As we approach our 50th anniversary in 2018, there are many new and exciting things happening at UND Aerospace. The UND Aerobatic Team continues its dominance, bringing home—for the 9th consecutive year—the IAC Collegiate National Championship. The UND Flying Team also did very well, capturing 2nd place at the annual National SAFECON competition, bringing its record of placing first or second to 28 of the last 34 years. Quite impressive indeed!
In April, the annual Family Weekend and SAMA Conference and Career Fair were a huge success with 42 aviation industry representatives promoting their companies and hiring our outstanding graduates. World-renowned aerobatic pilot Sean Tucker wowed the Family Weekend banquet crowd with a motivating speech. It was great to have Sean back at UND Aerospace.
The Odegard School is receiving special attention from not only the airline industry, but from the military as well. In April we hosted the Undersecretary of the Air Force, John Fedrigo, along with a contingent of high-ranking Pentagon personnel. The meetings focused on how collegiate aviation can collaborate more closely with the Air Force to help reduce the military’s pilot shortage. Discussions also centered on greater use of the Grand Forks Air Force Base runway for UND pilot training activities. We look forward to greater collaboration with the Air Force.
In other units within the Odegard School, the Atmospheric Sciences department was awarded the UND Founder’s Day Departmental Excellence in Service award for their outstanding service to the field of atmospheric sciences as well as the general public. Dr. Gretchen Mullendore received the Founder’s Day award for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Service, and Professor Fred Remer received the Founder’s Day Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award.
A special thank you goes out to three employees that are retiring this year. Two of our UND Chester Fritz Distinguished Professors are retiring, Dr. Santhosh Seelan, Professor of Space Studies, and Dr. Warren Jensen, Professor of Aviation. Also, Mr. Dana Siewert, long-time Director of Safety and former Director of Flight Operations is retiring. The expertise of each of these individuals will certainly be missed. All the best to each of you in your retirement years.
On a sad note, I wanted to pass on to everyone that we lost long-time Aviation Professor Dr. Charles Robertson to cancer this spring. Charlie just retired last year, but we certainly will remember his many years of dedicated work at UND Aerospace.
Finally, I want to thank all UND alumni and friends for the marvelous support the Odegard School receives for scholarships and priority needs. Through your generosity, we were able to award over $350,000 in scholarships this past year. Thank you ever so much for your commitment to our tradition of excellence.
To celebrate our 50th anniversary we are planning signature events at the April, 2018 SAMA Conference and Career Fair/Family Weekend as well as during UND Homecoming, scheduled for September 17-22, 2018. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us as we celebrate 50 years of success!
Paul Lindseth, Dean
John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences