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2011.08.31 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

National Recognition for UNO Aviation Students

Omaha - A team of undergraduate students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Aviation Institute was recognized as third-place winners in the Federal Aviation Administration’s 2011 Design Competition for Universities.

The project, “X-Band Radar for Monitoring the Airport Environ’s,” was submitted by Cole Hartfiel, Thane Seeley and Peter Bokelman. Hartfiel and Seeley both recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree from UNO; Bokelman is a returning senior at the Aviation Institute.

Their project focused on the use of X-band radar (similar to that found on commercial fishing boats) to observe aircraft movements in the vicinity of an airport that does not have a control tower.

While the team’s submittal was originally intended to provide only conceptual theory and background for the proposed application of project proposal, a grant from the Nebraska NASA Space Grant program enabled the students to acquire a radar unit for testing.

While the required FCC experimental license to use the radar unit was not received in time to allow actual data to be included before the submission deadline, the panel judging the competition commended the team on the creative use of existing technology and highly encouraged the Aviation Institute to resubmit the project for next year’s competition with field test results.

As part of their award, the three UNO students received a cash prize of $1,000.

The competition was created for college students, working with a faculty member, to address airport operations and infrastructure issues and needs. Students were presented with a variety of technical challenges relating to airport operations and maintenance, runway safety, airport environmental interactions, and airport management and planning.

This is the third consecutive year that UNO’s Aviation Institute has successfully competed in the competition.

“The FAA competition consistently draws entries from teams from highly regarded aviation engineering and management programs from around the country,” said the team’s faculty advisor, Dr. David Byers, associate professor at the Aviation Institute. “For our students to consistently compete and win against these schools demonstrates the emerging presence our aviation program has gained nationally.”

For more information on the competition and awards, visit: http://faadesigncompetition.odu.edu/Apps/FAAUDCA.nsf/pWinners

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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