Thomas Q. Carney

Thomas Q. Carney

"I came to Purdue as a freshman in 1967 and basically never left. That long association has given me a lifetime of Purdue memories -- flying with so many wonderful Purdue leaders and distinguished Purdue guests; the wonderful opportunity to teach and mentor so many outstanding and gifted young men and women in aviation technology; and watching our three daughters complete their Purdue degrees and move on to their own successful and happy lives. It has been quite a ride."
Thomas Carney has had his head in the clouds for more than four decades. And he loves it that way. Currently a professor of aviation technology at Purdue, Carney has 11,000 flight hours to his name. As the pilot-in-command and training captain at the Purdue University Airport, his passenger list reads like a Who's Who for the last half century -- from President Jimmy Carter and the Dalai Lama to William F. Buckley, Toni Morrison and Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan, the first and last astronauts to walk on the moon. Every Purdue president -- from Frederick L. Hovde, when Carney was a young co-pilot, to France A. Cordova. All since 1970. What a thrill, he says. But the true reward, in addition to flying, has been advancing research in aviation technology and atmospheric science, including aviation meteorology and the impact of weather on aviation operations, synoptic-scale dynamics and energetics, and the interactions between synoptic and mesoscale motion fields. The author of more than 100 publications and presentations, Carney was mentored during his early Purdue days by greats such as Dayton Vincent, Phil Smith, Ernie Agee and Bob Dale. Returning the favor, as a professor Carney has had the privilege to teach and mentor many outstanding and gifted young men and women in aviation technology.


  • AAS '70General Aviation, Purdue University
  • BS '71Professional Pilot Technology, Purdue University
  • MS '77Aviation Climatology, Purdue University
  • PhD '84Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University

Career Highlights:

  • 1996 James G. Dwyer Award for outstanding undergraduate teaching in the School of Technology
  • 2002 William A. Wheatley Award by the University Aviation Association
  • 2003 Outstanding Alumnus Award from Purdue Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Department
  • 2004 Member of the Year by the Council on Aviation Accreditation
  • 2006 President's Award, University Aviation Association

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