William Rankin is currently an Associate Professor in the College of Aeronautics at Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne Florida. Prior to this position he served as the Chair and Professor of the Department of Aviation at the University of Central Missouri, and as an Assistant Professor of Aviation at Florida Memorial University in Miami, Florida. He was an Airport Director for 29 years and the Deputy Director of Aviation for the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. Prior to his position in Fort Lauderdale, he was the Director of Aviation for the El Paso International Airport, Texas; the Director of Operations, Washington National Airport, Washington, DC; Director of the Eastern Iowa Regional Airport, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Manager of Smith-Reynolds Airport, Winston-Salem, NC. He has a PhD in Business Administration from Northcentral University, Prescott, Arizona. In addition, William is an Accredited Airport Executive in the American Association of Airport Executives and has a Commercial Pilot and Advanced Ground Instructor License.
William grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, the Rocket City and home of NASA's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center. It was in Huntsville that he met some of the greatest scientists of our era, including Dr. Werner von Braun. It was also in Huntsville that he was introduced to flying and astronomy. As a result of those interests, astrophotography has become more than a hobby to him. It is a passion.
Past Events Hosted By This Ambassador:
Discovery of the Solar System Florida Memorial University
Exploring Space - The Early Years Florida Memorial University
The Mars Exploration Rovers - Two Tales of Discovery Florida Memorial University
Comparsion of Histroic Exploration with Contemporary Ploicy 100 Year Starship Public Symposi
Space Weather and the Sun University of Central Missouri
Past Events Collaborated On By This Ambassador:
Jupiter - The Gas Giant of Winter Dark Skies Observatory