KU instructor Pierre Trudel has worked in both private and public sectors on missiles, spacecrafts, small airplanes and large transport airplanes during his 31 years in the aerospace industry, but his love of flying and outer space goes back even farther. As a child, Trudel dreamed of becoming an astronaut. He attended the Florida Institute of Technology, majoring in physics and space sciences, to be close to the Kennedy Space Center, where he got his first job after graduation.
He learned to fly airplanes, earning his pilot’s license, as well as to scuba dive, because it was “the closest thing to space that I could do affordably,” said Trudel.
Trudel’s first experience teaching was as a scuba instructor, and as he advanced in his aerospace career, he also became a mentor to new engineers. Seeing the lack of understanding of how to design for system safety inspired Trudel to develop systems safety training classes at the companies where he worked.
“My goal has been to educate and help companies understand the benefits of developing a design that includes both functionality and systems safety principles early on so that they have an easier and less expensive time demonstrating the safety of their design,” said Trudel.
Trudel’s passion for educating others led to his current position at KU. He also works as a system safety unit member at Boeing in Seattle, Washington.
His upcoming course, System Safety Assessment for Commercial Aircraft Certification in San Diego and Seattle, helps fill a need in our society for aircrafts that are seen by the public as being the benchmark of safety. The viability of the aerospace industry relies on public confidence in aircraft safety, says Trudel, and the security of the operator and users are always top of mind.
“This industry has no margin for error,” said Trudel. “I work on every airplane thinking it could be my wife or children on board.”
Trudel’s classes attract aerospace professionals from all over the world, in a variety of occupations, including management, certification professionals, regulatory personnel and engineers. They all come with a common goal: to understand the approach to developing a compliant design.
KU’s Aerospace Short Course program is developing into a very specialized one-stop approach to understanding aircraft certification, says Trudel. He is particularly proud to be part of a team of instructors that has experience in every key aspect of aircraft development.
“A lot of KU’s instructors are still very involved in the industry, which allows us to bring the latest and greatest information to our students,” said Trudel. “We’re part of a team that has tremendous experience in a field that is growing exponentially.”
The flexibility KU offers through widely available online courses and a willingness to work with individual companies is a notable benefit that Trudel believes sets KU apart from other organizations that provide similar training.
“I admire KU’s willingness to adapt the course so they can reach as many professionals in the industry as possible,” said Trudel.