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About Dr. Kurt Barnhart

Dr. Kurt Barnhart has been a member of the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus faculty since 2007. He is currently the associate dean of research and engagement as well as the executive director of the Applied Aviation Research Center, which oversees the unmanned aircraft systems program office. Previously, Dr. Barnhart was an associate professor and acting department chair of aerospace technology at Indiana State University. He was also a research and development inspector with Rolls Royce and an aircraft systems instructor with American Trans Air Airlines.

Dr. Barnhart holds an Associate of Science in aviation maintenance technology from Vincennes University, a Bachelor of Science in aeronautics from Purdue University, a Master of Business Administration in aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Indiana State University.

In addition, Dr. Barnhart has been flying for 30 years and has a commercial pilot certificate with instrument, multi-engine, seaplane and glider ratings. He is a certified flight instructor with instrument and multi-engine ratings and also holds an airframe and powerplant certificate with inspection authorization.

Dr. Barnhart's connection with aviation first began when he was born on a U.S. military installation in Wiesbaden, Germany. He took his first flight with his parents at two weeks old and began traveling through airports by himself around the third grade. Dr. Barnhart started taking flying lessons at age 16 and has even taught his mother to fly.

 Areas of Specialization/Research

  • Unmanned aircraft systems implementation and integration into the national airspace
  • Maintenance technician training standards
  • Human factors/aviation psychology
  • Crew Pairing
  • Cognitive style
  • Aviation Safety