We are off to an exciting summer at UND Aerospace! In May, we celebrated Bruce Smith’s retirement with an enjoyable picnic and short program in one of our maintenance hangars at UND Flight Operations. David Williamson, one of Bruce’s longtime friends and UND Aerospace Foundation Board member, led us in the singing of the “North Dakota” song – a special treat! In addition to David, other speakers included Diane Odegard, who thanked Bruce and Ann for their many years of leading UND Aerospace. We sincerely thank you Bruce and Ann for nearly 17 years of outstanding leadership – we will miss you!
Another exciting event occurred on June 9th when the Deputy FAA Administrator, Mike Whitaker, and five key members of his staff flew in for a visit. We toured UND Flight Operations and Aerospace campus facilities as well as briefed the visitors on the Odegard School, the Aviation Department, UAS research and the Northern Plains UAS Test Site. We also travelled to the Grand Forks AFB where Colonel Lewis and his staff showed off the Global Hawk/Predator/Reaper aircraft and the UAS Grand Sky airpark. It was exciting to see the Air Force enthusiasm supporting the development and integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system. It was a privilege to have the Deputy Administrator take the time to tour our facilities. After his visit, Mike Whitaker personally sent compliments to our maintenance department for their “impeccably clean floors” and he congratulated Aerospace key staff members for helping make his visit so memorable. Thank you for the great team work!
Also in June we had the privilege of hosting Mark Baker, President of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Thanks to the influence of our UND Aerospace alumnus, Steve Kuhlman, we were able to garner about two hours of Mark’s time to visit UND Flight Operations and Maintenance and to take a quick tour of UND Aerospace’s campus facilities before Mark headed west to Seattle. Thank you Mark and Mike Tompos, AOPA Foundation VP, for taking the time to visit!
On a personal note, thanks to each of you for your overwhelming support during my selection to be your next dean of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences! It is a distinct honor and privilege for me to serve as only the third dean of the Odegard School in its 48-year history. UND Aerospace is truly a special place, as Bruce Smith has said many times. Of course, this is because of the dedicated efforts by each and every one of our employees, not only on a daily basis, but over an entire professional career for many of our employees. We will continue our tradition of excellence as we remain focused on our mission statement: “Working together, we will be leaders in creating, preserving, and delivering the highest quality education, research, and services in aerospace and related sciences for our university, our state, and the worldwide aerospace community.”
Looking forward to serving you as your next dean!
All the best to each of you!
Paul Lindseth, Dean
John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences