Resources for Applicants & Students


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Career paths: from the classroom to the FAA (p. 16)

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Resources for Applicants

As part of the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center, the Airport Technology Research and Development (ATR) Branch is leading world-class research in aviation safety and technology. 

Typical candidates have experience in airport operations, private industry, or research, or possess advanced degrees in aviation or engineering fields. Target degrees or experience include aerospace engineer, aviation management, civil engineer, data scientist, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer.

Our diverse portfolio of work calls for skills across many disciplines. Learn more in the Staff Summaries below.


Mike DiPilato, Florida Institute of Technology | BS in Aviation Management


Mike’s current research includes testing different optical red-green-blue (RGB) cameras. Imagery from these cameras is tested against the imagery collected from traditional analysis methods. ​


The goal is to identify the optimum imagery resolution to identify pavement distress and make landing safer. Mike also leads research on the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the airport environment.​


Areas of impact:


Darian Byrd, Rochester Institute of Technology | BS in Electrical Engineering


Darian began his career with FAA as an intern. (Scroll down for internship opportunities!) He now works on solar powered lighting systems for use at smaller airports, which lack the electrical infrastructure of large airports.​


Areas of impact:








Lauren Vitagliano, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University | MS in Aeronautical Science


Lauren’s research on airport design improves safety by preventing runway incursions. Lauren also works closely with research partners to improve airport sustainability by addressing the environmental and noise impacts of aviation.


Areas of impact:






Resources for Students


Internship Opportunities & Recent Graduate Programs


Don’t want a boring job after finishing school? See what the ATR has to offer! ​



Visit FAA Students for more information​.