April 2021

AIAA Announcements 2021 AIAA Election Results

AIAA is pleased to announce the results of its 2021 election:

Laura J. McGill
Sandia National Laboratories

Director-Elect–Young Professionals Group
Kaela Martin
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Director–Region III
Peggy A. Cornell
NASA Glenn Research Center

Director–Region VI
Oleg A. Yakimenko
Naval Postgraduate School

Director–Aerospace Design and Structures Group
Jeanette L. Domber
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

Director–Aerospace Sciences Group
Lesley A. Weitz
The MITRE Corporation

Additionally, the Council of Directors and Board of Trustees held elections for new Board Members-at-Large and Treasurer.

Board of Trustees Member-at-Large
Frank L. Culbertson Jr., Capt. USN (Ret.)
R. Steven Justice, Generation Orbit
Todd Mosher, Amazon

AIAA Treasurer
Annalisa L. Weigel
Fairmont Consulting Group

The newly elected will begin their terms of office in May 2021.

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AIAA Announcements Annual Business Meeting Notice and AIAA Council of Directors Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the Annual Business Meeting of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will be held on a virtual meeting platform on Monday, 17 May 2021, at 1:00 PM.

Notice is hereby given that an AIAA Council of Directors Meeting will be held on a virtual meeting platform on Tuesday, 18 May 2021, at 1:00 PM.

Christopher Horton, AIAA Governance Director

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AIAA Announcements AIAA Announces Its Class of 2021 Fellows and Honorary Fellows

AIAA has selected its newly elected Class of 2021 Honorary Fellows and Fellows. The induction ceremony for the new Honorary Fellows and Fellows will take place virtually on 17 August 2021.

Honorary Fellow is the highest distinction conferred by AIAA and recognizes preeminent individuals who have had long and highly contributory careers in aerospace and who embody the highest possible standards in aeronautics and astronautics. In 1933, Orville Wright became the first AIAA Honorary Fellow. Today, AIAA Honorary Fellows and AIAA Fellows are the most respected names in the aerospace industry.

The 2021 Honorary Fellows are:
Daniel E. Hastings, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Gwynne E. Shotwell, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX)
The Honorable Heidi Shyu, Heidi Shyu Inc.

AIAA confers the distinction of Fellow upon individuals in recognition of their notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences or technology of aeronautics and astronautics. Nominees are AIAA Associate Fellows. Since the inception of this honor, 1,980 distinguished persons have been elected as a Fellow.

The 2021 AIAA Fellows are:
Juan J. Alonso, Stanford University
Randal W. Beard, Brigham Young University
Chiara Bisagni, Delft University of Technology
Stanley K. Borowski, NASA Glenn Research Center (retired)
Chia-Chun “George” Chao, The Aerospace Corporation (retired)
Olivier L. de Weck, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jeanette L. Domber, Ball Aerospace
Eric H. Ducharme, GE Aviation
Jack R. Edwards, North Carolina State University
Richard Scott Erwin, U.S. Air Force
Eric M. Feron, Georgia Institute of Technology
Irene M. Gregory, NASA Langley Research Center
W. Michael Hawes, Lockheed Martin Corporation
Michael Keidar, George Washington University
Erick Lansard, Thales
Roger D. Launius, Launius Historical Services
Ivett A. Leyva, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology and Engineering
Ioannis G. Mikellides, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Kristi A. Morgansen, University of Washington
Greg F. Naterer, Memorial University
Daniel I. Newman, Boeing Defense, Space & Security
Guillermo Paniagua, Purdue University
James E. Polk, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Shahrokh Shahpar, Rolls-Royce PLC
Walter A. Silva, NASA Langley Research Center
Karen A. Thole, Pennsylvania State University
William A. Welsh, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company
Oleg A. Yakimenko, Naval Postgraduate School

For more information on the AIAA Honors Program, contact Patricia A. Carr at patriciac@aiaa.org.

