Suzanne Kearns

Dr. Suzanne Kearns, Associate Professor of Aviation, University of Waterloo

Dr. Suzanne Kearns is an Associate Professor of Aviation at the University of Waterloo. She is an internationally recognized leader in aviation education research, earned airplane and helicopter pilot licenses at the age of 17, advanced aeronautical degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and began working as an aviation professor upon graduation at the age of 24. In the 16 years since, she has taught and mentored thousands of aviation students, written/co-authored six books (including Competency-Based Education in Aviation, Fundamentals of International Aviation, and Engaging the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals). She has received several awards for research and educational works, frequently delivers invited keynote addresses at international conferences, and holds leadership positions with several international aviation organizations.

Engaging the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals – the work of Project ENGAP

In January 2020, the most critical challenges facing our industry included:

  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Personnel Shortages
  • Keeping Ahead of Technology

These align with the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social, and economical. Even before the pandemic, critical aspects of aviation were unsustainable. Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without sacrificing future generation’s ability to meet their needs:

Covid-19 has disrupted the aviation sector on a global scale, stretching the industry to the breaking point.  However, downturns have happened before, and a recovery will follow.

This is not the time to pause innovation, but to mobilise to craft a sustainable future for the post-pandemic economic recovery.

There are three Global Challenges in Aviation Sustainability:

  • Global Challenge 1: Environmental Sustainability
  • Global Challenge 2: Global Personnel Shortage
  • Global Challenge 3: Keeping Ahead of Technology

Project ENGAP (Engaging the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals) was established in March 2020 by Dr Suzanne Kearns and Simon Witts following the publication of the book of the same name, edited by Suzanne with inputs from over 40 authors worldwide.

It has been created to confront and deal with the Global Challenges and has moved forward under three main initiatives through ENGAP Canada, ENGAP UK and ENGAP USA. These are:

  • Sustainability
  • Engagement
  • Research
  • Pathways
  • Facilities

This Paper will set out the aims, the work so far and engage an increasing number of organisations in our Global mission.

Fiona Greenyer

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