LiveBIG Staff, December 19, 2015

In-Game Banner

During football and basketball games, BTN LiveBIG will spotlight notable examples of research, innovation and community service from around the conference. In-Game stories will provide more background on these features, and the opportunity to view the videos again.

For most people, having airplanes constantly taking off and landing close by wouldn?t make for ideal learning conditions. But for Purdue University grad student Amadou Anne, it?s heaven.

?It?s just great to just be in this environment, especially if you like planes, like I do,? said Anne, who?s studying aerospace and aviation management at Purdue?s Hangar of the Future. ?I mean, not many universities have their own airports and operate them on this scale like we do, so it?s just awesome.?

Maintained by the university?s Aviation Technology Department, the Hangar of the Future provides a space for experiential learning, in which students can get hands-on with the latest aviation maintenance and safety technologies. That involves working on several operational aircraft, including a Boeing 727 formerly belonging to FedEx.

[btn-post-package]?We actually work on that plane pretty much every week,? Anne said. ?[We] get in there, take out some parts, replace them, operate the airplane ? It?s a really great learning experience compared to just sitting in the classroom most of the time. I learn much better like this, with [my] hands on the objects - actually making them work, fixing them, taking them apart, etc.?

For Tim Ropp, professor of aeronautical engineering technology and head of Hangar of the Future, the goal is to provide an education that endures long after students leave campus.

?We try to prepare a student leader to work on smart aircraft,? he explained. ?We extend that learning and research capability to make them leaders in the industry, so they don?t come out just with a degree. They come out as makers, as doers, as problem-solvers.?

Watch the one-minute video above to see how Hangar of the Future is helping Purdue students? aviation careers get off the ground.

By Brian Summerfield