrical engineer for a large aircraft manufacturer and served as the Certification Coordinator for all the factory owned service/modification centers in the United States, providing all interface with the geographic FAA Aircraft Certification Offices for all standard certification STC projects. Following his time at the aircraft manufacturer, he assisted in the development of an STC ODA for a consulting company and held the position as the Principal Certification Engineer, while also training as an alternate ODA administrator.

2022 Aerospace Short Course: FAA Type Certification Plan Development

Mark S. Ewing

Mark S. Ewing is former chairman of the aerospace engineering department and is currently the director of the Flight Research Laboratory at the University of Kansas. Previously, he served as a senior research engineer in the structures division at Wright Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and as an associate professor of engineering mechanics at the U.S. Air Force Academy. His research interests include structural vibrations and structural acoustics, especially as related to fiber-reinforced composites. Ewing is a past recipient of the University of Kansas School of Engineering Outstanding Educator Award. He holds a B.S. in engineering mechanics from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an M.S. in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in engineering mechanics, both from Ohio State University.

2022 Aerospace Short Course: Aircraft Structures: Analysis and Design

Willie J. Fitzpatrick, Jr.

Willie J. Fitzpatrick, Jr., is a Senior Software Engineer and Subject Matter Expert, specializing in software engineering, airworthiness, and safety at TriVector Services, Inc. He has over 40 years of experience in the software/systems engineering area. His experience includes the development and assessment of automatic control systems, systems engineering and software engineering on various aviation and missile systems. He recently retired as the chief engineer and subject matter expert in in the Software Engineering Directorate (SED) of the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command's Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center.

2022 Aerospace Short Course: Unmanned Aircraft System Software Airworthiness

Albert Helfrick

Albert Helfrick is Professor Emeritus and former chair of the electrical and systems engineering department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Previously, he was director of engineering for Tel-Instrument Electronics, a manufacturer of avionics test equipment. Before entering academia, he was a self-employed consulting engineer for four years where he and his company designed fire and security systems, consumer items and avionics. He has more than 50 years of experience in various areas of engineering including communications, navigation, precision testing and measurement, radar and security systems. He performed radiation hardening on military avionics, designed test equipment for the emerging cable television industry, designed general aviation avionics for Cessna Aircraft and precision parameter measuring and magnetic systems for Dowty Industries. Helfrick is the author of 12 books, numerous contributions to encyclopedias, handbooks and other collections. He has more than 100 technical papers and presentations, served as an expert witness in a number of civil cases and testified before Congress. He holds five U.S. patents, is a registered professional engineer in New Jersey, a Life Senior Member of the IEEE, and an associate fellow of the AIAA. Helfrick has received the AIAA Dr. John Ruth Digital Avionics award. He holds a B.S. in physics from Upsala College, M.S. in mathematics from New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in applied science from Clayton University.

2022 Aerospace Short Course: Advanced Avionics

Jeff Knickerbocker

Jeff Knickerbocker is a consulting DER with 30+ years of experience as a systems/software engineer. He has led technical teams in designing, developing and verifying real-time embedded software and AEH devices. In addition to industry affiliations, he also provides consulting and training services to the FAA and other non-U.S. regulatory agencies. In 2002, he and his wife started Sunrise Certification & Consulting. Knickerbocker has a B.S. in physics and an M.S. in software engineering.

2022 Aerospace Short Courses: Complex Electronic Hardware Development and DO-254 and Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) and DO-297

Jose Mora-Vargas

Jose Mora-Vargas currently works as an independent consultant for companies holding delegated organization status. He retired in November, 2017 as the Lead ODA Administrator at Associated Air Center, a Standard Aero Completion Center located in Dallas, TX. For several years, he has been an FAA designee, initially as a DER. Since 1976, he has worked for several OEMs, including Embraer, Bombardier, General Dynamics, Honda Aircraft, and Associated Air Center. During his professional career, he held positions as Program Manager, FAA Designee, Certification Engineer, DAS/ODA Administrator, and Certification Director. He has a MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering from Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica (ITA) from Brazil, and a MSc degree in Business/Management Aeronautical Sciences from Embry-Riddle University (Florida).

