Francis Tuttle, OU to expand aerospace class offerings with new courses

Published: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 By: Chamber Staff Source: The POINT!

Oklahoma has a longstanding legacy of aerospace innovation. To stay ahead of the demand, two schools are expanding their curriculum by creating additional courses designed to produce students whose expertise will further cement the state as a national leader in the industry.

Francis Tuttle Technology School is adding to its class offerings with composite materials and aircraft mechanical courses this fall. The University of Oklahoma is launching new graduate programs in aerospace and defense through the Price College of Business beginning in fall 2020.

Francis Tuttle’s Nick Powell, who serves as the aerospace workforce program developer, has overseen the technology center’s rapid growth over the years.

“We are excited to offer these new courses and expand the options available for aerospace industry workers,” Powell said. “By offering classes on the cutting edge of aerospace technology, we are ensuring that the training received will be beneficial, both for the short-term in and for the long-term future of Oklahoma’s aerospace industry.”

Composite materials such as fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Kevlar are lighter, more fuel-efficient, resistant to corrosion, and, in many cases, stronger. Francis Tuttle will incorporate the composite curriculum into a currently running program to create the Aircraft Sheet Metal & Composites Program.

“There is a need to hire even more skilled aircraft technicians with the industry continuing to grow, and new technologies developed,” Powell said. “Our goal is to create a composites curriculum that can train an individual with no aircraft composites background, and upon completion, have the qualification level for entry-level placement.”

At Francis Tuttle, the aircraft electrician course will cover high-level wire routing throughout an aircraft, tripping, pinning, soldering, electrical blueprints, hardware and fasteners, and many other aspects about aircraft electrical systems.

“Modern aircraft can have up to 200 miles of wire running throughout the craft,” Powell said. “These planes will undoubtedly need maintenance, repair, or modifications throughout their lifetimes, requiring a skilled electrician to perform the work.”

Powell and Francis Tuttle’s workforce and economic development (WED) team will work with aerospace organizations in Oklahoma to assess their workforce training needs, then quickly create targeted training programs to fill the gap. The curriculum is either specified to a company’s detailed job description/analysis or, many times, to more generic, regionally needed skills. The WED team’s primary role is to encourage economic growth by providing continuous support to the roots of the aerospace industry.

Francis Tuttle networks not only with industry professionals but also governmental

Back to top