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Capstone program provides practical learning to aspiring aviators


Continuous improvement is in effect across the aviation field’s many facets. Students at the Center for Aviation Studies have the opportunity to apply their solutions to some of the challenges through the semester-long AVIATN 4500 Aviation Capstone course.

During the course, interdisciplinary student groups are partnered with sponsors to deliver ready-to-implement solutions to areas of need, while boosting their job readiness skills. Projects for spring semester 2021 ranged from a vehicle wrap to aviation career training for human trafficking survivors.



Castle Aviation / Marketing Strategy Enhancement

Image of Castle Aviation vehicle wrap designed by students
Castle Aviation vehicle wrap designed by Ohio State students

The project focused on enhancing Castle Aviation’s marketing program. Research encompassed developing a thorough understanding of the company’s marketing strategy and performing a SWOT analysis in addition to several marketing deliverables.

“We have been able to put our skills and creativity together to develop and deliver to Castle Aviation a SWOT Analysis, a design for a cargo vehicle, tail art for aircraft, a route map, aircraft specifications sheets and 360° aircraft photos for the business to implement into their marketing strategy," shared team members Alex Henson, Jack Lawrie, Pat O’Donnell and Mingjian Wu.

Sponsor: “The creativity foreseen by the group of OSU students will be able to enhance each of our customer’s journeys as they take flight with Castle Aviation. I couldn't be more proud of the accomplishments that this group has provided. Thank you to the group of students that thought outside the Castle Aviation "freight boxes" to make this vision a success story!” – Vanessa Cicora, Director of Marketing and Corporate Recruiter, Castle Aviation


Center for Aviation Studies / Airport Management Curriculum Development

Image of project group team members
Ohio State project group team members

The aim of this project was to develop a competitive industry-recognized curriculum for a specialty in airport aviation management, which would complement an accompanying air transportation or aviation engineering degree through the Center for Aviation Studies. Draft curriculum delivered consisted of five courses designed to satisfy all required subject material evaluated as part of the AAAE accreditation process.

Team members Dylan Consbruck, Cameron Campbell, Devin Frye, Jacques Gautier and Stephanie Miller were enthusiastic about the project outcome. “Our team is thankful for the challenge and the experience and hope that our work will inspire and assist CAS in developing the specialization for future students!”


Columbus Regional Airport Authority / Vehicle Fleet Decision-Making Tool

Image of an airport operations vehicle in a parking garage

Centered on developing a Microsoft Excel-based objective decision-making model, the project output is intended to be used to rate vehicles for KCMH airport operations. Decision criteria were developed by assessing vehicles currently in use by KCMH airport personnel and by personnel at other similar airports located in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan.

“This project has been an invaluable opportunity for us to learn to connect our theoretical knowledge of the aviation industry with the pragmatic operations and their needs that take place in real world situations," said team members Wade Boardman, Zoe Karan, Tia Schiaretta, Jacob Yost and Shen Zhou. "We are grateful to have been able to work with and learn from Josh at the CRAA as well as contacts from many other airport operations teams.”

Sponsor: “The final Vehicle Decision Making Model the team provided far exceeded my expectations and will be immediately implemented into our vehicle purchasing program.” – Joshua Burger, Supervisor, Airport Operations, Columbus Regional Airport Authority


Federal Aviation Administration / AvSTEM Project

Image of someone blindfolded and sitting on a swivel chair, holing a pencil
Lesson plans are interactive

The objective of this project was to create three 45-minute lesson plan designs containing a PowerPoint presentation and experiential classroom activity with accompanying resource list. Each lesson plan was designed with notes to aid the presenter in adjusting the material to properly engage a K-12 audience.

“We learned the arduous process of creating lesson plans and classroom activities for people with no prior knowledge of our topics and along the way we gained a deeper appreciation for teachers of all grade levels,” shared team members Christian Nestingen, Godwill Avowlanou, Daniel Moran and Barrett Gardner.



Future and Active Pilot Advisors / Building Databases

Image of a collage of subitted team member photos

With an aim to develop two new databases and update one existing database, the project enhanced services provided by the sponsor. New databases were the FAR Part 135 Operators (5 to 19 aircraft) and the Principle Operations Inspector; the updated list was the Fortune 500 Flight Departments.

Team members Alexander Evans, Conner Maloy, Thomas Ramsey, Kyle Sanders and William Phillis gained insight during the project. “Alongside networking with industry professionals, the group's eyes were opened to a world of opportunities that exist for professional aviators outside of more traditional pathways to the airlines.”


Imperial Aviation / Marketing Strategy

Graphic of a map of Ohio with 10 aiports identified

Enhancing Imperial Aviation’s marketing program was the objective of this project. Research focused on developing a thorough understanding of the company’s marketing strategy and performing a SWOT analysis, in addition to several marketing deliverables.

"It's incredible to connect within the aviation industry; everyone is willing to share their knowledge and help as much as they can," said team members Sam Bloch, Bobby Brokamp, Steven Prebonick, Brendan Hammond and Mohamad Rafiq Bin Nor Azman.

Sponsor: “Working with the Aviation 4500 Capstone again for another semester is a rewarding feeling to give back and stay connected with my alma mater. Being an alumnus of this great program and giving opportunities to the future professionals of the industry, like former alumni graduates did for myself, is what makes the Aviation program at The Ohio State University so unique.” – Carlos Muller, CEO


The Ohio State University Airport / Non-Aeronautical Development

Image of aerial view of the land adjacent to KOSU
Aerial view of land adjacent to KOSU airfield

Preparing a comprehensive report on the proper and legal usage of the non-aeronautical land available for development at The Ohio State University Airport was the objective of this project. After researching the regulations put forth by the FAA, assessing the successes and failures of other projects at other airports and analyzing the best land on the 1073.6 acre FAA regulated property to use, the team made recommendations and justified the practical and financial benefits that the airport can achieve.

"Working closely with KOSU Airport Director Adam Wolf, we now understand that development on this airport property, in particular, takes many steps to complete," said team members Christian Studt, Ishwar Shreram, Jacob Hall, Bethany Nemets and Stuart Decker. "[It requires] the approval of not only the FAA, but the City of Columbus, the Governor of Ohio and the university who all play a key role in assuring that the development is safe, legal and abides by all the official governance."


USA Jet Airlines / Human Trafficking Resources

Image of the team's project poster
Team poster

This was the third in a series of projects designed to facilitate the development of a channel connecting human trafficking victims rescued to resources available to prepare those interested for an aviation career and aviation career opportunities. The channel developed will help more women and individuals from underrepresented minorities pursue aviation careers.

Group: “We learned in depth about the barriers survivors of human trafficking have during integration back into society. Because the aviation industry appears to be exclusive to many, the team wanted to show that anyone can be a part of it," shared team members Noelle Dzurnak, Frank Szczerba, Ally Gilbert, Brennan Foran and Alanis Sakuma.



Interested in learning more about sponsorship? Contact Tom Schaner at Are you a prospective student desiring more information about academic programs? Request information here.

Tag: Industry