Accelerate Your Learning at the Speed of Innovation
By Dan Dumbacher|March 2022
During my days on the Purdue University campus as a Professor of Practice, I encouraged students to stay curious, to always keep learning, and to continue asking questions – especially “why?” These are essential traits for success in aerospace. I repeat them to the students I encounter at AIAA events as well, yet I believe they apply to all of us, even when we’re outside a formal educational setting. Over the course of our careers, we must stay curious to shape the future of aerospace. Our curiosity is what will drive the innovation, tackle the technical challenges, and solve the problems our industry needs.
To satisfy our curiosity we often need to learn new skills, dig deeper into a discipline, or broaden our awareness. Engineering is a great teacher in understanding a problem or situation, recognizing the constraints, and determining the validity of information to arrive at information-based conclusions and results. The engineering education we receive in our universities instills the fundamentals and points us toward the future, especially as we embrace systems thinking to accelerate our progress.
This year, we are working to broaden the portfolio of AIAA continuing education resources we make available to our community. It’s part of our commitment to helping our members succeed at all phases in their career. What questions are you asking lately? What problems are you trying to solve in your current role? We know important topics for our future include hypersonics, electric aircraft, artificial intelligence, digital engineering, and more. Consider this – in 18 hours you could be several steps closer to a goal, or in eight weeks you could be well on your way to finding answers on these topics – after taking just one AIAA continuing education course. The industry needs you to be on the leading edge of these topics to move us forward at the speed of progress.
AIAA heard clearly that professional development is experiencing dynamic changes. From our “2021 AIAA State of the Industry Report,” one out of four aerospace industry professionals believes that COVID-19 has transformed their thinking around traveling for essential education opportunities. We heard this especially from our members with 10+ years of experience. What’s an aerospace engineer to do to stay sharp? AIAA is responding quickly to match the pace of this shifting demand with our accessible, robust professional development offerings.
Since the pandemic began, we’ve witnessed explosive growth in the popularity of online courses. In 2018 and 2019, AIAA offered 20 in-person courses each year, with only one online course alongside.
During 2020, we were able to deliver 11 courses in person before shifting solely to online delivery of 12 more courses. And in 2021, we increased the catalog to deliver 28 courses, all virtual. We anticipate that 2022 will see an even bigger increase in online learning, with more than 35 online courses planned.
We are offering 24 online courses in spring 2022 – more in one season than ever before. And there will be one in-person course held in conjunction with the 2022 AIAA DEFENSE Forum. I am confident there is something for everyone; take a look for yourself at aiaa.org/events-learning/courses-workshops.
We carefully select courses for their technical relevance today, taught by expert instructors who are part of the aerospace community. We want to ensure you have deep technical depth on today’s topics, similar to the depth of what you find in AIAA journals and publications. The course experience is substantive and interactive – with lectures and notes, as well as Q&A and discussion. And we ensure you receive completion certificates and CEUs/PDHs to document the value you’ve gained. The benefits are realized in a few ways:
• Stay sharp. Learning the latest methods can enhance your current job performance and help demonstrate your proficiency in real-world applications.
• Lead innovation. Exploring the latest technologies and hearing new ideas can spark your creativity, positioning you as a leader.
• Accelerate your career. Whether you are navigating the climb of your career or building the future, your professional drive moves you closer to a promotion or a new role.
Shaping the future of aerospace is no simple task. It takes passion, discussion, innovation, collaboration – and you. AIAA is here to help you succeed.
Find your topic in the Course Catalog at aiaa.org/events-learning/courses-workshops. Register for a course today.