The ultimate measure of any educational institution is reflected in the accomplishments of our graduates. They bring honor to the University through their public lives and professional achievements.
Our department and college have had the honor and privilege to educate some of the most distinguished and most accomplished people in industry, government and academia. We established a Hall of Distinguished Alumni to pay tribute to those who have gone on to distinguish themselves in the field of aerospace engineering.
Each year, we have the honor of inducting highly distinguished alumni into our Hall to recognize their stellar careers and achievements.
MS, Aerospace Engineering, 1983
Astronaut, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Clayton C. Anderson is the first Iowa State University alumnus to become an astronaut. A Nebraska native, he earned his BS in physics at Hastings College. After a summer internship at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, he began his MS work at Iowa State in aerospace engineering. Following graduation in 1983, Anderson joined NASA full time in the Mission Planning and Analysis Division. Over the next 15 years, his responsibilities included designing rendezvous and proximity operations trajectory designs for early space shuttle and space station missions and leading the trajectory design team for the Galileo planetary mission. Anderson was accepted into the astronaut-training program in 1998. As an astronaut, he led the development of the Enhanced Caution and Warning System to aid astronauts in diagnosing and correcting problems that occur during space flight. In June 2007, Anderson began a 152-day mission onboard the International Space Station. His duties included three spacewalks totaling 18 hours to prepare the station for additional construction. His mission ended successfully on November 7, 2007.
Dale A. Anderson
MS, Aerospace Engineering, 1959 | PhD, Aerospace Engineering, 1964
Professor and Vice President for Research, University of Texas, Arlington
Dale Anderson began his career as an assistant professor of aerospace engineering at Iowa State (ISU) in 1964 and was promoted to full professor in 1975. While at ISU, he did pioneering research in computational fluid dynamics (CFD), educated and brought forth some of the most prominent CFD researchers in the country, and co-authored the first comprehensive textbook in CFD with John Tannehill and Dick Pletcher that educated a generation around the world. In 1984, he moved to The University of Texas at Arlington, where he was professor and held several administrative positions, including Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies. Dale has received a number of awards for his outstanding teaching and research.
F. Ronald (Ron) Bailey
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1964 | MS, Aerospace Engineering, 1967 | PhD, Aerospace Engineering, 1970
Director, Aerophysics Directorate NASA AMES
After receiving his PhD from Iowa State in 1970, Ron joined the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Branch at NASA Ames where he did pioneering research in CFD for transonic flows and aircraft wing design. Later, as founder of NASA’s Numerical Aerodynamics Simulation and High Performance and Communication Programs, he was responsible for the significant advances made in high performance computing (HPC) for aerospace and other critical fields. After his retirement from NASA Ames as Director of Aerophysics, he continued to advance HPC in critical management positions at Raytheon E-Systems and as CEO of a computer networking start-up. Ron is also a graduate of the von Karman Institute in Brussels and is a Fellow of AIAA.
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1964
Director, Space Operations Management Office National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Stephen Bales, a native of Ottumwa, Iowa, holds a BS degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State and a MBA degree from the University of Houston. He joined NASA in 1964 in the Flight Dynamics branch as a guidance officer and worked multiple missions as flight controller for the Gemini and Apollo programs, including being part of Gene Krantz’s “Failure is not an option” mission control team. His steady, split-second decision making in the mission critical final approach of the lunar lander during Apollo 11 paved the way for Neil Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind”. He subsequently served as Division Chief, Systems Division; Assistant Director, Mission Operations; and Deputy Director, Space Operations Management Office during a distinguished 32-year career with NASA. He received numerous individual awards during his career, as well as accepting the NASA Group Achievement Award in 1969 from President Richard Nixon on behalf of the Apollo 11 mission team. Since leaving NASA, he has lead several chemical companies, including Lord’s Additives, LLC, which he currently co-owns and operates.
Arthur E. Bryson, Jr.
BS, Aeronautical Engineering, 1946
Pigott Professor of Engineering Emeritus, Stanford University
Arthur Bryson served in the Navy’s V-12 program, which brought him to the Iowa State aeronautical program in 1944-46. After a brief term as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, a paper mill engineer, and a wind tunnel engineer with the United Aircraft Corporation, he returned to academic pursuits and obtained a PhD degree from Cal Tech in aeronautics in 1951. Bryson served as a faculty member at Harvard University in 1953-68 and at Stanford University in 1968-94. As an academic, he gained the reputation as the “father of modern optimal control theory” and authored four widely used books and more than 100 papers on control theory and practice. He is an honorary fellow of AIAA and an honorary member of IEEE. He was awarded membership into the National Academy of Engineering in 1970 and the National Academy of Sciences in 1973.
