Gerasimos Kontos

Associate Professor of Aviation
Abu Dhabi University, United Arab Emirates

2020-2021 Fulbright Greek Scholar Program to the U.S.  Host: San Jose State University, California, Aerospace Engineering Department

Aviation is pure passion and desire, and once you are involved, it lasts for a lifetime. As an essence of freedom, aviation transports passengers and cargo, reunites families and loved ones, and opens up a new world of exploration, knowledge, and adventure. As an ecosystem, it encourages the exchange of ideas, develops market linked economies, enriches lives, creates millions of jobs around the globe, and carries vital supplies to those in need.

In this line, aviation encompasses a range of interconnected activities, starting from the design, manufacturing, operation, and maintenance of aircrafts to air traffic control, airport operations, air navigation and communication procedures as well as aviation weather services.

There are several career pathways in Aviation. You may start by obtaining a private or commercial pilot license, or you may start directly as an Air Traffic Controller or Flight Service Specialist. If you prefer to stay on the ground, you may become an expert in Airport Operations, Aircraft Maintenance, and/or Aviation Weather Services.

If academic research is what gives you sleepless nights, you may pursue a master’s and/or a PhD in several of the challenging Aviation topics, ranging from Environmental Sustainability and Zero-Carbon Emission to Electrification, Advanced Air Mobility, and Unmanned Aircraft Operation.

What is unique with these career pathways is that they combine academic rigor with professional experience in an integrated degree, both for bachelor and master studies. You may start your undergraduate studies with a Bachelor of Aviation, and following your capstone project, you may work for a master’s degree and address one of the aforementioned challenges.

But please, no matter what you do, never stop exploring. This is the essence of freedom; this is the essence of Aviation.

 Photo Credit: Andrew Ruiz for Unsplash