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Free Webinar Series


Embry-Riddle Worldwide’s free 40-minute webinars give you a chance to take part in our virtual learning experience. These interactive courses, taught by faculty members who are leaders in their respective industries, range in subject from aviation security to supply chain trends. See the complete list below to watch a webinar.

Previous Webinars (Playbacks of Completed Sessions Available Below)

Mitigating the Potential Fire Hazards of Composite Materials

Today’s commercial aircraft are lighter and stronger thanks to carbon fiber-reinforced composites. These materials reduce fuel costs, and 50 percent of the Boeing 787 and Airbus 350 aircrafts include composites. But with the benefits of composite materials also come inherent and undetermined fire hazards. Dr. Heather Garten will explore the latent fire hazards associated with composites and examine fire science procedures for battling aircraft fires that involve composites. This session will also discuss ways to safely battle these fires while minimizing harm to the aircraft, fire personnel, and the environment.

About the Host: Dr. Heather Garten is an Assistant Professor of Arts and Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide. She earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Emory University and a B.A. in both Economics and Mathematics from Stetson University. She worked for the federal government for more than six years in various positions, including research mathematician, director, and branch chief. In addition to her full-time faculty role with the university, Dr. Garten is the CEO/President of Garten Solutions, LLC, a company that creates solutions to business and educational problems through strategic partnerships and opportunities, including her in-demand SexySTEM initiative.

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Green Supply Chain

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility have become key concepts in global business. Many consumers pay close attention to a company’s environmental impact when making purchasing decisions. But the phrase "green supply chain" is used in so many different contexts that it’s often hard to define. Noted international expert Dr. Mohammed Arif will discuss the components of a green supply chain and present a model to demonstrate how one works. Anyone who wishes to better understand this emerging and important field will benefit from this webinar.

About the Host: Dr. Mohammed Arif is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Management Sciences in the College of Business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide. Dr. Arif earned a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida and holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in Engineering. He has extensive experience in academia and industry in several countries around the globe. His research area is sustainability and green supply chains. Dr. Arif has published more than 80 scholarly articles and a book. He also sits on several editorial boards and works closely with industry leaders to identify ways to achieve a greener supply chain.

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General Aviation Security

General Aviation — which is aviation other than scheduled air services and air transport — is big business in the U.S., with more than 5,200 airports and 1.3 million related jobs. General Aviation is also critical to our nation’s transportation system, homeland security, and local communities. This webinar will look at threats to general aviation and safety measures to protect general aviation aircraft, airports, fixed base operations, and flight schools. The session will also include a review of a recent study conducted by Dr. Daniel Benny on the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Airport Watch Program and its efforts to raise security awareness among more than 200,000 private pilots in the U.S.

About the Host: Dr. Daniel Benny is the Aviation Security Program Chair at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide. Dr. Benny holds a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and master’s degrees in Aeronautical Science and Security Administration. He is the author of a leading textbook on general aviation security and three other books. He has also written more than 300 articles on security administration. His career includes service as a U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer, U.S. Navy Police Chief, and director of public safety for several Pennsylvania colleges. He is a private pilot and a major in the USAF Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol.

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Major Supply Chain Trends for 2014

As companies increasingly use their supply chain to compete and gain market share, spending and activity in this area are notably on the upswing. Technology and process upgrades at forward-thinking companies clearly show that supply chain excellence is more widely accepted as an element of overall business strategy and that increasing value to customers is everyone’s business, not just management's. Dr. Ed Knab will examine the top 10 supply chain trends that are impacting supply chain operations, including comprehensive connectivity, artificial intelligence, Real-Time Locating System (RTLS), remote management, supply chain visibility, and more. 

About the Host: Dr. Edward Knab is an Assistant Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide and works closely with the University’s Center for Aviation and Aerospace Leadership (CAAL). He has focused his 30-year professional career on the expansion of global supply chains and global markets. Knab has developed global supply chain solutions for the hardware, office products, and office furniture industries. He launched several independent businesses during his career, including ownership of a third-party logistics company, a foreign trade zone, and several global consulting organizations. During the last seven years, he has focused his attention on helping companies improve their productivity through improved process management and leadership.

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Alpha and Omega: Program Outcomes to the Capstone

Employers know Embry-Riddle graduates are in tune with the aviation industry. Our faculty is proud of its reputation for preparing attractive job candidates to be tomorrow’s leaders. The culminating course of Embry-Riddle Worldwide's Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics is the Capstone. Navigating your way to the Capstone is just as important as the course itself. In this 40 minute presentation Scott Burgess will discuss how the journey through the aeronautics degree is specifically related to the Capstone and what skills students will be evaluated on as they approach graduation. 

