January 2022

Award Announcements 2022 AIAA Sustained Service Award Winners Announced

AIAA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Sustained Service Awards, which recognize sustained, significant service and contributions to AIAA by members of the Institute.

Joao Luiz F. Azevedo
Instituto de Aeronautica e Espaco
For more than 10 years of service as Deputy Director–Region VII and as a member of the AIAA Education Series Editorial Advisory Board.

Steven Beresh
Sandia National Laboratories
For sustained service and outstanding leadership to Aerodynamic Measurement Technology and Aerospace Sciences technical activities.

Carlos E. S. Cesnik
University of Michigan
For nearly three decades of sustained and meritorious service to AIAA in a variety of leadership roles within its technical activities.

John R. Chawner
Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
For over 40 years of continuous involvement and advocacy to drive CFD engagement and advancements in AIAA through workshops and technical and integration committees.

Peyman Givi
University of Pittsburgh
For exemplary contributions to AIAA Publications and student branches, and for mentorship of the next generation of aerospace engineers.

Farzad Mashayek

University of Illinois Chicago
For outstanding, sustained contributions to the Institute at the section and regional levels and to national technical committees with role-model activities in terrestrial energy generation and storage.

Eric J. Ruggiero
GE Edison Works
For outstanding service and advancement of people and technology in the propulsion and gas turbine engineering fields.

Timothy Takahashi
Arizona State University
For extensive service to AIAA at the national and regional levels through work for technical committees, subcommittees, conferences, and forum organization.

Charles Wilson
MIT Lincoln Laboratory (retired)
In recognition of 40 years of service to AIAA including the relentless effort to promote STEM, college outreach, and diversity and inclusion, and for sustained leadership with the AIAA New England Council.

For more information on the Sustained Service Award, please visit aiaa.org/awards.

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AIAA Foundation Making an Impact: Diversity Scholars Return to In-Person Events

A group of nine people dressed in business attire stand in front of a sign that reads
ASCEND Diversity Scholars Credit: AIAA

From 14 to 17 November, AIAA Diversity Scholars traveled to Las Vegas, NV, to take part in ASCEND, the annual collaborative, interdisciplinary, outcomes-driven event for professionals, students, and enthusiasts around the world who are accelerating humanity’s progress toward our off-world future We were excited to host this in-person event for our scholars, the first since 2020 AIAA SciTech Forum.

The AIAA Diversity Scholars program provides students from historically underrepresented groups in the aerospace industry with the opportunity to attend an AIAA forum and gain networking and professional development opportunities at no cost to them. The ASCEND Diversity Scholars represented 14 universities from around the United States, and a variety of racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual orientation backgrounds.

Students shared their thoughts on receiving the ASCEND Diversity Scholarship and how they planned to make the most of this experience. “This scholarship will allow me to get my foot in the door within the aerospace industry, explore different avenues, and network with different people along with companies,” said Seemi Zameer, a Mechanical Engineering student at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. “It’s an honor to receive this scholarship, and I plan on to learn and grow as much as I can from this experience.”

AIAA Diversity Scholars receive round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and a guided schedule to help them navigate forum activities and create their own individual experiences. AIAA is pleased to welcome the 2022 AIAA SciTech Diversity Scholars on-site at the AIAA SciTech Forum taking place 3–7 January 2022 in San Diego, CA.

Application dates for the 2022 AIAA Diversity Scholarship Programs at AIAA AVIATION Forum and ASCEND can be found online at AIAA.org. For more information about the Diversity Scholarship Program, contact Michael Lagana at michaell@aiaa.org.

Thank you to The Boeing Company for sponsoring the AIAA Diversity Scholars Program.

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AIAA Foundation University of Melbourne Hosts 2021 AIAA Region VII Student Conference

To wrap up the 2021 Regional Student Conferences, the University of Melbourne virtually hosted the 2021 Region VII Student Conference, 29–30 November 2021. Thirty-six students presented, representing 20 universities. The conference had a strong international presence with presenters from 13 countries to include Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.

Students presented in three categories: Undergraduate, Masters, and High School, which is a new category this year. Their presentations were evaluated by industry peers with many years of experience in the aerospace sector. For the Undergraduate and Masters categories, first-place winners received a cash prize of $500 and an invitation to participate in the International Student Conference at the 2022 AIAA SciTech Forum, 3–7 January. Second-place winners received a cash prize of $300 and third place receives $250. The high school student received $100.

