Speaker Series fosters continued learning, intellectual stimulation

Speaker Series fosters continued learning, intellectual stimulation

U.S. Naval Test Pilot School instructor Dr. John Tritschler, right, congratulates Vahana design engineer Ananth Sridharan after his presentation Feb. 6 on the Vahana autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School fosters a culture of learning, innovation, and intellectual stimulation not only through the use of traditional education methods, but also through non-goal oriented, elective learning opportunities such as our quarterly Speaker Series.

Organized in partnership with the NAVAIR College of Test & Evaluation, the speaker series provides 60-90 minute lectures on a broad array of interesting topics such as the pioneering Vahana autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, which was presented Feb. 6 by Vahana design engineer Ananth Sridharan.

While military organizations need well-defined learning goals to advance unit mission agendas, individuals also need space for intellectual decompression, diversion, and contemplation to keep their minds sharp and their focus tight. A broad and diverse set of learning experiences makes our teams more productive within our institutions, enables them to enjoy work more, creates happiness, and often leads to better solutions. People’s interests are naturally multi-dimensional, and our organizations need to recognize that in order to engage their full participation.

At USNTPS, our people can generate their own path to learning more while still meeting the demanding requirements of our flight-test curriculum. Those paths are not watched, tracked, graded, or evaluated. We have seen that staff and students alike value this approach; it contributes positively to our culture, fosters collaboration, and creates unit cohesiveness. They do not “run rogue,” nor do they forget about the mission — and they end up staying longer.