About the Host: Scott Burgess is an Assistant Professor and Program Chair for the Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics, Embry-Riddle Worldwide's largest degree program. Burgess has more than 29 years of aviation experience and 14 years with Embry-Riddle at both the Prescott and Worldwide campuses. His flight experience includes both military and civil aviation, and he is qualified on seven helicopters. At Embry-Riddle, Burgess also serves as Associate Chair for the Bachelor of Science in Transportation and Discipline Chair for the Helicopter Operations and Safety programs. He is working toward completing his Ph.D. in Business Administration.

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Promoting U.S. Exports and Commercial Involvement

The U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of aviation and aerospace technology. However, other nations have made inroads into these industries and are changing the landscape for American commercial interests. In this 40 minute presentation, Dr. Constantine Koursaris will look at several key areas that can promote U.S. exports and commercial involvement in the aviation and aerospace industries. He’ll also examine the U.S. and other notable countries from a manufacturing and global supply chain management perspective. Finally, Dr. Koursaris will discuss incentives for U.S. and foreign firms to start new programs and partnerships.

About the Host: Dr. Constantine M. Koursaris is an Assistant Professor and Assistant Program Chair of the Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the College of Business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide. He earned a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Florida Institute of Technology, master’s degrees in Engineering Management and Systems Engineering from FIT, and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Southern University. For seven years, he worked at Kennedy Space Center in key roles as a computer scientist supporting ground operations logistics for space shuttle missions and senior systems engineer for the Constellation program. Dr. Koursaris’ primary research focuses on maintaining an effective operational and organizational scenario in supply chain management throughout the software/system development life cycle phases.

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Use of Virtual Labs in Aircraft Firefighting and Rescue Research & Program Overviews

This 40 minute presentation will focus on two areas: Ongoing research being conducted by Dr. Herron & Ms. Gorman and current Fire Science program initiatives, highlighted by Dr. Griffith. The research portion will focus upon the use of virtual labs in aircraft firefighting and rescue education to supplement hands-on training conducted at the Dallas/Fort Worth Firefighting Training and Research Center (DFWTRC), located at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. The program initiatives section will outline current program initiatives within the Bachelor of Science in Fire Science, and help build awareness of the degree and its impact on the profession.

About the Hosts: Dr. Rene Herron is an Associate Fire Science Program Chair at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She earned a Ph.D. from The Florida State University and has been with ERAU for seven years. During her tenure at ERAU, she served as the Interim Dean of Online Instruction and is active on the Faculty Senate and various University committees regarding academic technology advancement. Dr. John Griffith an Associate Fire Science Program chair. He served as a fire fighter and health care administrator in the United States Air Force. Dr. Griffith has taught for Embry-Riddle since 2001. Positions held with the university include Adjunct Instructor Director of Academics and regional Associate Dean. Ms. MK Gorman is an Associate Fire Science Program Chair at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Before coming to ERAU, she spent 27 years as a geologist in the environmental sector, responsible for regulatory development, emergency pollution response, incident investigation and remediation, disaster planning, and hazardous materials/solid waste management. Professor Gorman serves on the Worldwide Faculty Senate and is currently completing a doctoral dissertation at Walden University.

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Planning Your Dreams: Financial Planning to Secure Your Career and Retirement Goals

Is your budget the one thing standing between you and a degree? Higher education IS within your reach with some planning and guidance – and you don’t have to raid your retirement account to make it a reality.

Learn how to manage your finances to achieve BOTH your career and retirement goals during this 75-minute presentation. It’s no secret that a major part of a successful career is based on your educational background.

Director of Financial Aid J. Dagmar Bowen will first offer tips on ways to pay for your education while continuing to work and support your family. She will discuss multiple sources of financial aid – including grants, loans, tuition assistance, veteran’s benefits, and scholarships.

The second part of the session will feature certified financial planner Mark Bellnap. Dr. Bellnap will provide general information on planning for retirement, managing your taxes, estate planning, and insurance. He will present factual and unbiased information about how to make your financial future more secure.

About the Hosts: J. Dagmar Bowen is the Director of Financial Aid for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide, a campus of nearly 25,000 students. Bowen directs a major department within the university that oversees grants, scholarships, and educational loans for Embry-Riddle Worldwide students.

