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A College-Industry Partnership: The Multidisciplinary Master's of Science in Engineering

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Experiential Learning Programs and the Transition to Industry

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.25.1 - 25.25.27



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Paper Authors


James G. Ladesic P.E. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach

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James Ladesic is the Associate Dean of Industry Relations and Outreach and Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He has been with Embry-Riddle for 38 years, serving in many different capacities as faculty member and engineer. He is the recipient of the 1993 University Research Achievement Award, the 2001 Outstanding Teacher Award, and the 2009 Outstanding Service Award at ERAU. A registered Professional Engineer in Florida and FAA structures designated engineering representative. He is a recognized expert in structural design, analysis, and forensic engineering. Most recently, he created and installed the first off-campus graduate degree program, the multidisciplinary master's of science in engineering, with Gulfstream in 2010. As Associate Dean, Ladesic is responsible for a variety of tasks related to increasing the role of industry in education and research, growing faculty applied research, facilitating faculty industry experiences, developing and marketing industry-related graduate programs, and enabling industry-based research projects for students. This position enables the College of Engineering’s ability in research and professional development and enhanced participation in the Embry-Riddle Aerospace Research Park.

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Robert R. Wolz Gulfstream Aerospace

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Rob Wolz, Director, Project Engineering - Advanced Aircraft Programs, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Savannah, Ga., received a bachelor's of science in aerospace engineering from Mississippi State University in 1982 and a master's of business administration from Georgia Southern University in 2001. Wolz has worked for Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation since 1982. From 1982 through 1987, Wolz worked as an Aero/Performance Engineer assigned to various tasks within the company’s Flight Sciences Department.
Wolz was assigned to the company’s Preliminary Design Department in 1987. He was promoted to engineering manager in 1992 and the department’s Director in March of 2003. In this position, he focuses on coordinating and contributing to the conceptual design and evaluation of future Gulfstream product opportunities. Over the past 18 years, Wolz has participated in, or led all of Gulfstream’s conceptual vehicle design studies. Currently, Wolz is the Director of Project Engineering for Gulfstream’s Advanced Aircraft Program Organization. His responsibilities include leadership of the New Product Development Project Engineering Team, requirements management, and systems Integration and cross functional leadership. Wolz is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and has served in leadership positions at both the local and national levels. He has served as Chapter Chairman, Public Policy Officer, Membership Chair, and Council Member. He as also served as the Deputy Director of Public Policy for Region II, and as a member of the AIAA’s Technical Committee for Aircraft Design. He is a charter member of the Gulfstream Management Association, a member of the Engineering Advisory Committee for Mississippi State University, a past member of Georgia Institute of Technologies Aerospace System Design Lab Advisory Board, and a past member of Georgia Southern Universities Science and Technology Advisory Board.

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Frank Simmons III P.E. Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

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Frank Simmons III, Ph.D., P.E., is the Structures Staff Scientist - Technical Fellow at Gulfstream Aerospace. In addition, he is the Lead FAA Structures AR. He has been with Gulfstream for 31 years, serving in various technical and management positions. He is a co-recipient of the 2010 JEC Composite Innovation Award, the 2008 Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine Laureate Award for Aeronautics/Propulsion, and nominee for the 2007 Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine Program Excellence Award. He has performed research for both DARPA and the Air Force Research Laboratory with emphasis on innovative structural design concepts. As Structures Staff Scientist - Technical Fellow, Simmons is responsible for the oversight of all structural activities across all projects at Gulfstream. In addition, he has been extensively involved with the direct effects of lightning on the airframe and fuel tanks design. Recently, his primary focus has been the certification of the G650 with special emphasis being certification of all composite structure.

