Michael Portman
Master's Student (AE)
Montgomery Knight Building
270 Ferst Drive
Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

Michael Portman is a Master's student in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech. As a Graduate Research Assistant, he worked under Dr. Amy Pritchett on a NASA Langley funded project, “Research and Technology Development to Enable Human-Autonomy Teams,” which aims to provide NASA with recommendations for research into future human-autonomy teaming concepts in aviation.  Michael’s areas of professional interest include aviation safety, human factors, human autonomy teaming, urban air mobility, performance engineering, flight testing, and flight operations.

Prior to joining the Cognitive Engineering Center, Michael graduated highest honors from Georgia Tech with a BS in Aerospace Engineering, minoring in Meteorology. As part of his undergraduate education, Michael engaged in research projects with Dr. Pritchett focusing on aviation safety. These projects led to the conceptual design of a context dependent Total Energy Alerting system, inspired by Asiana Airlines Flight 214, recommendations on modifications to the braking system on Airbus A320 aircraft, and a preliminary Applied Cognitive Task Analysis of Comair Flight 5191.

In the summer of 2015, Michael served as a vehicle performance intern at the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington, D.C. Working on general aviation accidents, his work focused on avionics and flight data recorder failure analysis as well as aircraft flight dynamics analysis. Additionally, he was present for NTSB meetings on National Airlines Flight 102, the VSS Enterprise crash, numerous marine and highway accidents, and WMATA investigational hearings, among others.

Most recently, Michael interned at Delta Air Lines in their Air Safety Investigations group.  While there, Michael assisted in the investigations of various incidents, and worked on various Flight Safety Programs including ASAP pilot reporting and FOQA flight data analysis.

Michael defended his Master's thesis in the summer of 2019, on the topic of a Context Dependent Total Energy Alerting System for the Detection of Low Energy Unstabilized Approaches.  His committee included co-chairs Dr. Amy Pritchett and Dr. Brian German, as well as Dr. John-Paul Clarke.

Michael trained as a private pilot in his home state of California, and has accrued over 100 flight hours and several endorsements. He is currently pursuing his instrument rating with the Yellow Jacket Flying Club, of which, he has served in various positions including Member at Large, Vice President of Membership, and President. Additionally, Michael enjoys singing, music, cooking, travel, and cinema.

Map of Cognitive Engineering Center

Cognitive Engineering Center (CEC)
Georgia Institute of Technology
270 Ferst Drive
Atlanta GA 30332-0150