NASA Administrator Delivers Keynote at OU Aviation Breakfast

NASA Administrator Delivers Keynote at OU Aviation Breakfast

The OU Extended Campus School of Aviation Studies welcomed NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at the Norman Chamber of Commerce Aviation & Transportation Breakfast on Sept. 20 at Max Westheimer Airport.

Sworn in as NASA’s 13th administrator on April 23, 2018, Bridenstine served as the keynote speaker at the annual event, which focuses on the impact the aviation and aerospace industries have not only on OU Aviation and Norman, but also on the state and nation at large.

Bridenstine’s career in federal service began in the U.S. Navy, where he accrued most of his 1,900 flight hours and 333 carrier-arrested landings flying combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. After transitioning from active duty to the U.S. Navy Reserve, he returned to Tulsa to serve as the executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. He was elected to represent Oklahoma’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012, where he served on the Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee.

During this time, he was instrumental in supporting OU Aviation as it secured the Technical Lead role of the FAA Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance, which has secured approximately $15 million in federal funding and matching contributions since its inception in 2016. Now in the fourth year of the 10-year grant program, the center is focused on new research interests in the areas of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations and commercial space transportation.

For more information about the FAA Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance, contact program manager April Millaway Williams at For more information about aviation degrees and programs, visit the School of Aviation Studies website. To learn more about additional degree programs and learning opportunities for working adults, visit the OU Extended Campus website.

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Myk Mahaffey

Michael Mahaffey holds degrees in journalism and psychology. He is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience writing for print and digital publications, including award-winning coverage of the rodeo industry. In his spare time, he writes fiction, in addition to tinkering with graphic design and photography.