High School Category

• Mehul Vemareddy, Dubai International Academy, “Evaluating Energy Production Sources for Use on Mars (Review Article)”


• 1st: Meaghan Munro, Monash University, “Novel optical diagnostics for the study of shock separation in rocket nozzles”
• 2nd: Dennis Chui, Monash University, “Investigation of shockwave interaction with high pressure non-reacting injection jets”
• 3rd: Matthew Berry, Monash University, “Complex Jets in Supersonic Crossflow”


• 1st: Kai Lok Leung, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, “Computational Investigation of the Trailing Edge Noise from an Airfoil in a Low Reynolds Number Flow”
• 2nd: Ryan Locke, University of New South Wales, “Design of a Miniature Blimp with Bioinspired Propulsion”
• 3rd: Jeonghwan Park, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, “A Perception and Control System for In-Flight Collision Avoidance of UAVs”

AIAA would like to thank Lockheed Martin for supporting the program. Additionally, special thanks to the University of Melbourne, the judges, Professor Simon Barraclough, and Region VII Director Cees Bil for coordinating the conference.

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Olivier de Weck appointed Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets

A person wearing glasses and a navy blue
Olivier de Weck. Credit: de Weck

In January 2022, Olivier L. de Weck, Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics and Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will assume responsibility as the new Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets (JSR). Professor de Weck succeeds Professor Hanspeter Schaub of the University of Colorado Boulder, who has served as Editor-in-Chief of JSR since 2017. He reflected, “The field of spacecraft engineering and astronautics is more dynamic today than it has ever been with novel technologies, methods, launches, and mission concepts emerging daily. JSR is a trusted source of truth and it is a great honor to have been chosen as its next editor.”

Professor de Weck holds a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Systems from MIT. As a professor at MIT, he serves as co-director of the MIT Small Satellite Center and faculty co-director of the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership (MIT GEL) Program and the Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (MIT UPOP). His research interests include systems engineering, astronautics and space logistics, and multidisciplinary design optimization. He studies how new technologies and designs enable the creation of complex systems such as vehicles, missions, and industrial ecosystems; how they evolve; and how they can be optimized over time. He was also Senior Vice President for Technology Planning and Roadmapping at Airbus (2017–2018).

An AIAA Fellow (Class of 2021), Professor de Weck previously held positions as an Associate Editor of JSR (2007–2012) and as the Editor-in-Chief of Wiley’s INCOSE journal Systems Engineering (2013–2018). He has authored or co-authored four books and over 400 scholarly publications, and won 13 best paper awards since 2004. His book, Engineering Systems: Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World, was the 2012 bestseller at the MIT Press. In 2010 he received the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising and in 2017 the MIT Teaching with Digital Technology Award.

JSR is devoted to reporting advancements in the science and technology associated with spacecraft and tactical and strategic missile systems, including subsystems, applications, missions, environmental interactions, and space sciences. Professor de Weck will become the 11th Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

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AIAA Announcements Call for Experts: Committee on Standards

The AIAA Committee on Standards (CoS) for GTTC Wind Tunnel Measurement Uncertainty Analysis has been approved. This new CoS will be the consensus body for the revision project to combine AIAA S-071A-1999, Standard: Assessment of Experimental Uncertainty With Application to Wind Tunnel Testing, and its supplemental document, AIAA G-045-2003, Guide: Assessing Experimental Uncertainty — Supplement to AIAA S-071A-1999. For more information contact Nick Tongson (nickt@aiaa.org). The generic AIAA Participation Form can be found at: aiaa.org/docs/default-source/uploadedfiles/membership-and-communities/committees/aiaa-cos-participation-form.doc?sfvrsn=c431c3d3_0.