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Public Policy 2021 Congressional Visits Day

A Zoom video conference with multiple participants in a grid view, all appearing in various home or office settings, some smiling, and dressed in business attire.
CVD participants. Credit: AIAA collage

Our 23rd annual Congressional Visits Day program, held virtually 15–19 March, was a huge success with a near-record number of registrants! Approximately 150 members representing 34 states and 31 sections took part, and state teams held virtual meetings with about 200 congressional offices to advocate for the aerospace community. They promoted AIAA’s 2021 key issues and called on Congress to support the people and the companies in the aerospace sector by providing adequate funding for programs and missions, increasing investments in research and development, and enabling a diverse ansd robust workforce pipeline. They also explained how the sector is critical for addressing climate change and providing significant opportunity for young people of all races and economic conditions to tackle complex challenges.

We hope to continue this outreach by encouraging our members to invite our elected officials to participate in AIAA section’s events and activities and to educate them on issues impacting the aerospace community.

Thanks to all those who participated, and we hope you will join us for CVD 2022.

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Making an Impact: AIAA Partners with AVID to Make Educational Resources Available

Kids participating in educational activities in a classroom; on the left, two girls work with a whiteboard, and on the right, a boy is focused on a task, assisted by adults in the background.
Getting students interested in STEM. Credit: AIAA/AVID

AIAA and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) has partnered to create a no-cost educational resource called AVID Open Access (AVIDopenaccess.org) that contains high-quality grab-and-go lesson plans, student activities, and teacher resources to bring STEM into any classroom. The site has generated great interest in the educator community with over 120,000 visitors since its launch in late spring 2020.

AVID Open Access provides educators with collections that address timely topics throughout the school year, from setting up a digital classroom to designing online lessons with equity, diversity, and inclusion in mind, to meeting students’ social and emotional needs during remote and hybrid learning. AVID Open Access has explored such topics as project-based learning in online environments, building students’ digital study skills, and how to model digital citizenship and mindfulness for all. Every two weeks, AVID Open Access provides new collections containing strategies, best practices, and tech tips that teachers can immediately apply in their classroom.

In addition to the lesson resources, AVID Open Access offers a podcast for educators, Tech Talk for Teachers, this podcast aims to help you transform today’s students into tomorrow’s empowered digital learners. We provide immediately applicable digital strategies and tech tips during engaging, down-to-earth conversations that address the challenging topics we are facing in our classrooms today.

Help us to continue supporting educators with a gift to the AIAA Foundation. Donate today: aiaa.org/foundation.

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Member News AIAA Associate Fellow Eldon Knuth Awarded Bronze Star

In fall 2020, AIAA Associate Fellow Eldon Knuth, 95, was honored for his service during World War II when he was presented with the Bronze Star. In November 1944, he and about 30 soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 95th Infantry Division became stuck for five days behind enemy lines near the French city of Metz. The group of survivors became known as the Iron Men of Metz and at a reunion of the survivors in 2019, Knuth also was awarded the French National Legion of Honor Medal.

Knuth went on to complete his Ph.D. in aeronautics. After working for companies that developed equipment for the U.S. space program, including rocket motors and heating problems for space vehicles, he returned to academia and taught for 35 years as a chemical engineering professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also the author of more than 100 technical papers.

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AIAA Announcements AIAA Charters New Student Branches

AIAA is excited to announce the addition of two new AIAA student branches at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide (ERAU-Worldwide) and the University of Georgia (UGA). These universities join more than 240 AIAA student branches around the world.

Both universities are distinctive additions to AIAA’s student branch community. ERAU-Worldwide’s fully online program is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report for its online bachelor’s degree programs. The AIAA ERAU-Worldwide Student Branch is under the College of Aeronautics, whose programs emphasize interaction with aerospace professionals and organizations. UGA’s College of Engineering offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical, computer systems, and electrical engineering programs. Its AIAA student branch will fit in UGA’s Student Aerospace Initiative, which engages the student body in real-world multidisciplinary aerospace projects.

