Students Attend Air Safety Conference in Iceland

Andy Lichtenstein/Former Editor-in-Chief

Aviation safety leaders from around the world gathered in Iceland last month for the International Society of Air Safety Investigators’ annual conference. Commonly referred to as ISASI, this professional affiliation includes approximately 1,600 aviation safety professionals from manufacturers, airlines, unions, educational institutions, and government agencies abroad.

This year’s conference, themed “Every Link is Important,” hosted 309 professionals and students from 42 countries, including three students and one professor from the Daytona Beach campus.

I was fortunate enough to partake in this year’s conference alongside Carly Shoemake, an aviation safety minor, and Brent Curlee, a fellow Aerospace and Occupational Safety student. Anthony Brickhouse, Associate Professor of Aerospace and Occupational Safety, was also in attendance.

Embry-Riddle alumni from both campuses also joined us in Iceland. Some of these individuals were employed with Delta Airlines, the NTSB, the FAA, and the Icelandic Transportation Safety Board.

Other Organizations Present

  • Airbus
  • Boeing
  • Embraer
  • Southwest Airlines
  • ICAO
  • ALPA
  • Transport Canada
  • Transportation Safety Board of Canada
  • Australian Transportation Safety Bureau
  • Dutch Safety Board
  • French Office of Investigations and Analysis
  • Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the U.K.
  • Civil Aviation Authority
    of New Zealand

Every year, students are openly invited and encouraged to apply for the Rudolf Kapustin Scholarship. Named in memory of a Senior Investigator from the NTSB, the Kapustin Scholarship is awarded to a student who writes a superior essay addressing a challenge facing an air safety investigator in today’s industry.

This year saw five Kapustin winners, including Carly Shoemake, an aspiring air safety investigator from the Daytona Beach campus. Four other students represented the University of Southern California, Cranfield University in the United Kingdom, and the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

These students were able to discuss their topics and solutions in front of industry leaders, and field inquiries through a brief question and answer session that followed their presentations.

In addition to listening to technical and industry presentations, this year’s conference allowed for some magnificent exploring and adventuring.

Iceland is quite unique in its landscape, weather, wildlife and culture. There are dozens of waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes, and black sand beaches free to enjoy, all within a short driving distance from the capital city of Reykjavik. If you have a passion for aviation safety, are interested in networking, and love exploring the world, ISASI is your organization.

ISASI has a student chapter for the Daytona Beach campus, which usually meets on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. in the CoA, Room 350.

Guest speakers and alumni come back to share their experiences as aviation safety professionals. These on-campus networking opportunities have routinely resulted in internships and full-time jobs for students. Carly, Brent, and I will be sharing our professional experiences and Icelandic adventures on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. in CoA 350.

Combined dues for the student chapter and international organization total less than $100 per year. However, dues for the student chapter are only $20 per semester, and you need not be a member of the international organization to benefit from these on-campus opportunities.

A student membership will also allow you to participate in field trips to Delta Airlines in Atlanta and the NTSB in Washington, D.C. The student chapter’s primary objective is to connect students with industry professionals. Please consult Professor Brickhouse, the ISASI Advisor, for inquiries regarding the student chapter or how to join the international organization.

ISASI’s next annual conference will be held in August 2017 in San Diego, California. Details about ISASI, how to apply for the Kapustin Scholarship, and information regarding the annual conference can be found at