Kristy Kiernan

Assistant Professor, College of Aeronautics; Curriculum Chair, Department of Graduate Studies
Department of Graduate Studies
Worldwide College of Aeronautics
Worldwide campus

Kristy Kiernan joined the College of Aeronautics in 2017.  In her current position, she oversees the Master of Science in Unmanned System program - an exciting challenge that puts her in contact with amazing students and instructors on the cutting edge of the aerospace industry, as well as in the ground and maritime areas.  Her aviation career began in college when she earned her private pilots license while working part time at her local FBO.  After graduating from Coast Guard Officer Candidate School, she flew the Falcon 20 on search and rescue, drug interdiction, and law enforcement missions for twelve years.  While on active duty, she graduated from Aviation Safety Officer School, served as a Crew Resource Management curriculum developer, and as the Standardization Officer for the Falcon community.  She is co-author of the UAS Pilots Code of Conduct, a working group lead for the AUVSI Trusted Operator Program, and a member of the steering committee for the ANSI UAS Standardization Collaborative.  Her current research interests are in safety and risk management in both manned and unmanned aviation.  She holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating and a Remote Pilot certificate.

She lives in Alabama with her husband and four children.  In her free time, she loves to travel and read.


  • Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy in Aviation, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • M.A.S. - Master of Aeronautical Science in Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • B.S. - Bachelor of Science in Neural Sciences, Brown University

  • Certificate - Coast Guard Crew Resource Management Instructor
  • ATP - Airline Transport Pilot
  • License - Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit
  • Remote Pilot