AIAA’s student branches include 40+ international student branches and a total active membership of over 7,500 students worldwide. If you are interested in forming an AIAA student branch, begin the process at aiaa.org/get-involved/students-educators/Student-Branches.

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Section News HRS Members Volunteer at FIRST Lego League

By Karen Berger, AIAA HRS K-12 Outreach Co-Chair

In a year where everything seems a little (or a lot) different, FIRST Lego League was no exception. Teams and organizers had to figure out how to run a competition with the new Covid-19 restrictions. Some school teams never actually met each other face to face throughout the entire season. For the tournaments, everything moved to a remote, online environment while trying to recreate as much of the experience as possible.

Still, an amazing 120 teams choose to compete in Virginia/DC, participating in 8 regional tournaments that were run from 23 January to 7 February. The top 64 of those teams also competed in the VA-DC FLL Championship tournament on 27 February.

This year’s theme was RePLAY and it was about getting kids and entire communities healthier and more active. Whether it was finding new ways to utilize outdoor space to spending more time in sports to just getting up and dancing, teams challenged themselves to tackle this real-world problem as a part of their Innovation Project. Additionally, their robots autonomously earned points for completing the robot game challenges like using the step counter, playing basketball, dancing, and doing pullups.

AIAA Hampton Roads Section members helped at a number of the tournaments, filling roles at events across the state. Vanessa Aubuchon, Linda Bangert, Carol Bauer, Steve Bauer, Karen Berger, Michael Bozeman, Amanda Chou, and Andrew Lovejoy served in critical roles as head judges, head referees, judges, and referees. The coaches were especially appreciative this year of the volunteer effort to give these students a great experience in such a crazy year. A few comments from them include:

“I wanted to congratulate you all on a great competition today. I got to sit in on my team’s interview and it was fantastic. The people that asked the questions and helped the students along with their answers were as professional as they were kind and it was wonderful. I just wanted you to know that and have a great day” – Coach of multiple teams

“To the VA-DC FLL team, You all continue to impress. Today’s tournament from this coach’s point of view went flawlessly. It couldn’t have been easy, but you sure made it look that way. Kaitlin, Karen, Scott, and Steve, and judges, refs, and all of the other volunteers: thanks! My team had a great time, and this was very much worth the effort you put into it. Now just do it again, what, ten more times??? :)” – Team Coach

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Section News Creating the JSF Lecture

By Charlie Svoboda, Education Officer, AIAA St. Louis Section

On 19 January a virtual presentation entitled “Creating the JSF” was given by Paul Bevilaqua. This presentation was jointly sponsored by the AIAA St. Louis Section and the Vertical Flight Society (VFS), and targeted both professional and student members of both organizations. Over 38 attendees participated in the presentation and question-and-answer session. One of the interesting parts of the Joint Strike Fighter story is how the program was developed. Originally the plan was to develop the Marine configuration only, but after an Air Force general saw the presentation an Air Force version was proposed.

The St. Louis Section is investigating the development of a STEM-tailored version of the presentation with Dr. Bevilaqua and may offer that to high school and middle school students in the St Louis area. We also plan to have another joint AIAA and VFS presentation about the V-22 Osprey in May.

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Obituary AIAA Honorary Fellow Sutton Died in February

Elderly man with short gray hair and a serious expression, wearing a dark jacket over a plaid shirt, set against a dark blue background.
George Sutton. Credit: Sutton Family

George Sutton – an eminent engineer and scientist and the longest serving editor-in-chief of the AIAA Journal – passed away on 13 February. He was 93.

Dr. Sutton served in the United States Merchant Marine during World War II and the Army Air Force in Okinawa through 1947. He graduated with honors from Cornell University’s School of Engineering in 1952 and received his Master of Science and Ph.D. in Engineering and Physics (magna cum laude) from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1955.

Dr. Sutton, an expert in heat protection material for hypersonic flight, magnetohydrodynamics, and high-power lasers, taught at Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT.

