'Re-Defining Ohio Skies' topic of 2023 Ohio Air Mobility Symposium

panel discussion at Ohio Stadium
Col. Joe Zeis, far right, senior advisor for aerospace and defense, Office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, participated in the "Ohio Initiatives" panel discussion.

The third annual Ohio Air Mobility Symposium, Re-Defining Ohio Skies: Investments in Innovation, was held on the campus of The Ohio State University March 29-30, 2023. Led by a team of students driven to further advanced air mobility, this year’s gathering focused on Ohio’s investments in workforce development, infrastructure and regulatory framework across the rapidly growing industry.

"Ohio is the shining star in the bright future of advanced air mobility, as evidenced at the 2023 Ohio Air Mobility Symposium here at Ohio State last week," said Director Chris Johnson, a fourth-year student in aviation and computer science engineering.

The symposium convened leadership from academia, industry, government and other organizations with the intention of keeping Ohio on the cutting edge of advanced air mobility. An exploration of how this fast-paced sector can continue fostering equitable and safe air mobility solutions was another aim of the event.

“The use cases of the next generation of aircraft are still being developed, but it is clear that they are going to be a critical part of everyone’s future,” said Brian Strzempkowski, interim director of Ohio State’s Center for Aviation Studies. “This symposium allows that future to come to fruition by giving everyone a space to share ideas and collaboratively solve challenges.”

Ayanna Howard, dean of The Ohio State University College of Engineering
Ayanna Howard, dean of The Ohio State University College of Engineering, presented during the "Workforce Development" panel.

“The Center for Aviation Studies is honored to be a part of these conversations and work with industry to transform our curriculum for the jobs of the future.”

An afternoon of industry insights, panels, and speakers on the first day of the event was followed by a student research showcase, exhibitor booths and engaging networking activities at Ohio Stadium. Day two activities featured four panel discussions and multiple keynote speakers at the university’s Fawcett Center.

Among a long list distinguished presenters were Adam Holmes, Ohio House of Representatives District 97; Jeffrey Vincent, executive director of the FAA UAS Integration Office for Aviation Safety; Col. Joe Zeis, senior advisor for aerospace and defense, Office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine; Starr Ginn, NASA Advanced Air Mobility lead strategist; Ayanna Howard, dean of The Ohio State University College of Engineering; and many CEOs and founders of advanced air mobility companies and related organizations.

Three students talking at a research table
Ohio State student research was showcased at the event

Event sponsors were JobsOhio, Technology for Energy Corporation, Crown, Ohio University Russ College of Engineering and Technology, and Parallax Advanced Research.

Johnson and his team were pleased with the symposium’s success. “The takeaway was unanimous – the  AAM [advanced air mobility] world is a significant emerging industry, and events like this drive the development and collaboration of technologies, policy and innovation for the future," he said.

To learn more about future opportunities, including the 2024 symposium, register for the group’s email distribution list by clicking here.

OAM leadership team
Student leadership team, left to right: Rebekah Akintade, doctoral student, aerospace engineering; David Mapunda, doctoral student, aerospace engineering; Cami Herman, aerospace engineering; Max Hutchins, finance; Chris Johnson, aviation and computer science engineering; Claire McGuinness, strategic communications and international studies; Jackson Clough, air transportation; Linda Hall, graduate student, welding engineering

by Holly Henley, communications specialist