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January 24, 2013

Manoj Patankar



Manoj Patankar’s career in aviation and education spans a period of more than two decades. Throughout the course of his career, he has shown that he is committed to his students, to his industry, and to serving the general public. Patankar has been recognized as a leader in his field. He’s won several awards and has made strides in the world of education and aviation.


His Own Education


No great educator is born that way. Manoj Patankar has to work hard to get to where he is today. Patankar’s education began in Mumbai, India. There, he attended the Aeronautical Training Center. In 1989, he earned his diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering from the school.


After finishing at the Aeronautical Training Center, Patankar traveled to the United States. He enrolled at the St. Louis University,  Missouri, where he earned a bachelor of science in Aeronautics. He then attended the University of Central Missouri, where he completed a master of science in Aviation  Safety. Dedicated to learning as much as he could, Manoj Patankar decided to enroll at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education.


In addition to his  degrees, Patankar continued to study and research in his field. His papers and presentations have won him a number of accolades and awards. In 2001, the University Aviation Association awarded him the Sorenson Best Paper Award. He also received the Sorenson award for Excellence in Aviation Research and Scholarship in 2004 from the University Aviation Association.


2004 was a big year for Patankar. Saint Louis University presented him with the Presidential Citation for Excellence in Research. He also received the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Book Award from the Jesuit Honor Society that same year. In 2008, Saint Louis University also presented him with the Grant Winner Award for Excellence in Research.


Teaching Career


Patankar’s career as a teacher began while he was still in school. In 1991, he worked as an instructional assistant in Aviation Electronics at Saint Louis University. When he entered the graduate program at the University of Central Missouri, he worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Power and Transportation.


His teaching career took off after he earned his master’s degree. From 1993 until 2001, he rose through the teaching ranks at the San Jose State University in California. He began teaching at the college as an Assistant Professor of Aviation. In 1999, he was  tenured and promoted to the position of Associate Professor. Subsequently, he  became the Aviation Program Coordinator.


During his time at the school, he taught a range of subject areas, including power plants, systems and avionics. In total, he taught 15 different courses over the span of his career at the school. As the program coordinator, he acted as a mentor to students, dealt with the department’s budget, and worked on increasing enrollment in the program.


Saint Louis University


After his time at San Jose State University, Manoj Patankar returned to Saint Louis University, where he became the Graduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Aviation Science. He also helped establish the school’s PhD program. Today, it’s one of only two PhD programs in Aviation in the US.


As the Program Coordinator, Patankar has several remarkable achievements. He prepared and managed noteworthy budgets, established several educational conferences, and started the country’s first completely online master’s program in aviation safety management. He earned tenure at Saint Louis University in 2002.


He held the position of Graduate Program Coordinator from 2002 to 2004. After that, he was promoted to the position of full professor and then became the department chair in Aviation Science. As the chair, he had the responsibility of designing and planning the department’s curriculum. He also managed the department’s staff and faculty members.


In previous positions, he had demonstrated his ability to create effective budgets and financial plans. As the Aviation Science department chair, Patankar had the responsibility for developing and overseeing the department’s multi-million dollar budget. His department’s budget included two research programs that were funded by the Federal Aviation Administration.


Patankar has continued to move up the ranks at Saint Louis University. He became the Dean of the Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. In 2009, he was selected  to the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at the school.


Manoj Patankar: Other Contributions


Patankar has shown himself to be a leader not only in the classroom or in an academic setting. He’s also demonstrated his leadership and knowledge on the page. He’s written more than 50 publications for academics. He’s also written four textbooks and has written texts that focus on aviation safety. In addition to mastering writing, Patankar has shown talent and skill in language. He’s able to communicate in six different languages.


One of his texts is called Safety Culture: Building and Sustaining a Cultural Change in Aviation and Healthcare. He wrote the book with a team of co-authors. The textbook outlines a “Safety Culture Pyramid,” which provides instruction on four levels of safety culture: value, strategies, climate and performance of safety at work.


Another book written by Patankar and his team is Safety Ethics. The text is designed not only for those in the aviation industry, but also for hospitals, the occupational health and environmental health industry. The book asked students and other readers to examine safety  not only from a risk management standpoint, but also from an ethical standpoint.


Working with James C. Taylor, Patankar wrote and published a pair of books in 2004. The first book, Risk Management and Error Reduction in Aviation Management, was intended to improve safety in the field. It examined how human error reduces the mechanical safety of aircraft. The book was published alongside of a supplemental text, Applied Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance: A Practical Guide to Improving Safety. The supplement outlines techniques aircraft personnel can use to reduce hazardous conditions on planes and other aircraft.


As the author of several practical guides to the aviation industry, Manoj Patankar has demonstrated his influence in the field of aviation. His reach extended beyond the classroom and world of academia. By focusing on safety, Manoj Patankar has helped to make the world a bit of a safer place for anyone who flies. 


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