HomeEconomyLocal NewsSixth Annual Aerospace Forum Set for November

Sixth Annual Aerospace Forum Set for November

The sixth annual Oklahoma Aerospace Forum will return to Oklahoma City Wednesday, Nov. 8, when Oklahoma’s aerospace community will gather to hear industry leaders discuss a variety of topics, including the state of aerospace, emerging technologies, workforce and space.

Retired U.S. Navy Commander and former NASA astronaut John B. Herrington is set to deliver the keynote address. Born in Wetumka, Oklahoma, Commander John Herrington is a Chickasaw Hall of Fame inductee, hailed as the first Native American in space.

As a skilled naval aviator and test pilot, he boasts over 5,000 flight hours across 30-plus aircraft types, including a 330-plus-hour space journey aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, conducting nearly 20 hours of space walks. Beyond space, he cycled 4,200 miles across the U.S. in 2008 to promote STEM interest among Native American youth, showcasing his commitment to education and exploration.

Retired U.S. Navy Commander and former NASA astronaut John B. Herrington
Retired U.S. Navy Commander and former NASA astronaut John B. Herrington. Photo provided.

The event will continue with various panels featuring leaders in Oklahoma’s aerospace, defense and aviation industry. These panels include:

State of Aerospace in Oklahoma

The State of Aerospace in Oklahoma panel will provide an in-depth look at the current state of the aerospace industry in Oklahoma. Attendees will hear from industry leaders about the latest projects, new business developments and the economic impact of the aerospace sector on the state. This panel will also highlight Oklahoma’s commitment to innovation, research and development and the future growth of the industry.

Moderated by State Director of Aerospace and Defense Hopper Smith. Speakers include Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission State Director of Aeronautics Grayson Ardies, Commander of the 137th Special Operations Wing Colonel Jason ‘Dog’ Davis, Deputy Commander of the Air Force Sustainment Center G. Hall Sebren Jr. and vice president of base maintenance at American Airlines Greg Emerson.

Emerging Aerospace Technologies

The Emerging Technologies panel will give attendees a glimpse of the latest advancements and the future of aerospace technology. Panelists will discuss the latest developments in unmanned aerial vehicles, additive manufacturing and advanced materials, among other cutting-edge technologies. This panel is a crowd-pleaser for those interested in staying at the forefront of technological advancements in the industry.

Moderated by managing director at Acorn Growth Companies Gary Ambrose. Speakers include vice president of engineering at L3Harris Matt Steenman, technical fellow metal fabrication and joining Dr. Heath Misak, chief operating officer at The Longbow Group LLC Nicole Valentine and vice president of business development at WindShape Inc. Jay Shears.

Building Oklahoma’s Aerospace Workforce

Building Oklahoma’s Aerospace Workforce is a must-attend panel for anyone interested in the future of the aerospace, defense and aviation industry in Oklahoma. Expert panelists will share their insights into the challenges and opportunities of developing a highly skilled workforce. Attendees will learn about the various initiatives and programs in place to attract and retain top talent and how to build a pipeline of skilled workers for the industry’s future growth.

Moderated by president and CEO of the Oklahoma State Chamber Chad Warmington. Speakers include state Senator Adam Pugh, executive director of the Aviation Technician Education Council Crystal Maguire, executive director at Oklahoma Public School Resource Center Brent Bushey and apprenticeship program officer at Oklahoma Works Joe Cox.

Space and Aeronautics: The Final Frontier in Oklahoma

Space is the final frontier for Oklahoma’s aerospace industry; this panel will provide a comprehensive look at the state’s current space projects and plans. Attendees will hear from industry experts about the latest developments in space exploration, satellite technology and other space-related initiatives. This panel is a unique opportunity to learn about Oklahoma’s contribution to advancing space exploration and technology.

Moderated by executive director at Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority Craig Smith. Speakers include associate administrator for NASA ARMD Bob Pearce, president and CEO at Frontier Electronic Systems Brenda Rolls, former NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and chief engineer for Firehawk Aerospace Dr. Justin Karl.

The Oklahoma Aerospace Forum will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the Omni Oklahoma City Hotel from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This event is exclusive to those working in the aerospace, defense and aviation industries. The full schedule, additional details and tickets can be found online here.

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