(Morehead, Ky) – Many times we talk about technology-based job opportunities for our students.  The Kentucky Aerospace Industry is real.  It is growing.  It is an international leader.  Read about the annual IF Aerospace Conference in Morehead.  Session Videos are available as well.

Representatives from Kentucky’s largest manufacturing export industry, Aerospace, gathered for the third annual conference in Morehead, Ky. It is estimated the Kentucky Aerospace industry represents over $8.7 billion in exports each year.

Government officials, including Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton and House Majority Floor Leader, Rocky Adkins, talked about the importance of the industry to Kentucky not only in terms of dollars, but even more importantly because of Kentucky’s leadership position in certain segments of the industry.  Video Available.

IF Aerospace is a regional event of IdeaFestival, which now holds four statewide conferences. Kris Kimel, President of IdeaFestival said, “With all the small satellite and electronic tracking work going on at MSU, Morehead is a natural location for this event.”   During his talk, Kimel challenged the audience to work toward the next “Moonshot Idea”. He identified organizations such as Space Tango and the Exomedicine Institute as potential “game changers” in what they were trying to accomplish, and in what they can do for Kentucky.  Video Available.

President of Morehead State University, Dr. Wayne Andrews talked about Morehead State’s role in producing the skilled labor force that will drive these opportunities in eastern Kentucky. Rajant Corporation, a leader in advanced communication networks, is opening a Morehead office that plans to hire six recent MSU graduates from the Space Science program later this year.  Video Available.

Dr. Ben Malphrus, Director of the MSU Space Science Center outlined the Universities leadership role in the IceCube Mission which will send a small “suite case” size satellite to the moon in search of ice that may be used to produce drinking water and rocket fuel. Representatives from NASA were on hand to show how the MSU Mission will launch in 2018 from the maiden voyage of the most powerful rocket ever built, EM-1.  Video Available.

“Few people know how important Aerospace is to the Kentucky economy and it is growing,” according to director of the Kentucky Aerospace Council, Mike Young, “It is bigger than automotive, bourbon, horse racing or any other product that we export.” Conferences like this help industry, education and government align efforts to take advantage of this unique statewide opportunity to create companies, careers and opportunity in the state.

IF Aerospace is a non-profit industry conference sponsored by Morehead State University, Space Tango, Kentucky Innovation Network, MSU Space Science Center and Dataseam.  View the complete set of Session Videos.