For Immediate Release

Release No. AOC 37-05
October 31, 2005
Contact: Holly Baker
Phone: (609) 485-6253


WASHINGTON, DC — The Federal Aviation Administration is presenting its 2005 Excellence in Aviation Research Awards to Richard Dolbeer, Ph.D., Coordinator of the Aviation Safety and Assistance Program for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Colin Drury, Ph.D., University of Buffalo Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering at the university, for their work in airport wildlife hazard mitigation and aviation maintenance human factors, respectively.

"This research makes a difference," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. "Doctor Dolbeer and Doctor Drury are enabling us to raise the bar for aviation safety."

Dolbeer is a world-renowned expert in airport wildlife hazard mitigation and pioneered applied research in the field. He created the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wildlife Service Aviation Research Project, an effort to reduce wildlife hazards to aviation. He also helped create the National Wildlife Strike Database, the most extensive and accurate database of its kind in the world. Dolbeer's work has led to major advancements in managing airport environments to reduce wildlife use. His efforts produced a dramatic reduction in aircraft collisions with birds at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and laid the foundation for subsequent work at more than 600 U.S. airports.

Drury is internationally recognized for his research in aviation maintenance human factors. He has been a key contributor to the FAA Human Factors in Maintenance Research and Development Program, conducting critical safety research since 1989. His research has spanned many critical topics in this area, including: visual and non-destructive inspection; the use of simplified English for maintenance technical documentation; the effectiveness of error investigation processes, and the effect of English as a second language on maintenance error. His current focus is on applying human factors and ergonomics theory to improve the task structure, environment and training facilities used in aviation maintenance. Drury has researched and written more than 300 publications covering industrial process control, quality control, aviation maintenance and safety.

This is the eighth year that the prestigious Excellence in Aviation Research Awards have been presented. The awards are given annually to individuals and/or institutions outside of the FAA whose research contributions have resulted in a significantly safer, more efficient national airspace system.

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