Kurt Barnhart

Professor and head of the department of aviation
Executive director, Applied Aviation Research Center

Kurt BarnhartMaking Kansas State University at Salina's aviation program one of the best programs in the nation is Kurt Barnhart's goal.

Barnhart, a professor and head of the department of aviation, specializes in aviation safety and human factors research. He has taught numerous aviation courses, including general aviation operations and aviation risk analysis. He also has published numerous articles in journals such as the Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education and Research and the International Journal of Applied Aviation Studies. He has also given presentations in aviation safety at numerous conferences.

Barnhart also serves as executive director of the Applied Aviation Research Center on the K-State at Salina campus. The center's primary focus is the integration of unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace system and enabling homeland security responses to natural and man-made disasters.

Barnhart came to K-State in July 2007. He previously was acting chair of Indiana State University's aerospace technology department, where he also has served in a teaching capacity since 1996. He has been a National Association of Flight Instructors' Master Flight Instructor since 2003 and brings industrial experience from Allison Engine Co. -- now Rolls Royce -- and American Trans Air.

Barnhart developed the first online renewal course for Federal Aviation Administration inspection authorization mechanics with Gleim Publications. In 2009 he received the University Aviation Association's Sorenson Award for significant scholarly contributions to collegiate aviation. He has received Indiana State University's Fred Swalls Award in Educational Administration and Leland D. Melvin Award in Education as well as the Sorenson Award for scholarship in collegiate aviation in 2009. In 2011 he was named by Ingram's magazine as one of the 50 Kansans you should know. He  has also served as president of  University Aviation Association, and has been a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the National Association of Flight Instructors.

He has a bachelor's degree in aviation administration from Purdue University, a master's in business administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a doctorate in educational administration from Indiana State University. He also has several notable flight and mechanic ratings, has received KA B200 and Citation II advanced training from Flight Safety International, and has completed the FAA's accident investigation course.

"Aviation has long been my passion," Barnhart said. "I first flew with my parents when I was an infant and have never looked back."

Barnhart can be contacted at 785-826-2972 or kurtb@k-state.edu