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Section News AIAA Sydney Section Event: Air Force Aerospace Engineer Career – From Design to Advice

Two women work on the open maintenance panel of a military aircraft; one is dressed in civilian clothing working on the panel, and the other is in military uniform holding documents, both smiling.
Wing Commander Shannan Forrest, left, discussing the engineering characteristics of the Australian F/A-18A Hornet. Credit: Australian Department of Defence image

By Michael Spencer, Committee Member, and Daniel Walsh, Chair, AIAA Sydney Section

On 19 October 2021, Wing Commander Shannan Forrest, Royal Australian Air Force, provided the AIAA Sydney Section with a public lecture on her career as an aerospace engineer and chartered professional engineer. The AIAA Sydney Section supports its university student members in two student sub-branches by seeking key speakers to share advice on their background education, career trajectory, vocational experiences, and personal highlights in aerospace engineering. Forrest discussed her 30-year Air Force career from her initial engineering education, her various career steps from systems design through to becoming an engineering authority on combat fighter aircraft, through to her current role in providing acquisition advice to the Department of Defence for proposing military aviation acquisitions for consideration by the federal government.

Several career highlights and key examples of Forrest’s engineering achievements stood out.

Dawn of the Aerospace Dream. Forrest grew up as an “Air Force brat” with her father serving in the Air Force. When her father took her to the airfield to watch the aircraft, she was hooked. As a teenager, she learned to fly gliders.

Starting on a Trajectory for Aerospace. Motivated by a keen interest in flying gliders and inspired by the news that Robin Williams had successfully graduated as one of the first female pilots in the Australian Air Force, she too set her sights on pilot training. Unfortunately, her eyesight prevented her from being a military pilot. Undaunted, her affinity with aircraft led her to work experience in a Melbourne-based aircraft factory that designed and assembled state-owned military aircraft. Here, Forrest made her first contact with the design and engineering issues for aircraft such as the Australian-built Jindivik remote piloted aircraft target, Nomad twin-engine light aircraft, and U.S.-built aircraft F/A-18A/B “Classic” Hornet multi-role fighter.

The First Aerospace Engineering Solution. In 1989, an Air Force Nomad aircraft suffered a mid-air structural failure that resulted in a fatal crash after the entire tail section had catastrophically separated inflight from the fuselage. After the crash investigation, Forrest, as a work experience student, was assigned to work the math predictions needed to inform the critical decision on whether the aircraft structural life could be extended or needed to be shortened for the entire Nomad fleet. This work provided the “light bulb moment” that inspired her to become an aerospace engineer.

Leaping onto an Air Force Trajectory for Aerospace Engineering. Forrest joined the Air Force and began her four-year Bachelor of Engineering Degree program at the Australian Defence Force Academy. The third and fourth years of her aerospace engineering studies were completed at RMIT University and she lived at RAAF Base Point Cook, just down the road from where she had learnt to fly gliders. Her RMIT university thesis looked at a motorcycle safety suit problem that protected the neck and large bone mass, and required an aerodynamic design solution for competition riders. “This must have just been fate because my next job was systems engineering,” she recalls. Upon graduation, she received her commission in the Royal Australian Air Force.

Focusing on Unknown Opportunities Instead of Missed Opportunities. Her first Air Force posting was to the Weapon Systems Support Flight in the maintenance squadron for F/A-18 Fighter aircraft. “I was a little disappointed because all my peers had gone off to do maintenance management type roles and they were flying all over the world and all over Australia, doing maintenance on different aircraft and, and I was stuck there,” she recounts, “as it turns out, I was really, really lucky. I fell on my feet because I actually got to do design, and I got to do systems design. I got to do analysis into a whole heap of very specific problems, and none of my peers got to do that because they’re off doing maintenance.” She became the design authority responsible for solving long-term fast jet engineering issues for the Australian F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet fighter and MB-326 Macchi fighter trainer. One of the investigation her team completed resolved the long-standing nose wheel shimmy issue on the Australian F/A-18 aircraft fleet.

Personal Trials Under Extreme and Extraordinary Circumstances. Forrest led a maintenance team with about 40 members to support the first Australian deployment of F/A-18 Hornets to join the U.S. Air Force in Exercise COPE THUNDER-ALASKA. She met the demands to assure the aircraft needed for the daily exercise flying schedules, overcame some unusual aircraft system faults with limited resources, and Australia was recognized with the best performing squadron award for the entire exercise.

Status Transition from Design Authority to Design Policy Authority. For her next posting, Forrest led an engineering team assigned to investigate and test the fatigue life of the F/A-18 aircraft to see how many hours they could fly before the airframe would break. The U.S. Navy had originally steered the design of the F/A-18 for Navy carrier operations. However, the Australian operating environment and concept of operations were incurring structural fatigue issues different from the U.S. Navy experiences. She said, “We would run this complex, world-leading test rig and check for cracking each day, and if it cracked, we would design the repair system for it. The whole idea was to keep testing until it would break.” Consequently, Air Force was provided with invaluable aircraft life-of-type date to inform the safe life of the aircraft and the mid-life upgrade project.

