Director and Associate Professor of Aeronautics
Juan Merkt has been involved in aviation education for 15 years as a flight instructor, faculty, and administrator in university aviation programs in the USA. For the past seven years Dr. Merkt has been involved in aviation accreditation and is currently serving a third term in the board of trustees and first term as secretary of the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI), the agency that establishes academic and training standards for college aviation programs world-wide. Through his active involvement in AABI accreditation visiting teams, and as chair of the Criteria and International Committees, Dr. Merkt has gained hands-on experience in evaluating aviation education and training programs. He also serves in the board of directors of the North Florida Business Aviation Association (NFBAA) as director of educational programs. Dr. Merkt is a member of the Air Force Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Academy of Model Aeronautics, Florida Aviation Historical Society, National Association of Flight Instructors, University Aviation Association, and is a former senior member of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol. He has fourteen years of experience in biological research funded in part by grants from the Canadian National Research Council and the U.S. National Science Foundation. His current research interests include human limitations and safety in the flight environment. Dr. Merkt serves as a reviewer in the Journal of Air Transportation, Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education and Research, and the Collegiate Aviation Review. In 2006, he co-founded Aviation Education Consultants (AEC) to help promoting aviation and aerospace education and training. Recently, AEC has assisted magnet schools in aviation curriculum development, course design, and selection of flight simulation equipment. Dr. Merkt is fluent in English and Spanish.
His academic credentials include a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University and his aviation qualifications include FAA Commercial Pilot and Ground and Gold Seal Flight Instructor Certificates with over 1400 hours of pilot in command and 1000 hours as flight instructor.