Thursday, June 25th, 2009, OAI Conference room – Cleveland, OH
The group met at the Ohio Aerospace Institute for our dinner lecture with Dr. Mike Heil. The Academyites began by introducing ourselves, our individual research at Glenn, career goals, and academic backgrounds, as well as the group project. Dr. Heil shared some of his background and career path.
Dr. Heil joined OAI in 2007 and is currently its President and CEO. Dr. Heil joined OAI after over 30 years of work in the Air Force. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1975 and continued his education at Columbia University on a Guggenheim Fellowship and at the Air Force Institute of Technology, where he earned a PhD. He has spent time at many air force bases, research centers, test centers, and acquisition centers throughout his career. In his last role in the Air Force, Dr. Heil served as the Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Propulsion Directorate.
Dr. Heil’s talk centered on the history of aeronautics, the role that OAI plays within the community, the aerospace industry in Ohio, and education. In particular, he talked about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, and how it plays a vital role in our economy and solving big problems in our future.
We shared our thoughts on the current economic climate and the way that the aerospace industry has reacted to it. Dr. Heil also gave us some advice as to how to prepare for future careers in aerospace and the importance of education. We thanked Dr. Heil for sharing his insight with us.