Laura Braunschmidt

Laura Braunschmidt, B.S., is a lecturer in the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her expertise spans various facets of the aviation industry, including corporate and cargo piloting, flight-training simulators and ground-school instruction, as well as multi engine training. Braunschmidt’s primary areas of interest center on the latest pilot- recruitment trends, emerging technological advancements in the aerospace sector, and effective strategies for promoting gender diversity in the aviation industry.  

With nearly a decade of professional experience, Braunschmidt has served as an educator and ground- school instructor, and holds a certification as a pilot. Her flight experience includes working as a commercial pilot for Air Wisconsin Airlines, and as a cargo and air- ambulance pilot for Kalitta Charters LLC. She is a certified ground instructor with a commercial single-engine seaplane rating and holds an airline- transport pilot certification. Braunschmidt’s teaching areas include flight/ground training, instrument flight simulation, and multiengine flight simulation.  

Aside from her teaching role, she is the faculty advisor for the collegiate chapter of Women in Aviation International. She previously served as the academic advisor for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at MSU Denver. 

Braunschmidt received her bachelor’’s degree in Aviation Science/Professional Pilot from Utah Valley University.  

Dagmar Kress

Richard Thurau

Mark Yoss

Mark Yoss, B.A., is the Lockheed Martin endowed director for the Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Yoss assists students with acquiring skills needed for rewarding careers in advanced manufacturing industries including both technical and soft skills. From 2015 to 2020, he served as the Lockheed Martin Focus School Advisor to MSU Denver, where he was instrumental in creating the curriculum for the advanced manufacturing sciences bachelor’s degree.

Yoss also helped to establish the Lockheed Martin co-op program, which has converted 75% of MSU Denver student participants into full-time employees at Lockheed Martin upon their graduation. In 2020, Yoss received the Cooperative Education and Internship Association Charles F. Kettering Award, which recognizes an employer from industry, business or government who provides outstanding resources and service to the cooperative education and internship field.

Prior to his current role at MSU Denver, Yoss was a production principal at Lockheed Martin and retired in 2021. He was responsible for the design, development, manufacturing, inspection and testing of space flight hardware/software for launch vehicles, communications satellites and interplanetary spacecraft products used by the United States Airforce, NASA and the National Reconnaissance Office. He also served as a manufacturing senior manager and strategically lead a 90-person operation to design, develop and produce critical electronics products.

Yoss is an advocate for STEM education, and in conjunction with Lockheed Martin he has helped organize events for K-12 schools throughout Colorado, including hosting an annual space day for elementary school children as well as a manufacturing day that provided a facility tour of Lockheed Martin to high school and college students.

Yoss received his bachelor’s degree in industry technology in 1983 from the Illinois State University.

Jeff Price

Jeffrey C. Price, M.A., is a professor in the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is considered one of the world’s leading experts in aviation security and served as an expert witness on the 9/11 case where terrorists attacked the U.S.

A former US Coast Guard Officer, Price started his aviation career in airport operations at Denver’s previous airport, Stapleton International, then was the assistant security director at Denver International Airport when the airport opened in 1995. He then went on to become the Airport Director at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, Colorado’s 3rd busiest airport.

Price has authored several certification programs on aviation security and airport management, in addition to being a regular contributor to Aviation Security International magazine. He is the lead author of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Certified Member body of knowledge, which is the baseline program for becoming an Accredited Airport Executive. Price also authored the “AAAE Airport Certified Employee-Security” program. He is the lead author of “Practical Aviation Security: Predicting and Preventing Future Threats” (now in its second edition) and “Airport Operations, Safety and Emergency Management.”

Price received a master’s in curriculum and instruction from Colorado Christian University and a bachelor’s of science in professional pilot from MSU Denver. He is a commercially certified pilot, a Certified Homeland Security Level I through ABCHS, a Certified Protection Professional through ASIS and a certified member of AAAE. Read Price’s blog for the latest insight into airport security related topics.

Jose Lopez

José López teaches in the Aviation & Aerospace Department. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from St Louis University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Tennessee Space Institute. He spent 23 years in the U.S. Air Force on active and reserve duty working in various areas including the Minuteman ICBM, on the engineering and operations of several classified spacecraft, the Defense Logistics Agency, and a final tour with the Air Force Space Command. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College in residence.

As a civilian, he worked for Raytheon and Lockheed- Martin. Upon retirement from the aerospace industry, he started teaching at MSU Denver. He was instrumental in designing Introduction to Space, a hands-on course which introduces students to the challenges of working in space, where students design, construct, launch and recover a simulated satellite via a weather balloon.

