February 2018

AIAA Associate Fellows Class of 2018 AIAA Associate Fellows Honored

A large group of formally dressed individuals pose together for a photo at the AIAA Recognition Ceremony and Dinner on January 8, 2018, in Kissimmee, Florida.
Class of 2018 AIAA Associate Fellows Credit: AIAA

The Class of 2018 AIAA Associate Fellows were inducted at the AIAA Associate Fellows Recognition Ceremony and Dinner on 8 January at the Gaylord Palms, Kissimmee, FL, in conjunction with the AIAA SciTech Forum.

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Public Policy 2018 AIAA Key Issues and Recommendations

As the world’s largest aerospace technical society, serving a diverse range of nearly 30,000 individual members from 85 countries, and 95 corporate members, AIAA urges Congress to enact and sustain policies that will enhance a robust, technologically-proficient aerospace and defense (A&D) sector essential to our continued national competitiveness and security.

The A&D industry is critical to our nation’s well-being, providing major contributions to national defense and homeland security, the economy, our quality of life, and education and learning. According to the Aerospace Industries Association, in 2016 the sector:

• Supported more than 2.4 million jobs (845,500 directly employed) and 13 percent of the nation’s manufacturing base
• Generated nearly $872 billion in sales revenue and $422 billion more from the industry’s supply chain
• Created a total economic contribution of $307 billion, or 1.8 percent of the GDP
• Provided tax revenue of $62.6 billion to federal, state, and local governments
• Exported a record $146 billion in goods, which is 10 percent of all U.S. exports
• Provided a top net-exporting industry with a positive trade balance of $90.3 billion

Each year, AIAA develops a set of key issues that become the focal point of the Institute’s engagement with Congress, the administration, and state and local officials. We strongly believe these issues, including associated actionable recommendations, are crucial to the continued health of our industry and of our nation. As we strive to represent our membership and our industry, we also welcome and encourage feedback—our motive is to strengthen our profession and serve as a valued resource for decision makers.

Funding Stability and Competitiveness

The A&D industry is facing one of its greatest challenges in history as Congress and the administration grapple with mounting national debt and balancing the federal budget. At the same time, our adversaries are investing heavily in military modernization, while the United States confronts significant strategic risks due to continuing funding uncertainty and the use of arbitrary budget caps through sequestration.
Moreover, the usage of continuing resolutions, passage of omnibus appropriations packages, and threat of government shutdowns have become commonplace. Congress has not funded the federal government by the start of the new fiscal year in over 20 years. This unpredictable fiscal environment creates short-term perspectives, increasing the risk of delayed aerospace initiatives and the constant threat of important programs being terminated or scaled back to suboptimal levels. A return to a regular appropriations process coupled with a long-term perspective is needed immediately so that the nation, including the A&D industrial base, can begin work on initiatives critical to a secure and economically robust future.


• Permanently eliminate sequestration.
• Provide the DOD with stable and predictable funding that supports efficient and effective multi-year acquisitions and operations—critical to readiness and results.
• Provide long-term authorization and appropriations with top-line increases in the out years to properly fund all NASA missions in a balanced manner in order to meet short- and long-term program and mission requirements. This will help maintain our nation’s leadership in space exploration and scientific discovery, while also making critical advances in aeronautics research and technology development.
• Provide long-term authorization and appropriations with top-line increases in the out years to properly fund the FAA in order to successfully implement the Next Generation Air Transportation System, commercial space transportation operations, safely integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into the National Airspace System, and complete other high-priority FAA modernization initiatives.
• Provide a trade policies and regulatory environment that assures that U.S. companies can effectively compete in the global marketplace.

R&D and Innovation

U.S. leadership in aerospace, as in any other industrial sector, is not a birthright. Since the dawn of aviation, through the advent of the space age, and the most recent rise of new space opportunities, the United States has been the world leader in the aerospace industry. In order to assure U.S. leadership—such as during the Cold War-era Space Race—both government and industry have stepped up to their respective responsibilities to fund and perform research and development (R&D) through which a myriad of aerospace-related innovations have been realized.

