1. K-State home
  2. »K-State Salina
  3. »Professional Master of Technology
  4. »Dr. Kurt Barnhart

K-State Salina

Dr. Kurt Barnhart


Aviation Department Head and Applied Aviation Research Center Executive Director

Contact Information

Areas of Specialization/Research

  • Unmanned aircraft systems implementation and integration into the national airspace
  • Maintenance technician training standards
  • Human factors/aviation psychology
  • Crew Pairing
  • Cognitive style
  • Aviation Safety

Short Biography

In addition to guiding the Department of Aviation and the Applied Aviation Research Center, Dr. Kurt Barnhart is the president of the University Aviation Association. He is chairman of the Kansas Unmanned Aircraft Systems Consortium, a panel of members from Kansas industry, academia, and military that works to promote unmanned aircraft systems in the state of Kansas and beyond. He also is chairman of the Sullivan County Board of Aviation Commissioners. He has been with K-State Salina since July 2007.

Barnhart received the Sorenson Award for Scholarship Contributions to Aviation from the University Aviation Association. Kurt has also received the Master Instructor Award multiple times from the National Association of Flight Instructors.

He has completed Cessna Citation Co-pilot training and King Air B200 PIC training and has maintained a Certified Flight Instructor (CFII-MEI) rating, glider and seaplane pilot certificates, and the Federal Aviation Administration Flight Instructor rating continually since 1990. He completes the Inspection Authorization Renewal annually and attends the Aerospace Industry Advisory Board conference with the Department of Aerospace Technology at the College of Technology Air Traffic Control.

Barnhart provided airline maintenance recommendations to start-up airline Dolphin Express Airlines as a consultant. He developed the first-ever online option for aircraft mechanics to renew their inspection authorization. He has presented “sUAS and Emergency Response – A Strategy for Kansas and beyond” to the 11th annual TAAC (Technical Analysis and Applications Center) UAS conference, the largest conference of its kind in North America. He has also presented “Non-Verbal communication in the cockpit – implications of team transfer research” to 500 corporate pilots where flight departments from 84 of the top fortune 500 companies were represented.

On campus he has chaired the Mission Statement Reformulation Committee and the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Workload was a member of the Administrative Review Evaluation Committee. He was also chairman for the University Aviation Association Distance Learning Committee.

Barnhart served in the Army National Guard, 1Lt-2nd Armor Division, 38th Infantry Division, Combat Platoon Leader. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University, an M.B.A. in Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a B.S. in Aviation Technology from Purdue University, and an A.S. in Aviation Maintenance Technology from Vincennes University.