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Developing training programs for Airworthiness Engineering

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Middle Atlantic ASEE Section Spring 2021 Conference



Publication Date

April 9, 2021

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April 9, 2021

End Date

April 10, 2021

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James R. Rentsch Aerospace Industries Association

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Rusty Rentsch is Vice President for Technical Operations and Standards, supporting the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Technical Operations Council and the AIA Standards Program. Rentsch is responsible for facilitating the priorities and objectives of Council and its committees that supports a healthy U.S. Aerospace and Defense industrial base; and, advocating for programs, policies, and investments that promote innovation and technology in the U.S. aerospace and industrial community.
Rentsch has been with AIA for 15 years and has over 10-years of experience in both commercial and defense aerospace sectors. He held Technical Support Engineering and Commercial Support positions with Textron Lycoming, Messier-Services Inc., and Messier-Dowty. Additionally, Rentsch has several years of experience in product development and management in the telecommunications and logistics industries.
Rentsch is a member of the American National Standards Institutes (ANSI) Board of Directors and has chaired the ANSI ISO Forum and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 20 for Aircraft and Space Vehicles. Currently, Rentsch is leading AIA’s efforts to establish an A & D industry consortium for governing Distributed Ledger Technology. And coordinating efforts with industry, academia and government stakeholders to create commonly accepted standards for Airworthiness Engineering Training. In his experience, Rentsch has represented the interests of the U.S. aerospace industry as a member of the AIA-ASD-ATA-eBusiness S1000D Council, the AIA-ASD Integrated Logistics Support Specification Council and continues to support these communities.

Rentsch has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Ocean Engineering from the University of Rhode Island and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from George Mason University.

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Jason M Merret University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

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Aircraft of all types provide resources to support humanitarian efforts through the world. Advanced UAS operations like Zipline blood/vaccine delivery in Ghana and Rwanda, transport of COVID vaccines on multiple types of aircraft, and new and novel search and rescue aircraft (public and military aircraft) are a few examples of aircraft employed for humanitarian missions. Engineers need strong airworthiness training to ensure safety of pilots, passengers, and people overflown.

Engineers and professionals who understand the science of airworthiness are critical to safety, functionality, and certification of aircraft. Until recently, training in airworthiness engineering was done through company and agency training programs, mentorship, and tacit knowledge sharing. Aerospace engineering programs educated individuals on the fundamentals of aircraft design and manufacturing, but not the skillsets and requirements for the airworthiness certification of aircraft and safety of flight assurance. The number of professionals who have this needed experience and qualifications are limited and thus there developed a clear need create a baseline for formal educational programs in Airworthiness Engineering for undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels of attainment. The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Department of Defense and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University took on a project to invigorate and expand the airworthiness talent pool, to define common curricula for Airworthiness Engineering programs and define professional levels based on experience and responsibility. This effort would ensure and improve airworthiness compliance and safety for civil and military aerospace systems and embed airworthiness discipline as part of the design and development life cycle of aircraft. The paper we will present will share the approach taken by an integrated group of industry, government, and academia to develop standards defining the minimum requirements for formal education for undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels.

Rentsch, J. R., & Merret, J. M. (2021, April), Developing training programs for Airworthiness Engineering Paper presented at Middle Atlantic ASEE Section Spring 2021 Conference, Virtual . 10.18260/1-2--36294

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