Aerospace expert to speak at Law, Policy, and Engineering Leadership Seminar


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — How does engineering inform domestic and international aviation policy and law? What flight procedures reduce the environmental impact of aviation?

Featured speaker John-Paul Clarke will address these questions and more Dec. 5 during his seminar titled “Aviation Policy, Law, and Engineering in the Context of the Policy-Law-Engineering Loop,” which takes place from noon to 1:15 p.m. in Classroom 350, Health and Human Development Building, on Penn State’s University Park campus.

Reservations are requested by Dec. 4. Lunch will be provided after the seminar for those who RSVP.

A distinguished scholar, Clarke has vast aerospace experience ranging from aviation operations research to United States national policy on autonomy in civil aviation. He retains an appointment at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he is a College of Engineering dean’s professor in the School of Industrial Systems Engineering and the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering.

During the event, Clarke will highlight how domestic and international aviation policy and law inform and are informed by engineering, what he calls the “policy-law-engineering recursive loop, optimized to address societal needs.” He will provide retrospective from his own research on the introduction of flight procedures that reduce the environmental impact of aviation and provide a prospective on the ongoing deliberations regarding supersonic flight over land.

This public talk is open to all Penn State students, faculty, staff and community members interested in the intersections of law, policy and engineering and how the University is preparing the next generation of leaders to address complex issues in this innovative, interdisciplinary field.

“Whether students are developing innovative technological solutions to address society’s global grand challenges and sustainable development goals, or analyzing the impact of emerging technologies in society, a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach and understanding of the interdependencies between engineering, law, and policy and ethical responsibility, is required,” said Sandra J. Allain, director of the law, policy, and engineering initiative and professor of practice in the College of Engineering.

For more information, contact Allain at or 814-867-1024.

The event marks the inaugural offering in the Law, Policy, and Engineering (LPE) Leadership Seminar Series. LPE is an initiative of Penn State Law on the University Park campus, the College of Engineering, and the School of International Affairs.

Penn State’s strategic plan aims to impact the world through solutions-oriented approaches to major societal issues—many of which lie at the interface between engineering, law and policy. As a result, LPE is a comprehensive approach to bridge these disciplines together connecting engineering with law and policy through new academic offerings, fostering trans-disciplinary innovation and research and cross-disciplinary skills development. The initiative will provide students with new perspectives and tools required to solve complex multidisciplinary problems and address societal changes. Penn State is uniquely positioned to lead in this field having internationally recognized engineering programs and research, and an interdisciplinary collaborative nature among its School of International Affairs and Penn State Law.

LPE’s inaugural leadership seminar speaker is vice president for strategic technologies at United Technologies Corp. (UTC), where he is responsible for all technology road mapping and for guiding key initiatives focused on technology acceleration, partnerships and global technology education. He also serves as strategic lead for several core UTC organizations, including the Additive Manufacturing and Digital Thread Centers of Expertise.


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Megan Lakatos

John-Paul Clarke headshot

John-Paul Clarke. IMAGE PROVIDED



The Law, Policy, and Engineering (LPE) initiative is an interdisciplinary academic and research initiative between Penn State's College of Engineering, Penn State Law, and Penn State's School of International Affairs. The initiative will provide a transformative educational experience for students by actively integrating components of all three disciplines into the curriculum to prepare students for the competitive, interdisciplinary, global workplaces of the future. 

Law, Policy, and Engineering Initiative

The Pennsylvania State University

Engineering Design and Innovation Building

University Park, PA 16802