Dr. Mark S. Bellnap is an Assistant Professor in the Business Department and Master of Business Administration in Aviation Program Chair at Embry-Riddle Worldwide. He has been a financial scholar and practitioner for more than 30 years and is a certified government financial manager. Dr. Bellnap holds three master’s degrees – including an MBA in accounting – and a doctorate in public administration.

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Critical Thinking for Leadership

NOTE: Postponed from April 8 due to illness.

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the importance of good decision making – both personally and professionally – until it’s much too late. Poor decisions can cause a business to stumble or a person’s financial security to crumble. Learning how to think more critically and understanding how critical thinking can be incorporated on the job and at home will be discussed during this webinar. Participants will receive a brief overview of what critical thinking is and also learn about two tools that aid critical thinking. In his 40 minute presentation, Dr. Matthew Earnhardt will refer to groundbreaking research from Dr. Richard Paul that addresses how critical thinking is impacting multiple enterprises.

About the Host: Dr. Matthew Earnhardt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership in the College of Business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide. Dr. Earnhardt earned a Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Regent University. He received both a master’s in Business Administration and bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Liberty University. Dr. Earnhardt began his career in the U.S. Navy as an intelligence analyst and continued in the intelligence field with Lockheed Martin. His research interests are in the areas of critical thinking, servant leadership, spiritual leadership, person-job fit, and various emergent leadership themes.

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Passion, Persistence, and Patience: The Search for Amelia Earhart

What happened to Amelia Earhart? Her disappearance is one of the world’s great mysteries. Nearly eight decades later the mystery continues to fascinate aviation buffs and laymen alike. Jon Thompson is an expert on Earhart, and has worked with Nauticos LLC the past ten years in a quest to find Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra that went missing over 75 years ago. He spent four months at sea in the South Pacific on two separate expeditions and plans to return this year to complete the task.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is pleased to present a special webinar that will feature Mr. Thompson broadcasting live via EagleVision from our campus in Memphis, Tennessee.

About the Host: Jon Thompson is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and earned a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas. He served as a ranger-qualified Army reconnaissance combat pilot in Vietnam and was awarded multiple decorations, including the Bronze Star and 16 Air Medals. He owned and operated a global construction equipment operation with machinery in 26 nations before forming Columbine Holdings, a venture capital and investment management firm that he operates presently. He is widely considered to be a leading expert in historical exhibitions. As Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of Memphis, he developed and managed a series of touring exhibitions including Napoleon, Imperial Tombs of China, and Titanic, with a combined attendance of over 8 million visitors. These efforts resulted in his visit to the Titanic and his current project to locate and recover the airplane of Amelia Earhart.

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Finding Your Future in Aviation and the Aerospace Industry

An uncertain economic climate can make career planning difficult. Will the United States continue its success as a world leader in the aviation and aerospace industry? Will jobs in manufacturing, flight, and space exploration remain strong with premium wages and opportunities for advancement?

During this 75-minute presentation, our panel of experts will look at aviation/aerospace industry trends from engineering, flight, maintenance, safety, and business perspectives. The panel will also give an overview of nearly two dozen Embry-Riddle degree programs that relate to the industry and discuss which degrees are best suited for specific career tracks and advancement.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world's oldest, largest, and most prestigious university specializing in aviation and aerospace. It is the only fully accredited, aviation-oriented university in the world and has prepared more than 100,000 graduates for success in the industry.

About the Host: Brian Carhide is the Executive Director of Career Services at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Other panelists include deans from Embry-Riddle Worldwide’s three academic colleges: Dr. Kees Rietsema, College of Business; Dr. James Schultz, College of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. Ken Witcher, College of Aeronautics.

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Risk Management: A Key Success Factor

How much risk Is your organization willing to take? Every project involves some degree of risk. Organizations can choose to manage risk with a proactive approach or choose to react to the risk events as they interfere with project success. You are invited to a 40 minute presentation that will provide an overview of the risk management process and make suggestions on how to incorporate risk management into daily operations.

About the Host: Dr. Tracey Richardson is Assistant Professor and Department Chair, Management Science in the College of Business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide. She is a noted project management expert and consultant. Dr. Richardson is a certified Project Management Institute - Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) and Project Management Professional (PMP). She has been a project manager in the aircraft maintenance industry and in real estate rehabilitation for over 20 years.

Watch the playback of a webinar by Tracey Richardson.

(Note, Technical issues prevented a recording of the June 10 session, so the playback link is for a 2013 presentation given on the same topic.)

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