Despite the recent uptick in government funding for R&D to support the A&D industry, the overall trend has been downward. While the United States still represents nearly half of global aerospace R&D spending, our foreign competitors—including China, Japan, and some Europe countries—continue to aggressively invest significantly more than the U.S. in technologies critical to aerospace and defense. Sufficient and sustained R&D investments are therefore crucial to maintain our preeminence in this sector. Just as important is moving technologies from the laboratory into the marketplace through innovative new products and services which fuel growth, exports, and expanded employment.


• Sustain existing funding levels and invest in new experimental (ground and flight testing) and computational infrastructure for military and commercial R&D. This will help ensure improved quality and reduced systems-development costs and timelines by providing the right tools for qualified staff to identify and remove defects early in the development process.
• Provide sufficient and stable funding for federal labs specifically charged with helping industry accelerate innovation and develop products in critical areas, such as advanced materials, robotics, manufacturing processes, and battery and other clean-energy technologies.
• Promote greater interaction and cooperative arrangements between federal labs and research centers, academia, and industry to develop technologies which are needed for innovation and growth. Additionally, adopt a holistic approach to encourage the sharing of ideas, enhanced utilization of capabilities, improved quality from using the right tools, and optimization and cost-control at the national level.
• Offer incentives for corporate research and commercialization of that research into new products and services.
• Increase DOD’s R&D budget to provide sufficient funding to ensure the United States maintains long-term technical leadership and qualitative technical superiority.
• Support robust, long-term federal civil aeronautics and space research and technology initiatives funded at a level that will ensure U.S. leadership in aeronautics and space, which includes technology demonstrations.

Workforce Development and Enhancement

The U.S. A&D industry currently enjoys a prominent position in terms of global competitiveness and technical superiority. However, there are justifiable concerns about its future standing as the industry faces impending retirements; a shortage of highly trained technical graduates; an underrepresentation of women and minorities; significant delays in processing security clearances, often exceeding 24 months; and increasingly serious competition from both allies and adversaries.

According to Aviation Week & Space Technology’s 2017 Aerospace & Defense Workforce Study, nearly 30 percent of the nation’s A&D workforce is over the age of 55 and 22 percent are younger than 35. The percentages of ethnic minorities and women working in A&D, at less than 25 percent, have not changed significantly in four decades, despite a major shift in the demographics of the United States. Moreover, only 16 percent of 12th graders are proficient in math and have expressed interest in a STEM-related career.


• Continue to pass legislation that enhances the pipeline of STEM-competent workers into the U.S. economy, including initiatives aimed at underrepresented demographics.
• Craft legislation that will bolster economic competitiveness and job opportunities in the A&D industry, and encourage education and training programs required for both the existing workforce and new entrants.
• Incentivize industry and the military to be more directly engaged with evaluating and hiring transitioning military personnel, such as creating a standard to process and categorize military skill sets.
• Ensure federal incentives and/or grants are readily available to support industry, government, and academic partnerships that tailor training for high-level skills, professional education opportunities, and provide research-focused collaborations.
• Pass visa legislation that encourages the retention of foreign professional STEM workers in U.S. industry.
• Reform the security review process to expedite clearances, and ensure the implementation of an effective system that protects sensitive information and utilizes advanced technology to appropriately manage risk.

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Section News AIAA Rocky Mountain Section 6th Annual Technical Symposium

A speaker is addressing attendees at the 6th Annual Technical Symposium. The event banner and AIAA logo are displayed on a screen behind the speaker. Several attendees are seated and facing the stage.
AIAA Rocky Mountain Section Annual Technical Symposium Welcome. Credit: AIAA Rocky Mountain Section

by Wesley Kenison

On 17 November, the AIAA Rocky Mountain Section hosted its 6th Annual Technical Symposium (ATS) at Metropolitan State University (MSU) of Denver. This was the first year that the event was held at MSU Denver, and through generous university support, the event went fantastically well.

The symposium broke with tradition and separated its formerly unified technical theme into four tracks, giving attendees the ability to select aeronautics, astronautics, unmanned aircraft systems, or advanced manufacturing as the focus of their day’s events. In addition to the separate tracks, plenary sessions, expert panels, and an exhibit hall filled with booths and interactive displays from 17 event sponsors were also available to attendees. In addition to its section website, aiaa-rm.org, the Rocky Mountain Section also added a new website (www.aiaa-rm.tech) dedicated to the symposium.

