Embry-Riddle Student Wins FAA Researcher Award

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Embry-Riddle student Daniel J. Halperin has been named the FAA Student Researcher of the Year in the FAA's Center of Excellence (COE) for General Aviation.

The FAA established the COE for General Aviation in 2001, with Embry-Riddle as the lead institution. Halperin competed against students from the other COE for General Aviation member schools – Florida A&M University, University of Alaska, University of North Dakota, and Wichita State University – to win this FAA award that recognizes outstanding achievement in transportation research and education.

The FAA program director of the COE for General Aviation, Dr. Pat Watts, honored Halperin at a recent ceremony on the University's Daytona Beach campus.

Halperin, a 20-year-old senior who's pursuing a B.S. in Applied Meteorology with a Research concentration, has been active at Embry-Riddle with the Center for General Aviation Research (CGAR), a research consortium of the Center of Excellence schools, industry, and government.

For CGAR, and under the supervision of Dr. Massoud Bazargan, chair of the Management, Marketing, and Operations Department in the University's College of Business, Halperin assisted an FAA-funded research project titled "Development of an Aviation Weather Database Highlighting Weather Encounters (Phase I)." This ongoing project meshes the talents of researchers from Embry-Riddle, Clemson University, and the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute.

"Although he's an undergraduate, Dan performed first-rate graduate-level work, collecting and analyzing data on selected cases in which general aviation pilots encountered hazardous weather," says Bazargan. "This consolidated data lays the groundwork for improving our understanding of how we can train pilots to keep a weather encounter from turning into an accident."

As a follow-up to his aviation weather research, Halperin co-authored a paper titled "Developing Proactive Methods for General Aviation Data Collection" that was submitted to the 80th annual Aerospace Medical Association conference.

Halperin is a past president of the local American Meteorological Society /National Weather Association student chapter and led a contingent of 12 students to the recent eighth annual AMS Student Conference. There he presented a paper titled "Lagrangian Satellite Imagery," detailing his proposal for a new kind of satellite image display that could more accurately analyze tropical weather systems.

Dr. John Lanicci, an associate professor of Applied Meteorology at Embry- Riddle and Halperin's advisor, nominated him for the FAA Student Researcher of the Year Award.

"As president of Chi Epsilon Pi, the national meteorology honor society, Dan initiated some innovative changes to the club," says Lanicci. "He got our students involved in the National Forecast Challenge for the first time ever and arranged for 25 students to receive SKYWARN training and certification from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Melbourne, FL. Our campus, which was struck by an F-2 tornado in December 2006, is now equipped with many newly certified storm spotters."

"I'm planning to attend graduate school for further study and research in applied meteorology," says Halperin. "As for my career plans, I'd like to contribute to our knowledge of tropical storms, ideally as a hurricane hunter."

Halperin is a graduate of Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton, FL.

For more information visit www.embryriddle.edu.