As an engineer and scientist, Dr. Sutton made many significant and impactful contributions in aerospace. These contributions included being the first to measure the heat transfer in the throat of a rocket nozzle; invention of the ablation heat shield material, used by U.S. ICBMs and early manned space flight; production of the first resolved photograph of a foreign spacecraft from AMOS telescope in Hawaii; development of the concept design for the first high power CO2 laser that generated 130 kW; demonstration of the small high frequency transcutaneous energy supply for artificial hearts used by Abiomed; and development of the concept design of the SOFIA aircraft for infrared astronomy and aero-optic analysis of the airflow.

His impact on the AIAA Journal remains an unmatched legacy. As the editor-in-chief of the AIAA Journal, Dr. Sutton wanted each article to have relevance to aerospace. From 1967 to 1996, the AIAA Journal disseminated an enormous amount of knowledge that nurtured and advanced aerospace engineering. Dr. Sutton also coauthored three books, authored 130 technical papers, and held eight patents.

His accomplishments have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Arthur S. Flemming Award (1965) for “unique contributions to the fields of heat protection of hypersonic re-entry vehicles, and magnetohydrodynamic power generation,” the AIAA Thermophysics Award (1980), the AIAA Distinguished Service Award (1988), and the AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Award (2007). He was also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council.

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Obituary AIAA Senior Member Grafton Died in July 2020

John C. Grafton died on 19 July 2020 at age 89.

He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with an engineering degree. For 36 years Grafton worked at North American Aviation, later Rockwell International Aerospace, on the Apollo Missions and on the Global Positioning System.

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Obituary AIAA Senior Member Buss Died in November 2020

Randall D. Buss, 62, passed away of Covid-19 on 17 November.

Buss earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois. He worked as an engineer at the Cordova Nuclear Power Plant and later as a Root Cause Analyst at nuclear power plants in numerous states. He was a very enthusiastic member of the National Space Society, always attending their annual International Space Development Conferences.

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Obituary AIAA Senior Member Phillips Died in November 2020

Roy B. Phillips died on 17 November; he was 84 years old.

Phillips went to the University of Minnesota and earned a degree in aeronautical engineering. He earned advanced degrees from the University of Cincinnati, the University of Southern California, and the University of Washington.

Phillips took a job with the Boeing Company, where he would work in a number of capacities while traveling the world for forty years until his retirement in 2001.

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Obituary AIAA Senior Member Feo Died in November 2020

A man with short gray hair, wearing a light blue collared shirt, smiles softly against a plain, gray background.
Alejandro (Alex) Feo Palacios. Credit: Palacios Family

Alejandro (Alex) Feo Palacios died in November 2020. He was 79 years old.

Dr. Feo graduated as an aeronautical engineer from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Aeronáuticos (ETSIA) in Madrid, Spain. He pursued graduate studies at the University of Michigan where he obtained M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Science in 1967 and 1970. He continued postdoctoral studies at ETSIA and was awarded the degree of Doctor Ingeniero Aeronáutico in 1978.

He joined the Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA) in Madrid in 1971 and worked there throughout his career. Dr. Feo was named head of the Experimental Aerodynamics Department in 1994 and held that position until his retirement in 2011. His scientific and technical contributions were rewarded with the prestigious Spanish Cross of Aeronautical Merit (White Badge).

During his 50-year career, Dr. Feo made numerous contributions to the atmospheric sciences as applied to the advancement of aeronautics and astronautics, most significantly in the field of aircraft safety in the areas of heavy rain effects on the aerodynamics of aircraft, aircraft icing, icing scaling, and icing physics. He was the Principal Investigator under a Joint Program between INTA and NASA Langley Research Center from 1984 to 1994, responsible for designing and conducting experimental work at INTA. There, he developed an innovative Rotating Arm Facility for advanced studies of droplet impact and splashing that allowed measurement and visualization of single drop impact characteristics for drop sizes and velocities representative of values encountered in flight.

