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AFIT faculty member wins AETC educator of the year

  • Published
  • By Katie Scott
  • Air Force Institute of Technology

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Air Force Institute of Technology faculty member Dr. Brett Borghetti received the 2021 Air Education and Training Command Civilian Educator of the Year award.  Borghetti is an associate professor of computer engineering within AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management.

The award recognizes officer, enlisted and civilian faculty members who excel in teaching excellence, scholarship of discovery/creating knowledge, scholarship of integration/connecting knowledge, and scholarship of application/using knowledge.

In an email announcing the award winners, Lt. Gen. James Hecker, commander and president of Air University, said “These are some of the most prestigious award opportunities for our Airmen and the competition in each category was very tough.”

During the award nomination period of July 2020 to June 2021, Borghetti educated 47 students in preparation for assignments requiring critical skillsets in machine and deep learning.  His method of integrating research in the classroom allowed for every student to complete a vital research project – some of which contributed towards solutions of existing Air Force challenges such as remote device identification, hyperspectral imagery object detection, and light detection and ranging target classification. 

“His accomplishments as an educator, researcher, and faculty council leader led to this award, and have contributed immensely to the success of our students and AFIT as a whole,” said Dr. Heidi Ries, AFIT provost and chief academic officer.

“Beyond the immediate mission, being an educator is an investment toward the future of society. Thus, to be selected as an ‘educator of the year’ is something very special that transcends the boundary of the individual’s academic institution.  On this note, the entire AFIT campus celebrates the selection of Dr. Brett Borghetti as AETC educator of the year,” said Dr. Adedeji Badiru, dean of AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management. 

Borghetti joined the AFIT faculty in 2008 as an active duty Air Force officer and in 2013 he transitioned to a civilian position.  He earned his PhD in computer science from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree from AFIT in computer systems, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. 

Borghetti’s expertise is in artificial intelligence, machine learning and multi-agent systems with a current research focus on machine learning for physical science sensors (hyperspectral, seismic) and improving performance of teams of humans and machines. He teaches graduate-level courses in machine learning, discrete mathematics, data security, artificial intelligence, and algorithm design.  He has authored 2 book chapters, 21 journal articles, and 23 refereed conference publications.

“Winning this award, in the face of a very stiff competition, reflects on the commitment of AFIT to teaching excellence. I congratulate Dr. Borghetti and wish him well in mentoring other faculty members to follow his benchmark for a superior integration of teaching, research, and defense-focused consultation,” said Badiru.