SALINA — Professor Troy Brockway, a 21-year veteran of the aviation program on the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Rex McArthur Family Faculty Fellow Award. Presented annually, the McArthur distinction recognizes a Kansas State Polytechnic faculty member for teaching excellence, a commitment to research and honorable service to the university, college and community.
Brockway, who first arrived on campus in 1998, works with aviation students both in the classroom and in the air. He teaches aerodynamics, safety management systems and the senior capstone course while also instructing tailwheel flying and aerobatics flying and performing progress checks. In addition, he started a mountain flying course in Colorado for students and he is a co-advisor to the Kansas State Polytechnic Flight Team.
A native of Barnard, Brockway grew up on a dairy farm. Though his father was a farmer, he also learned to fly and earned his private pilot’s license, sparking Brockway’s interest in aviation and laying the foundation for his future career.
After high school, Brockway obtained his private pilot’s license, but flying slowed down in college as he turned his attention to mechanical engineering at K-State. When he was hired to work at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico as an engineer, Brockway restarted his pilot training on the side and continued earning ratings when he returned to Kansas to teach at K-State in the industrial engineering department before landing at Kansas State Polytechnic.
Currently, Brockway holds his airline transport pilot certificate, multi-engine rating, single-engine rating, certified flight instructor, instrument flight instructor rating, multi-engine instructor rating, and light sport gyrocopter rating, and is type-rated in a Citation. He also has received a master’s degree in aviation safety from the University of Central Missouri.
“What I love about flying is the freedom you feel and how you get to see things from a different perspective,” said Brockway. “I really enjoy sharing that with my students and seeing what sparks their interest. Sometimes you go into the classroom with one goal in mind, but you end up teaching about something else. It’s fun to watch students want to learn and make the connections.”
In addition to teaching at Kansas State Polytechnic, Brockway speaks and presents to different aviation groups and organizations, performs consulting work, and flies transportation for a Kansas marketing and custom publishing firm. He and his wife, Kathy, also a faculty member at Kansas State Polytechnic, have three children: Jessica, Lara, and Aidan.