Northwestern Events Calendar


NUTC Icarus / Seminar - Captain Curtis Brunjes - "United Airlines Aviate: Reinventing the Pilot Pipeline"



When: Thursday, April 30, 2020
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Central

Where: Chambers Hall, Lower Level, 600 Foster St, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Open to the public / refreshments & networking begin in the lower level of chambers hall at 3:30pm

Contact: Bret Johnson   (847) 491-7287

Group: Northwestern University Transportation Center

Category: Lectures & Meetings, Academic


Northwestern University Transportation Center's Icarus Aviation Society presents:

"United Airlines Aviate: Reinventing the Pilot Pipeline"

Captain Curtis Brunjes
Managing Director. Pilot Strategy
United Airlines



Airlines in the United States are adjusting to dramatic changes in the pilot supply situation.  Demographics that are causing a surge in retirements are occurring simultaneously with global airline industry growth driving unprecedently pilot demand in an environment that, until recently, hasn’t made the pilot career a foremost consideration for young people.  The free market is seeing a shift from traditional hiring and development of new paradigms. 

Aviate,, is United’s response to the market need for pilots.  It has been designed to ensure both high quality pilot candidates in the pilot pipeline as well as to satiate volume demand at the United Express regional partners.  Prospective airline pilots can join the program at a point very early in their development and follow a well-defined path, with mentoring along the way, until they transition to the flight deck at United.

In this session, Captain Curtis Brunjes will describe the industry competitive labor situation and how the challenge of pilot supply has led to an innovative solution at United.  As is often the case, a creative solution to a persistent business challenge can lead to differentiation and, potentially, long-term competitive advantage.


Speaker Bio:

Captain Curtis Brunjes is a 33-year United Airlines pilot and currently flies the 787 when he is not at United headquarters in Chicago working as the Managing Director of Pilot Strategy.  In this role, he, and a broad team from United, have developed Aviate, the industry’s leading pilot development pipeline which will become the primary channel through which pilots are sourced at United.  He leads the team that has developed theAviate program as well as the acquisition of a flight training academy, the only to be owned and operated by a major US airline.

Curt has over 25,000 hours of flight time and is rated on the 727, 747, 757/767, 777, 787 and A319/320 aircraft.  He is a former US Air Force pilot and is currently a FAA designated pilot examiner. He has been a management consultant specializing in airline projects for Oliver Wyman and has owned and run numerous aviation businesses.

Curt has a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton and is a 1993 graduate of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a former President of the Transportation Club.  He splits his time between Chicago and the Phoenix area where he lives on an airpark with his personal RV-8 aircraft in the hangar.



Parking @ Northwestern University
Permits Required: Monday - Friday, 8am - 4pm
2-hour-limit parking on Foster Street
Closest El / CTA Stop: Foster - Purple Line
Closest Metra Station: Davis Street/Evanston, Union Pacific North line 

***Join by computer or phone***
Meeting ID: 847 491 7287

+1.408.740.7256 (US (San Jose))
+1.888.240.2560 (US Toll Free)
+1.408.317.9253 (US (Primary, San Jose))
(Global Numbers)
Meeting ID: 847 491 7287


Icarus Aviation Society:

Icarus, a Greek mythological aviator, failed to heed his father Daedalus' sage advice about climbing too near the sun and died when his fledgling wings melted. 

Formed in 2006, NUTC's Icarus Society, or Icarus Aviation Forum, is a public forum created for the discussion and of all issues related to aviation and sharing knowledge with all interested parties, and for the dissemination of new ideas. The Icarus Society promotes in-depth dialogue about airlines, aircraft manufacturing, aviation services, technology, government oversight, and significant elements of business aviation.

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