2022 Aerospace Short Course: Cabin and Crashworthiness of Aircraft Cabin Interiors

Kent Nelson

Kent Nelson is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of VECTOR LLC Aviation and Flight Test Consulting Services. He is a flight test engineer and educator with over 45 years of experience in aircraft maintenance, DT&E, and OT&E on a multitude of aerospace weapons systems including B-52s, B-1s, B-2s, cruise missiles, and ICBMs. During his USAF career, Kent worked as a flight line maintenance officer supporting KC-97, B-52D/H, and UH-1F strategic operations. After graduating from USAF Test Pilot School he worked on the B-1A; served an exchange tour with the Canadian Forces at the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment, CFB Cold Lake Alberta; and served as a requirements officer at HQ Strategic Air Command on several systems including the Air Launched Cruise Missile, the B-1A, and classified programs. He was Deputy Chief of Flight Test Instrumentation at Edwards AFB; Deputy Director, B-2A OT&E; and Director, Test & Evaluation at HQ SAC responsible for three dedicated OT&E test squadrons with more than 660 people. He retired from the Air Force as a Colonel after 25 years of service. He has been an instructor at the USAF Test Pilot School and a contract instructor at National Test Pilot School. Kent has a B.S in mechanical engineering (Aero Option) from University of Wyoming and an M.S in Systems Management from USC. He is a USAF Test Pilot School Distinguished Graduate and Outstanding Flight Test Engineer. Kent is a Senior Member of the Society of Flight Test Engineers.

2022 Aerospace Short Course: Operational Test and Evaluation: User-Centric Systems Testing

Kevin Renew

Kevin Renew has over 20 years of military aviation experience. He served eight years in the Army as a Black Hawk helicopter maintainer and technical inspector. He has supported and executed all levels of testing, ranging from bench-level laboratory testing through major system operational testing for the Army, as well has other U.S. government agencies. As a government contractor, he supported the Redstone Technical Test Center (RTTC) and the Army's Aviation Technical Test Center (ATTC), executing system-level testing of multiple aircraft platforms. He has worked has a Senior Test Lead and Project Manager supporting the U.S. Army's Utility Helicopters Program Office for over 10 years, where he provided airworthiness test and evaluation support for numerous components and systems to be installed on various H-60 helicopter platforms. He is currently a Lead Test Engineer with PeopleTec Corporation supporting the Utility Helicopters Program Office Modifications and Other Government Agencies (OGA) Division.

2022 Aerospace Short Course: MIL-STD Qualification: Purpose, Testing and Design Considerations

C. Bruce Stephens

C. Bruce Stephens is an HIRF/Lightning/EWIS ODA UM/AR at the Boeing Company and a consultant DER at his company, Stephens Aviation, with a wealth of experience in High Intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF) and Lightning protection of Aircraft. Stephens retired from Hawker Beechcraft after 28 years of service. He has HIRF/Lightning experience on both Part 23 and Part 25 including composite aircraft. Stephens is working with the Boeing Team to develop EWIS requirements and means of compliance on several aircraft projects. Stephens is a Six-Sigma/Lean Master Black Belt consultant, developing implementation and training materials, and teaches at a number of universities, including Webster University and Southwestern College. He has an executive M.B.A. and M.S. in Management from Friends University and a B.S. in Industrial Technology from Wichita State University.

2022 Aerospace Short Course: Introduction to RTCA DO-160 Qualification: Purpose, Testing and Design

John Tigue

John Tigue is a private consultant in aircraft certification. He has 22 years of experience in domestic and international certification with the FAA, along with 21 years of certification experience in the aircraft industry. Mr. Tigue served as Manager of the FAA Engine and Propeller Standards Staff, Manager of the FAA Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, Assistant Manager of the FAA Small Airplane Directorate and Senior FAA Aviation Advisor to Indonesia. In industry, he served as the Director, Airworthiness and Certification for Raytheon Aircraft and the Compliance Administrator for Gulfstream ODA. Mr. Tigue's experience includes certification and continued airworthiness of aircraft engines and propellers, rotorcraft, small airplanes, transport airplanes and hot air balloons including FAA validation of international engines and transport airplanes. His accomplishments include being named a Raytheon Engineering Fellow, chairing the AIA/GAMA working group for type certification conformity and representing Raytheon Aircraft as a member of the FAA-Industry Certification Process Improvement (CPI) team. Mr. Tigue holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Auburn University, a Master of Science in Air Transportation from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College and a Master of Business Administration from Wichita State University.

2022 Aerospace Short Course: FAA Aircraft Certification and Airworthiness Approvals

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend University of Kansas sponsored events. If you require reasonable accommodation in order to participate in an event, please email or call 913-897-8530 at least three weeks before the first day of the event. Some events may require notice earlier than three weeks and require you to contact a specific individual; if so, that information is provided in the event-specific information.