Press Release

Embry-Riddle Launches Its First Two Ph.D. Degree Programs to Meet New Challenges in Aviation/Aerospace Industry

By SpaceRef Editor
July 23, 2009
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The daily challenges of aviation and aerospace are too complex to be solved by specialists alone. In an uncertain economy, airlines struggle to hedge fuel purchases and adjust routes. Space agencies work to stabilize orbiting spacecraft, study the atmosphere and space weather, and design rovers to explore planets.
To serve the need for more broadly educated experts, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the leading educator in the science and business of aviation and aerospace, is launching its first two Ph.D. degree programs – in Aviation and Engineering Physics. The new degrees take the university’s unique approach to education – a blend of theory and applied research – to the highest level.
Embry-Riddle’s Ph.D. in Aviation is the only one in the United States.

Approval to offer the new doctoral programs was granted by the university’s accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“This approval to offer the Ph.D. is a historic moment for Embry-Riddle,” said John P. Johnson, president of the university. “It moves us to a new level of scholarly pursuit that will result in a more robust research program. It also allows Embry-Riddle to participate more fully in the national aviation and aerospace conversation.”

The Ph.D. in Aviation is designed for working professionals who seek to enhance their contribution to the aviation and aerospace organizations that employ them. The program combines advanced analytical and research tools with a broad understanding of the issues affecting the aviation industry.
Students in the Ph.D. in Aviation program will conduct research on challenges faced by their employers, ranging from airline fuel hedging, ticket pricing, and route scheduling to pilot training and safety curriculums, customer services, and lean manufacturing processes.

Courses for the Ph.D. in Aviation are offered online to enable working professionals to pursue the degree without disrupting their full-time work schedules. Students also complete a six-day residency experience each year they are in the program; residencies are offered at an Embry-Riddle campus and are designed to allow students to interact with faculty, yet minimize the impact on their professional schedules.

Embry-Riddle’s Ph.D. in Engineering Physics builds on the university’s solid program of space research, which is funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation, U.S. Air Force, and other agencies. Faculty researchers probe Earth’s upper atmosphere for clues about global warming, as well as space weather events like solar storms that can compromise satellite systems and disrupt power grids and pipelines. Others conduct studies of spacecraft dynamics and control, space robotics, cosmology and star formation, quantum optics, and the physiology of space travel.
The Ph.D. in Engineering Physics blends theoretical physics with practical engineering applications and problem-solving. It is designed for those who wish to conduct cutting-edge research ranging from the remote sensing of the Earth’s upper atmosphere and space weather to the engineering of spacecraft control systems and scientific instruments.

Students in the Ph.D. in Engineering Physics program will be enrolled and in residence at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus for at least two semesters per year, although internships at an aerospace corporation or government laboratory will be allowed with university approval and supervision by the student’s research advisor.

Graduates will work as researchers at universities and agencies like NASA and NOAA and as educators.
The Aviation Ph.D. program starts in January 2010; the Engineering Physics Ph.D. program begins in September 2010.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, offers more than 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering. The university educates more than 34,000 students annually at residential campuses in Prescott, Ariz., and Daytona Beach, Fla., through the Worldwide Campus at more than 130 campus centers in the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East, and through online learning. For more information, visit
Source: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

SpaceRef staff editor.