Drone Pilot SchoolDr. James W. Gregory Named Dean of the College of Engineering at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

July 13, 2021by helo-10

Aerospace engineer James W. Gregory, Ph.D. – a highly accomplished scholar whose many awards have included the Frank G. Brewer Trophy for significant contributions to aerospace education – will join Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, Florida campus as dean of the College of Engineering. 

Dr. Gregory, who once led an autonomous drone team that set world speed and distance records, will begin his service with Embry-Riddle by the fall 2021 semester. Currently, he serves as professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The Ohio State University, where he had previously worked as director of the Aerospace Research Center. 

“Helping all students excel in engineering and advancing innovation in aerospace education have been cornerstones of Dr. Gregory’s career,” said Embry-Riddle President Dr. P. Barry Butler. “Those values are fully aligned with Embry-Riddle’s goals, and in particular, our objective to broaden and diversify the engineering talent pipeline. Dr. Gregory is well-prepared to take our nationally ranked College of Engineering programs to the next level. I’m pleased to welcome Dr. Gregory and his family to our community.” 

Embry-Riddle Provost Lon D. Moeller, the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs, said, “Jim is an enthusiastic classroom teacher, researcher and academic leader, with broad expertise that is uniquely suited to advancing Embry-Riddle’s current goals. He also values and encourages broad collaboration by faculty members and student researchers. I know our students, faculty, and staff will enjoy getting to know Jim.” 

Along with his wife Deb Gregory and their two daughters, Dr. James W. Gregory, new dean of the College of Engineering on Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus, will be relocating to the area in time for the fall 2021 semester.

“I’m honored and excited to assume a leadership role with Embry-Riddle,” Dr. Gregory said. “Without question, Embry-Riddle is a global leader in aviation and aerospace education, with highly motivated students and outstanding engineering faculty across a wide range of areas. I look forward to working with the College of Engineering team, learning more about Embry-Riddle, and pursuing excellence together.” 

Career Highlights 

Dr. Gregory has deep expertise in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, as well as unsteady aerodynamics. In the latter area, his work has encompassed flight testing of vehicle performance, systems integration studies, robust flight of UAS in windy, icy and other weather conditions, and more. Since 2008, he has obtained $20 million in external funding for his research, including a Young Investigator Award (2011) from the U.S. Army Research Office. 

A fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Dr. Gregory’s efforts to improve student success and make engineering more accessible have included a popular video lecture series on the Science of Flight, in collaboration with Great Courses and the Smithsonian Institution’s Air & Space Museum. Using his recorded lectures to “flip” the instructional mode for a large engineering course, Dr. Gregory has reported significant improvements in student performance. His other instructional innovations have included design projects and labs incorporating international collaboration to detect buried landmines by air and to launch high-altitude balloons. 

In 2017, his team flew a jet-powered drone over Lake Erie, averaging 147 mph over 28 miles – a feat reported by Aviation Week.

Education and Work History

Dr. Gregory received his Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University (2005 and 2002). He earned his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering, with highest honors, from Georgia Tech (1999). 

Dr. Gregory joined The Ohio State faculty in 2008. The department that he chairs includes nearly 80 faculty and 30 staff members, serving some 1,600 undergraduate and 300 graduate students. As director of the Aerospace Research Center, Dr. Gregory focused on expanding research enterprise as well as interdisciplinary collaborations across aerospace engineering, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and medicine. 

Earlier, Dr. Gregory worked at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Air Vehicles Directorate, Delta Air Lines, NASA Glenn Research Center, Tohoku University in Japan, and as a Fulbright Scholar at the Technion in Israel. He also served as a policy fellow at the National Academy of Engineering. 

An instrument-rated commercial pilot, he has more than 400 flight hours in single-engine aircraft, and is one of the first holders of a remote pilot certificate under part 107. In addition to the Brewer Trophy, Dr. Gregory has received The Ohio State College of Engineering’s McCarthy Engineering Teaching Award, the Department of Aerospace Engineering Outstanding Professor Award, and the SAE Ralph R. Teeter Educational Award. 

President Butler commended Dr. Maj Mirmirani, who last year announced his plan to step down from the dean position and serve as a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, following many years of dedicated service. 

Dr. Gregory and his wife Deb Gregory will be relocating to the Daytona Beach area, along with their two school-age daughters.

Posted In: Engineering

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