Tuesday May 20, 2008

Engineering Professor Awarded Select Boeing Fellowship

Raul Ordonez is just one of 10 U.S. professors who will have access to Boeing's technical and business programs this summer to help them educate students.

Talking about how to control airplanes is a way of life for Raúl Ordóñez, a University of Dayton associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.

So, an eight-week summer stint as one of 10 Boeing faculty fellows will be like "being in a candy store with unrestricted access." Ordóñez leaves June 12.

Ordóñez will work at Boeing facilities in Seattle and St. Louis. Through the fellowship, Boeing gives a select group of professors access to its technical and business programs to help them educate students. Boeing fills only about 10 spots a year for the Welliver Faculty Fellowship Program.

"Boeing believes it's important to make this strategic investment because these professors are educating our future employees," Trina Medley, a Boeing university relations representative, said in a press release.

Ordóñez will be working on the latest updates in flight dynamics and controls. He hopes to get a sneak peek into the Boeing Dreamliner and high-performance aircraft.

He also expects this experience will help his teaching.

"When I teach controls, I try to ground things in reality. You can teach controls in a very mathematical way, but it's difficult to understand," he said. "I try to use examples of reality behind the math. I hope this experience will give me better teaching examples."

Flight dynamics and controls involves the cockpit area of the plane. Ordóñez also performs research and teaches courses in coordinating multiple aircraft for search and rescue or military operations.

Ordóñez is the second UD engineering faculty member in the last three years Boeing has selected for the program. Danny Eylon, the chair of UD's graduate materials engineering program, participated in the program in 2006.

UD performs the most aerospace research of any Ohio university. It is in the top 30 of all U.S. universities in engineering research.

Contact Raúl Ordóñez at 937-229-3183.