Dr. Feo is one of the major contributors to the development of icing scaling methods. He conducted aircraft icing and icing physics studies at INTA from 1995 to 2010, part of a collaborative research program between INTA and NASA Glenn Research Center. His research centered on icing scaling and droplet break up near the leading edge of airfoils.

In 2008, under Dr. Feo’s initiative and leadership, INTA participated in the European project EXTICE. He was appointed as INTA’s coordinator for the project, and the results had a strong impact on the numerical calculation of droplet trajectories in European icing codes. From 1994 to 1997 he worked with AGARD Working Group (WG-20) on “Ice Accretion Simulation,” covering the status of analytical and experimental research of heat transfer coefficient measurements. In February 1997 he was one of the lecturers who presented an extended version of the publication in a special course held at the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Mechanics. Dr. Feo represented INTA as member of the NATO/RTO AVT-006 Working Group on “Ice Accretion Evaluation” from 1998 to 2000. In 1999, he was appointed by GARTEUR (European Group of Aeronautical Research and Technology) to chair the Action Group AG-32 on Airfoil Performance Degradation Due to Icing. This position lasted until 2003 and was later extended from 2006 to 2010 as AG-40. He also participated as a member of AG-33 on Ice Accretion contributing with a chapter on icing scaling methods.

In 2012, Dr. Feo was awarded the AIAA Losey Atmospheric Sciences Award for his exceptional research contributions and international scientific leadership on icing scaling, icing physics, heavy rain effects on the aerodynamics of aircraft and the development of advanced research facilities.

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Obituary AIAA Senior Member Winglee Died in December 2020

Professor Robert M. Winglee, died on 24 December. He was 62 years old.

Professor Winglee graduated from the University of Sydney in 1985 with a Ph.D. in Physics. As a professor in Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) at the University of Washington, his passion was teaching students and doing research in space plasmas, engineering, and space environments of planets. His encouragement of his students led to many innovative concepts that continue to be spread throughout the space industry. His research efforts were featured on the Discovery Channel Science of Star Wars (2005) and Mars Rising (2007). He was a Fellow of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts. He served as Chair of ESS from 2005 to 2015, and was the recipient of the 2001 DISCOVER Magazine Awards for Technological Innovation, and the 2014 UW Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year. He accomplished his dream of going into space when he launched a student-built and designed miniature satellite (CubeSat), which successfully transmitted data from orbit.

One of his proudest recent achievements was founding the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline (NESSP) in order to bring STEM to underrepresented and minority students. Through his directorships of Washington NASA Space Grant and NESSP, he touched the lives of many middle and high school students throughout the country. When students saw him coming, they would yell out, “Here comes the rocket man!”

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Obituary AIAA Associate Fellow Niemi Died in December 2020

Eugene E. “Gene” Niemi Jr. died 25 December. He was 81 years old.

As a youth, he was a member of the volunteer Ground Observer Corps doing aircraft spotting, and the Civil Air Patrol, where he achieved the rank of Cadet Major. He spent summers at Fitchburg Airport, which led to his love for flying. Niemi received a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Boston University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and a Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Niemi was a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell since 1966. Before that, he worked as an engineer at General Electric Company designing steam turbines and at Raytheon Company Missile Systems Division working on missile aerodynamics.

At UMass Lowell, Niemi taught courses in aerodynamics and flight mechanics, ocean engineering, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and heat transfer. During summers he worked in industry and research at such places as NASA in Virginia and California, the U.S. Air Force in Tennessee, and the U.S. Army Natick Research Labs in Massachusetts. At the time of his death, he was writing a textbook on aerodynamics.

Having joined AIAA in 1984, Niemi was a long-time supporter of the New England Section, serving on the section council and also as the faculty advisor for the AIAA UMass Lowell Student Branch (2007–2011). He was an avid pilot with a commercial license and instrument rating, at one time owning his own airplane. In his earlier years, he was also a gyrocopter pilot, often flying demonstration flights at the Fitchburg and Gardner airports and airshows in New England.

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April 2021 AIAA Bulletin