AIAA and AIA Host National A&D Workforce Summit
As our members know, the adequacy and size of the nation’s STEM workforce continues to be an ongoing concern for the aerospace and defense (A&D) community. The sector faces impending retirements and a shortage of trained technical graduates while work and skills requirements become increasingly advanced. More and more companies are attempting to improve quality and boost productivity by automating their facilities. Furthermore, because of a stringent visa process, many highly skilled, foreign-born students who have been educated at U.S. colleges and universities must return to their home countries to work. This removes a lucrative workforce who could otherwise help drive U.S. entrepreneurship and economic growth.
Recognizing the importance and urgency of these issues, AIAA teamed with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) to organize and host the 2016 National A&D Workforce Summit: Collaborating to Inspire and Build the Aerospace Workforce of Tomorrow in Washington, DC. The two-day forum, which took place last month, convened nearly 150 leaders from academia, government, industry, and nongovernment organizations. It was by design that this summit took place during a presidential and congressional election year―an ideal time to assess the current state of the A&D workforce and consider what needs to be done in the future to sustain and advance this critical national asset. Both organizations last partnered in 2008, hosting a similar summit in another election year.
The event kicked off with opening remarks by AIAA Executive Director Sandy Magnus, who said that summits like this allow us to “take stock of where we are as an industry, examine the issues, and identify actions that could be taken to reach solutions.” She continued by reminding participants that, “our voices can effect powerful change both legislatively and more practically in classrooms, design rooms, human resource offices, and production facilities around the nation.”
Dr. Reginald Brothers, Under Secretary for Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, delivered a poignant luncheon keynote speech. He articulated that the A&D workforce should not “just be fluent in a single technical area, but many.” He added that we need “folks who can work in a team across areas with different synergies.”
Other first day highlights included a panel on how companies like Boeing and Northrop Grumman are partnering with colleges and universities on regional projects to develop an in-demand workforce, and explore skills gaps in manufacturing and technical labor as experienced in particular geographic regions. Another panel discussed how to engage more female and underrepresented minority students in STEM subjects and attract them into the workforce, and opportunities to hear from both current and past participants about how their experiences in STEM programs influences their academic and career choices.
Robert Durbin, AIA’s chief operating officer, opened the second day of the summit. Representatives from various state STEM networks spoke about stakeholder collaboration at the state and local levels. Next, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) provided perspectives on some of the education and workforce accomplishments in the 114th Congress, as well as what they hope the 115th Congress can tackle in these areas. Senator Scott offered, “Exposing our kids [to STEM] at an early age allows for anything to be possible; however, they ultimately choose their future career path.” Congressman Honda added that many of our schools “are not equipped to properly educate each and every child.” He continued, “We must understand what each and every child needs in order to have equity in our education system.”
Another panel included officials from the Department of Defense, the FAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, who reviewed their agency STEM initiatives and workforce issues impacting the executive branch. The event concluded with a special panel, including representatives from the United Kingdom and French aerospace industry associations, designed to help identify how international stakeholders might collaborate to develop the aerospace workforce around the globe.
Scientists and engineers are essential to U.S. innovation and economic growth, and much more must be done to encourage generations of Americans to study science, technology, engineering, and math. The summit produced many ideas and recommendations that will inform our work going forward. AIAA and AIA will publish a proceedings report of the summit, for release in January 2017, which will both shape our own strategies on STEM education and workforce development and include recommendations to the new administration and 115th Congress.
The event was sponsored by 180 Skills LLC, The Boeing Company, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Rolls-Royce.
AIAA K–12 STEM Activities
The K–12 STEM Outreach Committee would like to recognize outstanding STEM events in each section. If your section would like to be featured, please contact Supriya Banerjee (1Supriya.Banerjee@gmail.com) and Angela Diggs (Angela.Spence@gmail.com).
The Winchester STARBASE Academy (http://starbasewinchester.webs.com/) provides inspiring and exciting STEM education activities to 4th- and 5th-grade public and private schools students in northwestern Virginia. Winchester STARBASE is part of the Department of Defense STARBASE program, and is managed by the Virginia Department of Military Affairs.
Students and their teacher attend the program for 5 days providing 25 hours of instruction. The STARBASE curriculum emphasizes Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Math, and Technology. Programs have an inquiry-based curriculum containing “hands-on, mind-on” experiential activities that highlight the real-world applications of each area. Examples include:
- Using PTC’s CAD software sketching and modeling to create a physical product on a Stratasys 3-D printer.
- Egg drop tests using the Engineering Design Process
- Investigations with molecule building kits, chemical & physical changes, and atmospheric properties
- Newton’s laws of motion using inertia toys, straw rockets, Newton’s cradles, and solid fuel rockets
- Navigational concepts using Tyvek maps and handheld GPS units
- Programming robots to traverse an obstacle course / perform required maneuvers
Math is embedded throughout all activities as well as metric measurement lessons, circuit board geometry, and data analysis of an Alka-Seltzer rocket.