Some of the highlights of this year’s symposium included: a presentation by Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO 1st District), a drone delivery demonstration by the AIAA Colorado School of Mines Student Branch, a 3D fly-through of the Lockheed Martin-designed Deep Space Gateway, and a keynote presentation on the development of the Mars Base Camp by DSSI President Stephen Bailey. Each track also featured a panel of industry experts giving attendees the chance to ask questions and take a deeper dive into the policies and programs shaping these industries. Panel topics included The Effects of Advanced Additive Manufacturing on Engineering Development Cycles, Airport Mapping and Maintenance using UAS, and a Young Professionals Panel highlighting the challenges and opportunities for young people just starting their aerospace careers. A new feature this year, certification testing for AGI’s Systems Tool Kit (STK) software, was also conducted, giving attendees the chance to add an industry certification to their resumes.

One of the things that continues to set this event apart from so many similar events throughout the industry is accessibility to a broad range of industry participants, from Fortune 500 vice presidents and congressional delegates to collegiate students and eager new hires. ATS has a history of strong planning and close ties to the community, which was highlighted this year by the partnership between AIAA and MSU Denver. ATS Committee Chair Wesley Kenison was able to bring together nearly 100 students, faculty, and staff from across the university to help make the event successful. University organizations for Aviation and Aerospace, Hospitality Tourism and Events, Brewing Science, Restaurant Management, Events Management, The Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute, Marketing and Communications, and The Center for Advanced Visualization and Experiential Analysis all participated to turn this event into a truly unique experience for attendees and event sponsors.

In addition to the symposium activities, the event organizers held a sponsor recognition dinner the evening prior. This event featured five beers specially crafted for the event to celebrate the partnership between AIAA and MSU as well as their shared love for all things aerospace. The culinary program prepared dozens of amazing treats and paired these to the small batch brews, taking guests on a taste extravaganza demonstrating the university’s top-notch programs. “This is the first time in the history of the department that three major programs – brewing science, restaurant management, and event management – came together to plan and produce an event,” said Andrea Peterson, affiliate faculty.

The decoration and event management for both days was handled by the Hospitalities, Tourism, and Events Program’s Advanced Planning and Risk Management class, who also provided a 50+ page risk management plan to ensure the safety and security of all guests.

Not only did this year’s symposium turn out great, MSU Denver is excited to apply the lessons learned this year to making next year’s symposium even bigger and better.

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AIAA Foundation 2018 International Student Conference Winners

A group of six people pose indoors, with three individuals holding large ceremonial checks. A banner in the background reads
Credit: AIAA

The AIAA Foundation International Student Conference takes place annually at the AIAA SciTech Forum. Students who have won first place in the Regional Student Conferences have a chance to present their papers at a professional technical conference. The conference offers the students a chance to showcase their research at an event where they can network with potential employers and colleagues. The 2018 International Student Conference was held on 8 January in conjunction with the AIAA SciTech Forum in Kissimmee, FL. Thank you to The Boeing Company for sponsoring the 2018 International Student Conference.

Undergraduate Division

Rhiannon Kirby, Monash University (Region VII-AU), was awarded the prize for her paper entitled “Tomographic Background-Oriented Schlieren for Three-Dimensional Density Field Reconstruction in Asymmetric Shock-containing Jets.”

Undergraduate Team

Calvin Buechler, Kevin Faggiano, Dustin Fishelman, Cody Gondek, Lee Huynh, Aaron McCusker, William Sear, Himanshi Singhal, Craig Wenkheimer, and Nathan Yeo, University of Colorado Boulder (Region V), were awarded the prize for their entry entitled “Project REPTAR: REcoverable ProTection After Re-entry.” Calvin Buechler accepted the award.

Graduate — Master’s

Carolyn M. Walther and David A. Coleman, Texas A&M University (Region IV), were awarded the prize for their paper entitled “Understanding Unsteady Aerodynamics of Cycloidal Rotors in Hover at Ultra-low Reynolds Numbers.”

For more information on the AIAA Foundation International Student Conference, please contact Rachel Dowdy at 703.264.7577 or racheld@aiaa.org.