Career Diversification. In 2001, Forrest was posted to the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group as the Integrated Logistics Support Manager for Navigation Training Aircraft. Her team supported the fleet of Hawker Siddeley HS748 and the leased B200 King Air employed by the Air Force to train aviators as air mission specialists. As these aircraft were approaching obsolescence, she led the contract development, negotiation, and transition team to introduce the leased B300 King Air to replace the aging fleets of HS748 and B200 aircraft.

Defense Major Capital Acquisition. She was appointed as the Project Engineer and Senior Engineering Officer for the transition of the new E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft from the project acquisition office to in-service operations with the Air Force. Forrest led a Defence project team to set up and run an Authorised Engineering and Maintenance Organisations needed to oversee the aircraft engineering. The Australian-unique aircraft design and engineering modifications reconfigured a Boeing 737 into the E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C. This effort included preparing the sustainment contracts and conducting the initial contract negotiations to sustain the aircraft after Air Force accepted the E-7A fleet into service.

Managing a Regulatory System-of-Systems. Forrest then was returned on posting to RAAF Base Williamtown as a headquarters staff officer at Surveillance and Response Group responsible for assuring the regulatory compliance of both the flying squadron and ground base aviation systems within the group. She led a team to oversee the maintenance organizations supporting P-3 Orion, E-7 Wedgetail AEW&C, and the Air Traffic Control and surveillance systems before she was appointed Senior Engineering Officer, No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit, responsible for the 200 maintenance staff providing engineering support for the F/A-18 Hornets needed for the resource-intensive training programs for new fighter pilots and fighter combat instructors.

Applying Change Methods for Improving Safety Culture in the Workplace. It was at this point in her Air Force career that Forrest realised she was doing more than controlling the designs and engineering for assuring aircraft availability. She was also designing and engineering the next-generation workforce under her management responsibility. She was now mentoring individuals and leading changes in the workplace as part of the system that assured aircraft safety. Her experiences at implementing many regulations enabled her to understand the needs and methods for changing workplace culture and improving people and capability performance. Forrest had become a valuable mentor for female engineering officers.

All Weapon Systems Need Aviation Safety Controls. After her latest promotion to the rank of Wing Commander, Forrest joined the Defence Aviation Safety Authority as the Secretariat for the independent aviation safety reviews of all Defence in-service and project aviation systems. She completed a posting within the Contestability Division, and she was responsible for developing independent advice to Department of Defence programs and committees to support information provided to the federal government in considering future defence capability acquisitions. Her sound application of engineering principles were applied to the Australian submarine project when Forrest was sent to the UK Department of Defence’s submarine design and acquisition postgraduate course. Her contribution led a different conversation on regulatory standards for submarine design and engineering to assure systems safety.

Command and Leadership on Operations. From 2019 to 2020, Forrest served in the Middle East as the Commanding Officer Expeditionary Airbase Operations Unit and the Australian Precinct Commander during Operation ACCORDION. Operation ACCORDION provided her first experiences to be deployed on operations and delegated to serve with command authority.

Applying a Career of Engineer Experiences to Assuring Better Air Force Project Outcomes. Forrest is currently posted at the Air Force Headquarters in Canberra to advise Programs and Projects supporting acquisitions of new aviation capabilities for Air Force. She also continues to mentor the next generation of engineers and promotes a workplace culture that considers capabilities as being inclusive of the needs of its human resources. “I think when you do engineering, you learn to think a different way. Those of us who are engineers don’t know that we think differently but we do. We look at a problem and we think, ‘How do I fix that? How can I simply that? How do I break it down into something that I can manage where I can actually mitigate that issue?’ As engineer’s we challenge ourselves to look at how we can make things better.”

The section is grateful for the opportunity to host Wing Commander Forrest and share her experiences and insights into her aerospace engineering career. A video recording is available on the AIAA Sydney Section page on Facebook & YouTube at https://youtu.be/zPf2q2Vs_h8.

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January 2022 AIAA Bulletin