Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta has announced the agency has selected the University of Oklahoma and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University teams to lead the new Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance (COE TTHP). The COE will conduct research and development on technical training for air traffic controllers, aviation safety inspectors, engineers, pilots and technicians.

"This world-class, public-private partnership will help us focus on the challenges and opportunities of this cutting-edge field of research," Administrator Huerta said. "We expect this team will help us educate and train aviation professionals well into the future."

The academic team members all have nationally-recognized collegiate aviation-related education programs and core members also own and operate their own aircraft and airports. A partnership of principal investigators from the different universities will perform the research projects. The universities will engage senior faculty as well as graduate-level and undergraduate students in their research activities.

The FAA is expected to invest at least $5 million over the next five years in this partnership, with Embry-Riddle heading a team of top-tier academic research institutions and more than 20 industry partners, including the FAA's NextGen Florida Test Bed at Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach.

The FAA will take advantage of advancements in teaching, such as part-task training, modeling, immersive human-in-the-loop simulation, and adaptive learning technologies that are standard in other technical workforces. The COE will examine human factors issues such as changes in learner expectations and academic best practices for training a new generation of learners. The center will also research innovative training methods for this new generation. This includes new technologies such as mobile learning as well as new ways of collecting and managing training data.