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Timothy D. Farley

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Tim Farley, VP Engineering, joined Gulfstream Aerospace in 1992 as a Design Engineer, and since then has participated in the design and certification of all subsequent Gulfstream civil aircraft and numerous military variants. His past responsibilities included leadership positions in structures, service engineering, and Project Engineering. In 1993, he was selected to be Project Engineer for the Gulfstream V Powerplant development program. As Project Engineer, he was responsible for the specification, design, analysis, integration, test, and certification of the GV propulsion systems, including the installed engine and all its ancillaries systems. In 1997, he moved on to be Project Engineer for Aircraft Systems in the Service Engineering group where his responsibilities focused on in-service issues for all Gulfstream products. This included working with customers to resolve any problems or meet any special requirements the customer may have, as well as, ensuring that these designs met company and FAA requirements. In late 1998, he was selected to manage the entire Service Engineering group, increasing his responsibilities to all aspects of the Service Engineering group and including technical leadership and direction for the department. In 1999, he became the Director of Project Engineering. As the Director of Project Engineering, he was responsible for all aspects of project engineering. Providing technical and managerial leadership in the areas of R&D, special missions, and engineering operations (facilities, IT, process definition, etc). During the G450 and G550 development programs, he took on the duties of Project Engineer for the programs. Following the G450 and G550 programs he has been responsible for co-chairing large cabin PCMT and the RQAAT process to ensure best utilizations of engineering resources towards corporate goals. Currently, he is Vice President of Engineering and has taken on the role of PARE Committee Chair person. Prior to joining Gulfstream, Farley was employed at McDonnell-Douglas Company in Long Beach, Calif. He received a B.S. degree in aeronautical engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1986 and a M.S. degree in technical management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2002.

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A College-Industry Partnership: The Multidisciplinary Master of Science in EngineeringIndustry leaders frequently suggest that US engineering schools are theoretically biased strayingfar from the practiced arts and missing the needs of the professional workforce they serve.Trends in entry-level hiring that require internships or coop appointments, instituting aqualifying practicum of sorts, are symptomatic of this woe, suggesting graduates are notprepared for transition from the college to the industry environment. In essence the ethos ofcollege and industry have become culturally dissimilar - each having separate values, languagesof acronyms, metrics for performance, and requirements for advancement; all of which obstructcollaborations.The aerospace-aeronautics sector is particularly sensitive to additional circumstances that furtherhamper sustaining a robust and agile workforce. Widespread outsourcing to overseas suppliers,a popular tactic that exploded two decades ago promising savings and favored-tradereciprocities, delivered instead unforeseen blowback in lost workforce capability, quality, misseddeliveries, and a sundry of contractual difficulties. Complicating matters further companies findtheir young engineers prone to “over-computationalize” the simplest problems at times unable tosynthesize even a modest solution without a computer.Like most of the aerospace community, one company has been disappointed by numerousinternal strategies to support education, sustain engineering knowhow, and ensure a pipeline ofqualified new employees. But a personal connection between an engineer and a professor hasbridge the cultural differences, cementing a relationship for schooling company engineers as wellas college faculty. Collaborations between the college and company created a tailored graduatedegree program designed to meet technical workforce development requirements whileaddressing company research needs and also provide scholarly research support for facultystruggling to attract grants and funding. At first slow in gaining traction this program is nowviewed as lending enrichment to the workforce while also giving college faculty scholarshipopportunities that embrace practice important to the profession and needed in academics.Often discounted yet important elements needed in engineering education are addressed hereinregarding skillset needs, business savvy, creativity, and innovation and teamwork in theworkforce of industry and the academy. Lessons learned give insight for ways of altering one ofthe least mentioned or overlooked but perhaps most significant facets of academia that affects itsgraduates’ transition into engineering art; a workable way to have those teaching engineeringacquire useful, practical, and applicable experiences in an environmental frame-work like that ofthe graduates they teach. One way of capturing faculty interests requires creating opportunitiesthat are suited to their predilections toward attaining scholastic achievement essential for theiradvancement at the academy.In its third year, this experiment is now viewed as wholesome and vibrant. Enrollments haveyielded over 300 credits completed with a group CGPA of 3.91, while offering opportunities inresearch for students and faculty. This undertaking has added value and insight towardcompetitive technology readiness within the company. Working professionals are participatingas adjuncts, college faculty are serving in residence as consultants, and experimental distancedelivery technologies are finally catching on within the college.

Ladesic, J. G., & Wolz, R. R., & Simmons, F., & Farley, T. D. (2012, June), A College-Industry Partnership: The Multidisciplinary Master's of Science in Engineering Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20785

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