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Publications Information Dr. Ella M. Atkins Appointed as New Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Aerospace Information Systems

On 11 January, AIAA President James Maser formally appointed Dr. Ella M. Atkins as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Aerospace Information Systems (JAIS). Dr. Atkins is an exceptional educator and researcher who is committed to the study of flight software systems, aerospace information systems, and autonomy. Currently she is a Professor in the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Michigan where she has been innovative and influential in moving a traditional aerospace engineering department in new directions. She is also the Associate Director of Graduate Programs at the University’s Robotics Institute.

An AIAA Associate Fellow, Dr. Atkins has made significant contributions to the Institute, including serving on the Intelligent Systems Technical Committee and the Software Technical Committee. She also serves as the faculty advisor for the AIAA University of Michigan Student Branch, and was a founding organizer of the AIAA Infotech@Aerospace conference. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Atkins will be the fourth editor-in-chief of the journal. She has been an advocate for JAIS since its inception and has served as an associate editor for the journal. The journal was launched in January 2004 under the title Journal of Aerospace Computing, Information, and Communication, reflecting the growing importance of computing and information systems to aerospace engineering. JAIS led the way as AIAA’s first online-only journal with a goal of rapid publication of all articles. Atkins succeeds Dr. Ashok Srivastava, who has served as editor-in-chief of JAIS since 2012. During Srivastava’s tenure, the journal scope was revised and the title changed to its current form, further refining the journal’s place in the industry.

Looking toward the future, it is clear that Dr. Atkins’s unique background in aerospace information systems will serve to enhance the quality, rigor, and reach of JAIS.

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Technical Committees 2018 Space Systems Technical Committee Essay Contest

AIAA and the AIAA Space Systems Technical Committee invite you to participate in their annual National Essay Contest for students in 7th and 8th grade through AIAA sections.


In 2017, NASA selected 12 new astronaut candidates. Describe the role of astronauts and their impact on NASA, their impact on the future of the United States, and their impact on international partnerships.


• Double-spaced, typewritten (size 12 font) essay, in 1,000 words or less
• Student name, teacher name, grade, and school name must be written in the top right-hand corner of the essay
• Include student and teacher name, phone, email, and mailing address for notification and awards


• Originality of ideas presented
• Soundness of logic used to develop ideas
• Realism of ideas presented
• Quality of composition and clarity of expression

(Note: All decisions by the judges are final)


At each grade level:

Certificate of recognition + Essays published by AIAA at a national level

1st place: $100 award + $500 for their science classroom; 2nd place $50 award; 3rd place: $25 award

Each student will receive a one-year free membership with AIAA


Any seventh or eighth grader (or equivalent). Please contact your local section officers (aiaa.org/RegionSectionMap.aspx) to confirm that they will be running the contest and accepting entries. Entries accepted by “at-large” students through Jeff Puschell, jjpuschell@raytheon.com


Final submission deadline to local AIAA section officers is 31 March 2018. Local winners and their teachers will be notified in April. National winners and their teachers will be notified in May.


Email Anthony Shao and Erica Rodgers (ant.shao@gmail.com, erica.rodgers@nasa.gov)

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Obituary AIAA Associate Fellow Herty Died in October

Dr. Charles (Chuck) Holmes Herty died on 6 October.

After beginning college at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Herty entered the U.S. Navy in 1943, rising to the rank of Aviation Radioman on the U.S.S. Midway. He returned to college in 1946 and graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1948. Dr. Herty received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry by 1953 while teaching Freshman Chemistry. He then went to work at Phillips Petroleum on solid rocket propulsion development.

He remained with Phillips for 32 years, with the majority of his time spent in the Research and Development Laboratory. Dr. Herty became the Manager of the R&D Department, and later Technical Director of Tactical Propulsion. While employed he was awarded three patents for solid rocket propulsion technology. The plant went through many ownership changes, and when Dr. Herty retired in 1987, it was called Hercules.

He served over 40 years on the Board of the Central Texas Science and Engineering Fair, retiring as Program Review Team Chair Emeritus. Dr. Herty was a member of several scientific organizations, including the American Chemical Society and AIAA.

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February 2018 AIAA Bulletin