I certify that all copyrighted material incorporated into this thesis/dissertation is in compliance with the United States copyright law and that I have received written permission from the copyright owners for my use of their work, which is beyond the scope of the law. I agree to indemnify and save harmless Purdue University from any and all claims that may be asserted or that may arise from any copyright violation.
Standing outside the Knoy BS440, I was waiting for the dissertation defense result. Few minutes later, Prof. Schmidt, my committee chair, came to me, gave me one big warm hug and said, Congratulations! Suddenly, the memory in the past two years, all the pains and pleasure at Purdue University, came up to me.
This is the moment I had waited for so long, but this is also the moment I was unwilling to face because of the coming goodbye. Nevertheless, I knew things I learnt and people I met there will be the valuable asset in my life and will be with me all the time.
For those who have supported the creation of the work, I would like to begin by thanking my principle advisor, Prof. Edie K. Schmidt, who has always encouraged me with her sharp insight and great patience. She is not merely a constant guide throughout my research but also a thoughtful friend. Additionally, I would like to show my gratitude to the members of my committee: Prof. Nathan W. Hartman, Prof. Patrick E. Connolly, and Prof. John A. Springer.
Without their guidance, suggestions, criticisms and support, I would not make my thesis possible. One notable faculty in the
Department of Aviation Technology I also owe a note of thanks. To Prof. Chien-Tsung Lu, I am grateful for your assistance in reviewing the cultural appropriateness of this research, which facilitated the IRBs approval process.
Thanks are also due to all my colleagues from College of Technology and from graduate office and all my friends at Purdue University, who made my two years life colorful. Having their company was the great encouragement when I felt frustrated. For the numerous industrial contacts and friends in Taiwan, thanks are due to them all. In particular, I would like to thank Yi-Hen Chen for his patience and backing me up. Finally, I am deeply indebted to my parents, who fully supported me when I made the decision to pursue higher education and who never lost faith in me. I love you.