Students learn about different STEM careers during presentations from military, government, and private sector volunteers, including Air Force pilots, medical professionals, and civil and structural engineers. AIAA members have participated, presenting information on the Space Shuttle, Space Station, and Mars programs.
Over 2,700 students in the Winchester STARBASE region have attended the five-day program. The program is being expanded for the upcoming school year, doubling participation from 750 students per year to an anticipated 1,500.
For information on how AIAA members can help support Winchester STARBASE, please contact Program Director Susan Corrigan at firstname.lastname@example.org or AIAA Associate Fellow and K–12 STEM Committee Member Jeff Jones at email@example.com.
AIAA Foundation Presents Graduate and Undergraduate Awards
The AIAA Foundation annually awards financial aid to graduate and undergraduate students in science or engineering programs related to aerospace. Its graduate scholarship program presents awards to graduate students doing excellent research in the air and space sciences. The Foundation also offers scholarships to college sophomores, juniors, and seniors each year, and recipients can apply to renew their scholarships annually until they graduate.
Graduate Awards for the 2016–2017 Academic Year
Each year the AIAA Foundation presents the Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Awards. These $5,000 awards, given in memory of the Wright brothers’ contributions to the evolution of flight, honor full-time graduate students. The winners are:
- Robert Jacobi, University of Arizona, Prescott, Arizona
- Trevor Bennett, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
In addition, Connie Liu, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, received the Neil Armstrong Graduate Award. This $5,000 award honors the character and achievements of the late astronaut, military pilot and educator, Neil A. Armstrong.
The AIAA Foundation also presented the John Leland Atwood Graduate Award to Markus Geiss, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. Established in 1999, the $1,250 award, sponsored by endowments from Rockwell and what is now The Boeing Company and named in memory of John Leland “Lee” Atwood, former chief executive officer of Rockwell, North America, recognizes a student actively engaged in research in the areas covered by the technical committees (TC) of AIAA.
Three AIAA TCs also presented graduate awards:
- Evan Harrison, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, received the General Aviation Systems TC’s $1,000 William T. Piper Sr. General Aviation Systems Graduate Award.
- Patrick Kenneally, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, received the Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) TC’s $2,500 GNC Graduate Award.
- Vaibhav Kumar, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, received the Modeling and Simulation TC’s $3,500 Luis de Florez Graduate Award.
Undergraduate Scholarships for the 2016–2017 Academic Year
The AIAA Foundation have awarded ten AIAA Foundation undergraduate scholarships for the 2016–2017 academic year.
The $5,000 David and Catherine Thompson Space Technology Scholarship, named for and endowed by former AIAA President David Thompson, chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Orbital ATK, Dulles, Virginia, and his wife Catherine, was presented to Erin Tesny, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio.
The $5,000 Vicki and George Muellner Scholarship for Aerospace Engineering, named for and endowed by former AIAA President Lt. Gen. George Muellner, U.S. Air Force (retired) and president of advanced systems for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems (retired), and his wife Vicki, was presented to Andrew Orme, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
The $5,000 Wernher von Braun Scholarship, named in honor of German rocketeer and founder of the U.S. space program, Wernher von Braun, was presented to Young Wu, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The $1,500 Leatrice Gregory Pendray Scholarship, awarded to the Foundation’s top female scholarship applicant, was presented to Tammy Witzens, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
Six AIAA Foundation scholarships were presented by AIAA Technical Committees (TC) to students performing research in the TC’s area:
- The Liquid Propulsion TC presented a $2,500 scholarship to Aadil Pappa, University of Texas at Austin, Texas.
- The Space Transportation TC presented a $1,500 scholarship to Oseas Hudy-Velasco, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The Digital Avionics TC presented four scholarships of $2,000 each:
- The Dr. James Rankin Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to Eylul Bilgin, University of California, San Diego, California.
- The Dr. Amy R. Pritchett Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to McKenzie Kinzbach, University of Cincinnati, Ohio.
- The Ellis F. Hitt Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to Andreas Martinez, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida.
- The Cary Spitzer Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to Diane Nguyen, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
For more information on the AIAA Foundation Graduate Awards and Undergraduate Scholarship Program, please contact Felicia Livingston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.264.7502. Join us as we continue to inspire teachers and students. For more information and to donate, please visit www.aiaafoundation.org.
AIAA New England Honors and Awards Banquet Held in June
The AIAA New England Section held its Honors and Awards Banquet on 28 June. Members and guests were treated to AIAA Distinguished Lecturer Dr. Richard Hallion speaking on “A Century of Military Aviation,” which traced the development of military aviation around the world, cautioned on evaluating testing, and made recommendations for future development. The evening also included presentations of Special Service Citations to four AIAA council members by Dr. Sheila Widnall, former Secretary of the Air Force and former AIAA President; the 63 section members whose membership spanned more than 50 years were noted.