In 2010, López organized in Colorado the first competition of Rocky Mountain BEST (Boosting Engineering Science & Technology). BEST is a national organization that provides a free robotics competition to middle and high schools. He is now the Executive Director. BEST in Colorado grew from 10 teams in its first year to 69 teams in 2016 in 4 hubs or chapters. In 2017, a fifth hub was added in Colorado Springs and a Regional competition was approved by the parent organization BEST Robotics Inc. (BRI) headquartered at Auburn University.

Kevin Kuhlmann

Professor Kevin Kuhlmann is associate chair of aviation and aerospace science at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is the faculty adviser for students pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees as professional flight officers. Kuhlmann actively works with commercial airlines to establish cadet programs with MSU Denver to help aspiring pilots plan their transition from the classroom to the flight deck.

Kuhlmann expertise is in the area of commercial and military flight operations training, safety standards and human factors in flight operations. His research interest includes aviation safety, flight deck automation and navigation systems. Kuhlmann holds multiple Federal Aviation Administration pilot certifications including Flight Instructor and airline transport pilot, all with multi engine and instrument ratings.

Before joining the faculty at MSU Denver in 1994, he worked as commercial airline pilots for Horizon Air, a regional airline that is part of Alaska Air Group. A 30-year Air Force enlisted and officer veteran, Lieutenant Colonel Kuhlmann spent seven years as an aircraft commander and instructor pilot for the F-111A/D/F Aardvark, which is a supersonic variable sweep wing tactical fighter aircraft. His service spanned the Cold War, Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2009, Lt. Col. Kuhlmann deployed to serve at the Combined Air Operations Center on Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. He also served as a safety officer in the Air Force and conducted accident investigation duties.

A professor with a passion for both aviation safety and technology, he holds a master’s degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a bachelor’s in aviation training and management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Chad Kendall

Chad Kendall, M.A., is an associate professor and Federal Aviation Administration chief instructor in the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Kendall has over 20 years of experience in the aviation industry as an educator, researcher and FAA Part 141 chief instructor. His flight experience includes working as commercial airline pilot for American Eagle and PSA Airlines, as a corporate pilot and a flight instructor. Kendall teaching areas include flight/ground training, advanced systems, jet transition training, aviation curriculum and psychophysiology. In addition, Kendall is also the coach of the precision flight team at MSU Denver, which competes in the NIFA (National Intercollegiate Flying Association) organization against more than 80 universities nationally.

Kendall received his master’s degree in business administration in 2011 and his bachelor’s in aviation management and flight operations from Jacksonville University in 2004.

Dave Gingerich

Dave Gingerich, M.S., is an affiliate professor in the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Management at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Gingerich has been employed with Lockheed Martin since 1980 where he developed simulation software used to test the power and attitude control subsystems for two large, earth-orbiting spacecraft; developed spacecraft bus and instrument flight software for numerous planetary exploration missions and payloads, such as the Descent Imager, the Cassini-Huygens Probe and the Mars Observer Gamma Ray Spectrometer. In the early 1990s Gingerich was a member of the flight software development team for the marvelously successful and still flying Mars Global Surveyor.

In 1997, he started developing the payload and science flight software for the Stardust and Genesis missions and was asked to join the LMA Mission Operations team. In 2002, Gingerich implemented a change to the Stardust Navigation Camera flight software and was presented a Technical Excellence award for it from Lockheed Martin in 2003. He is also the recipient of several NASA Group Achievement awards.

Gingerich received a master’s in space operations management from Webster University in 2004, a master’s in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University in 1980 and a bachelor’s in mathematics in 1979 from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.

Jeff Forrest

Jeff Forrest, Ph.D., is the chair of the Aviation and Aerospace Science Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

He has been involved with designing and managing applied and basic research projects within the domains of aviation, aerospace, and Earth science for over 30 years. Forrest has served as a co-PI in several State of Colorado and NASA aerospace related grants. He established the Academy of STEM, Undergraduate Research program, the Aerospace Systems Engineering Technology program and leading the development and educational programming for unmanned aeronautical systems (UAV/UAS) at MSU Denver. Forrest also serves on the board of directors of the Colorado Division of Aeronautics.

He has co-authored several published books, including “Practical Airport Operations, Safety and Emergency Management” and “Practical Aviation Security.”

Forrest received his doctorate in computer and information science from NOVA Southern University, a master’s in space systems integration management from Webster University, a master’s in aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a bachelor’s in professional pilot from MSU Denver and a bachelor’s in geography and earth science from University of North Carolina. He holds numerous FAA pilot certifications and ratings, including serving as pilot in command of jet, glider and seaplane flight operations.