Raymond Thompson

Photo of Raymond Thompson
Raymond Thompson (Ray)
(269) 964-8020
(269) 964-6473
Mailing address: 
College of Aviation
Western Michigan University
209 Helmer Road N
Battle Creek MI 49037-7917 USA

Dr. Thompson has been affiliated with aviation and aerospace education since 1981, specifically aircraft technical education, advanced composite materials, and airline maintenance management. Dr. Thompson is now serving as dean of the College of Aviation at Western Michigan University. Primary responsibilities include leading faculty and staff to accomplish the mission, vision and goals of the college and institution, focused on highlighting the college as the aviation capital of the Midwest.  Prior to his current position, Dr. Thompson served as interim dean and as the associate dean who’s primary responsibilities included curriculum, development of graduate programs, increasing college research, assessment, accreditation and strategic planning.  Before joining WMU in November 2009, Dr. Thompson was Program Manager of Aerospace at Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research (KUSTAR), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  During the 2007-2008 academic year, he was Founding Dean of the College of Aero & Astro Sciences at Dubai Aerospace Enterprise University (DAEU) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  At DAEU, Dr. Thompson oversaw the development of new undergraduate and graduate programs in aviation, aerospace, and engineering science as well as building the underlying structure at this new university.  Previously at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, United States, he developed numerous courses and associated instructional materials.  As founder of the AOT Advanced Composite Laboratory, he oversaw the most comprehensive applied aviation composite program in the United States.  Named the "ATEC National Outstanding Aviation Maintenance Educator of the Year" in 1993, and Outstanding Tenured Professor in 1999, 2001, and 2006 due to his development of applied composite education and airline maintenance management, he has also designed and fabricated numerous projects such as an experimental holder for a NASA shuttle Get-away Special project, Purdue Solar Racer, and SAE Formula Car.  Interdisciplinary and Industrial outreach activities include joint coursework and projects with Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering, SAE, SME, ASM, and numerous air carriers.  Dr. Thompson led the Aeronautical Technology (aerospace maintenance & manufacturing) area from 1997 – 2003 and has served as both Assistant (1996-2005) and Associate Department Head (2005-2007) of Aviation Technology at Purdue University – West Lafayette, and Director at the Indianapolis Statewide location (2003-2005).  Dr. Thompson's research areas include aviation maintenance faculty development, using technology and multimedia in the classroom, applied advanced composite technology, and airline maintenance management.  Dr. Thompson chaired the 2007-2008 FAA Part 147 Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) and chairs the current FAA Part 147 Working Group.  Dr. Thompson is currently serving as an Educator Board of Trustee member for Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI).  His AABI focus is to promote the aviation maintenance profession and increase AABI accreditation in aviation maintenance technology programs.