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Dr. Ernest W. Maurer

Dr. Maurer is the recipient of the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for “50 years of exemplary aviation flight experience, distinguished professionalism, and steadfast commitment to aviation safety.” As Orange Coast College’s Professor Emeritus of Aviation and Space, he has taught aviation and space courses at the college level since 1978. Dr. Maurer was one of the first proponents of offering space courses at the college level, when he foresaw how GPS and the glass cockpit of NASA’s Shuttle Orbiter, would spinoff to today’s commercial and general aviation flight deck displays and flight management systems. He developed from scratch and taught numerous online and in-person aviation and space courses as an adjunct associate professor of Aviation in the graduate MAS program for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University from 1999 until 2019. He is an active pilot who owned the same Cessna R172 for over 21 years and has been flying since 1969. Dr. Maurer is the holder of a Commercial Certificate-Airplane SE Land & Sea, Multi-engine Land, Instrument Airplane, Glider; Rotorcraft-Helicopter, Cessna Citation CE-500 rating, FEX(w), and Remote Pilot (sUAS). Dr. Maurer is a Certified Flight Instructor (CFII & MEI) and holds Advanced and Instrument Ground Instructor ratings. He is the author of The Dream Is Alive: Space Flight and Operations in Earth Orbit (Geosync, ©1991). His current research interests screening and training of commercial and tourist astronaut candidates, new curriculum for Career and Technical Education in K-14, and applying Crew Resource Management techniques to hospital staff in the ER and ICU, and utilizing the lessons learned from NASA’s Aviation Safety and Reporting System to improve patient outcomes.


Maurer grew up in Parma, Ohio graduating from Cuyahoga Community College in 1972 and went on to Kent State University where he received his B.S. in Education in 1973. He received his Master of Arts in Technology in 1976. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1986 in Organizational and Administrative Studies in Higher Education with a cognate in Computer Information Systems at the Anderson Graduate School of Management. Dr. Maurer served as Orange Coast’s Dean of Technology and Dean of Career Education from 1984 until 1995; his dissertation on the obstacles to the Implementation of Computer-aided Instruction helped define the data and network specifications for the OCC's $11 million Technology Center, construction of which he oversaw.


Dr. Maurer is committed to diversity in the educational arena and has participated in four annual technical workshops in the Republic of China, sponsored by Community Colleges for International Development, both as project team leader and lecturer. For this work, he received four citations from the Taiwan Minister of Education. He serves as a consultant to the aerospace industry and has written many articles and commentaries on the space program in addition to lecturing to community groups about the U.S. space program.

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Co-op engineering program at GM Flint 

   General Motors Institute (Kettering)

A.A. Cuyahoga Community College

B.S., Education, Kent State University

M.A., Technology, Kent State University

Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles

  Higher Education Administration;

  Cognate in Anderson School - Computer Info Systems


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