Robert Kunze receives two awards

Robert Kunze, shift supervisor of aircraft maintenance at the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, won the Federal Aviation Administration’s General Aviation Aircraft Technician Award of the Year and the North Dakota Professional Aviation Mechanics’ Association “Mechanic of the Year” award.

Dan Kasowski, director of maintenance, said, “The first word that comes to mind when asked about Kunze is “attitude.” He has one of the most positive professional attitudes of anyone I have ever had the opportunity to work with or supervise. No matter what the situation, how large or difficult the work load, he always has a positive approach. He has the respect of all employees who work for him and his professionalism and personal performance set the pace for others to follow.”

A native of Valley City, N.D., Kunze has over 29 years experience as an aviation maintenance technician. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1974 and served in various positions including B-52 crew chief, certified master instructor for a variety of aircraft maintenance courses, production supervisor for KC-135R aircraft maintenance, quality programs/budget manager, support branch section chief, and facilitator responsible for orientation of incoming new Air Force maintenance staff at Grand Forks Air Force Base. After 24 years of service he retired from the U.S. Air Force as a master sergeant.

Kunze has been employed with UND Aerospace since 2000. He received his airframe and powerplant airman’s certificate in 2001 and his inspection authorization in 2004, progressing from line mechanic to his current position as maintenance shift supervisor.

In addition to an extensive list of schools and awards while in the U.S. Air Force, Kunze has completed numerous aviation manufacturer’s technical schools as well as in-house programs at UND Aerospace. He has furthered his personnel management skills through completion of the National Guard Joint Executive Council Leadership Development Course, as well as completed the Airline Pilots Association Advanced Aircraft Accident Investigation Course. For each of the previous five years Kunze has completed the requirements for the Ruby, Silver and Gold FAA maintenance awards.

During his tenure at UND Aerospace, Kunze has become well respected within organization for his ability to mentor his maintenance shift staff, while providing the leadership necessary to ensure consistent, safe, reliable aircraft maintenance.

Kunze, along with his wife Linda and their family, reside in Grand Forks.