The banquet included a special exhibition of U.S. Air Force flight clothing since Korea, curated by Will Schaefer, MITRE Corporation, and a description of former section chair and Air Force Test Pilot Col. Douglas Joyce’s book Flying Beyond the Stall, the X-31 and the Advent of Supermaneuverability.
AIAA Student Paper Competitions
AIAA is pleased to announce the winners of the student paper competitions held during AIAA AVIATION 2016. Congratulations!
Atmospheric and Space Environments
Gustavo E. C. Fujiwara, Michael Bragg, Stephanie Camello, and Christopher Lum, University of Washington, AIAA 2016-3734, “Computational and Experimental Ice Accretions of Large Swept Wings in the Icing Research Tunnel.”
Multidisciplinary Optimization Design
Koorosh Gobal, Ramana Grandhi, and Christopher Koehler, Wright State University, AIAA 2016-3992, “A Robust Analytical Sensitivity Analysis for Coupled Aero-Structural Systems.”
AIAA Associate Fellow Leeper Died in May
Charles K. Leeper died on 12 May 2016. He was 92.
Mr. Leeper earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1944. He then worked as a junior engineer at the American Manufacturing Company of Texas, and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He earned his M.S. in 1948 and his Sc.D. in 1954, both in mechanical engineering from MIT.
His professional career focused on nuclear energy and rocket propulsion. In 1954, he worked at Nuclear Development Associates, before moving to Atlantic Research Corporation, where he served as a division director. From 1963 to 1969, Mr. Leeper was manager of engineering at Aerojet Liquid Rocket, contributing to rocket engine designs that were integral to the space program. He also patented six designs in the field of fuel technology.
Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Mr. Leeper held leadership positions at various aerospace and energy companies, including Aerojet Nuclear Systems, where he directed engineering for NERVA.
AIAA Associate Fellow Reisz Died in July
Aloysius I. “Al” Reisz passed away on 21 July. He was 78 years old.
Reisz began his career as a Boeing propulsion engineer during development and flight of the Apollo Saturn V. He worked with Marshall Space Flight Center propulsion engineers, and helped develop the propellant management system for the F-1 engines and the second stage J-2 liquid hydrogen engines. He also developed the post flight performance predictions for the Saturn V flights. Later, he worked on two Skylab missions.
Reisz started Reisz Engineers in 1974, providing and managing engineering services to aerospace and other industries. One of his projects was selected as one of the ten outstanding engineering projects of 1976 by the National Society of Professional Engineers.
Reisz was a long-time AIAA Greater Huntsville Section member and the section’s 2011 Oberth Award Winner. He was involved in ASME and was a past president of the Von Braun Astronomical Society.
AIAA Fellow Kuo Died in July
Kenneth Kuan-Yun Kuo, 76, died on 31 July 2016. He was 76 years old.
Dr. Kuo graduated from the National Taiwan University with a B.S. in 1961 and received a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1964 and a Ph.D. in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences from Princeton University in 1971.
Dr. Kuo retired as Distinguished Professor Emeritus after serving as Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the High Pressure Combustion Laboratory for 39 years at The Pennsylvania State University. An internationally recognized authority on chemical propulsion and propellant combustion, he greatly impacted his field with the founding of the High Pressure Combustion Laboratory at Penn State, leadership on more than 100 scientific research projects, and authorship of several textbooks and over 420 articles on propulsion, combustion, and energetic materials. He conducted fundamental research on hybrid rocket propulsion and developed energetic solid fuels with various nano-sized energetic additives through detailed combustion characterization and diagnostics.
A Fellow of AIAA and ASME, Dr. Kuo received numerous awards throughout his career, including the 2014 Ballistics Science Fellow of the International Ballistics Society and the 2011 AIAA Wyld Propulsion Award.
AIAA Senior Member Pearce Died in August
Earl H. Pearce, Commander, U.S. Navy (retired), died on 5 August 2016, at the age of 85.
CDR Pearce graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree in 1952 from Auburn University, and joined the U.S. Navy serving as a fighter pilot, completing 550 carrier landings on 11 different aircraft carriers. He earned an Aeronautical Engineering degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1962.
CDR Pearce retired from the Navy in 1972. In 1975, he earned an MBA degree at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB). He was Assistant Professor in the UAB Mechanical Engineering department from 1980 to 1990. CDR Pearce was a longtime member of the AIAA Greater Huntsville Section. In 2011, the section renamed its Professional of the Year Award after him. The Earl Pearce Professional of the Year Award is given annually to a section member in recognition of extraordinary dedication, creativity and leadership while engaged in a professional work or activity in within the aerospace community.
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Editor, AIAA Bulletin