Leroy E. Cain
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1988
Chief of Staff to the Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Planning, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A native of Dubuque, Iowa, LeRoy E. Cain earned a BS degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State. He began his career with the Rockwell Shuttle Operations Company at the Johnson Space Center. He joined NASA in 1991 as a Space Shuttle flight controller, and was selected to be a Flight Director in the class of 1998. He directed 17 Space Shuttle missions in all phases of flight, serving as the Ascent Flight Director for six missions, and Entry Flight Director for eight missions. He subsequently held the position of Manager, Launch Integration at Kennedy Space Center, responsible for all Space Shuttle program operations. In 2008, he returned to Houston as the Deputy Program Manager for the Space Shuttle through the completion of the program in 2011. He is now Chief of Staff to the Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Planning, where he oversees the development of the new Space Launch System led by Marshall Spaceflight Center, the Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle led by the Johnson Space Center, and the Ground and Launch Systems development programs at the Kennedy Space Center.
Christopher M. Chadwick
BS, Electrical Engineering, 1982
Executive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, Boeing Defense, Space & Security
Chris Chadwick was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Maryville University. He is an associate fellow of The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Chairman of the National Board for New Leaders based in New York City, and a Board of Trustees member for Maryville University in St. Louis. Chadwick received the 2012 Professional Achievement Citation in Engineering Award from the College of Engineering, Iowa State University, and the 2011 Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation Most Distinguished American Award. The Boeing Company named Chris Chadwick executive vice president of Boeing and president and chief executive officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) effective December 31, 2013. This $33 billion, 53,000-person business provides integrated solutions to meet the enduring needs of defense, government, space, intelligence and security customers in the United States and around the world.
MS, Aerospace Engineering, 1978 | PhD, Aerospace Engineering, 1979
Founder, Metacomp Technologies, Inc.
Sukumar Chakravarthy came to Iowa State University with a BTech in Aeronautical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and completed his MS (1978) and PhD (1979) in Aerospace Engineering, where he conducted a part of his research at NASA’s Ames and Langley Research Centers. After graduation, he worked at Rockwell International Science Center for 15 years, where he led the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) team. In 1994, he founded Metacomp Technologies, a small business devoted to research, development, dissemination, and support of effective computational methodologies in a variety of disciplines. Dr. Chakravarthy is internationally recognized for his contributions to CFD and computational sciences. Simulation software that he helped to develop is being used by leading organizations around the world in the analysis and design of aerospace, automotive, and hydrodynamic vehicles and devices. Dr. Chakravarthy has been an Adjunct Faculty at the University of California at Los Angeles since the late 1980s.
BS, Aeronautical Engineering, 1967
Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin
For Vance Coffman, a native of Winthrop, Iowa, his Iowa State degree in aeronautical engineering was the launching pad for a career that would find him thirty-five years later at the helm of Lockheed Martin, the world’s leading technology and systems integrator. Coffman joined Lockheed’s space division in 1967 as a guidance and controls-systems analyst and progressed through critical technical and management roles for the company. He was responsible for the Hubble Space Telescope, the Milstar communications satellite program, the follow-on early warning system, and the corporation’s work on the Iridium satellite communications system. Coffman earned his MS and PhD degrees in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University. He is a fellow of AIAA and member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Maj. Gen. Clinton E. Crosier
B.S., Aerospace Engineering, 1987
Director, Space Force Planning, Office of the Chief of Space Operation, U.S. Air Force
Maj. Gen. Clinton E. Crosier is the Director, Space Force Planning, Office of the Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. In this capacity, he is directly responsible for formulating the Department of Defense plan for the stand-up and operation of the U.S. Space Force. Included in his responsibilities are the macro-organizational design of the U.S. Space Force, stand-up of initial force elements and development of funding and manpower requirements, policies and processes that will govern the establishment of the first new military service in 72 years.
Maj. Gen. Crosier attended Iowa State University on an Air Force ROTC scholarship. He was commissioned and entered the Air Force in 1988 after receiving a degree in aerospace engineering.
Maj. Gen. Crosier has a broad range of experience in intercontinental ballistic missile and space operations, including a deployment to the Middle East as the U.S. Central Command Director of Space Forces. He has served in staff assignments in the U.S. Senate, Secretary of the Air Force’s Action Group, Headquarters U.S. Air Force Office of Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Headquarters Air Force Space Command and Air Force Global Strike Command. His operational commands include the 2nd Space Launch Squadron, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; 50th Operations Group, Schriever AFB, Colorado; and the 460th Space Wing, Buckley AFB, Colorado. Prior to his current assignment, the Maj. Gen. Crosier served as the Director, Operational Capability Requirements (A5R); Deputy, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Integration and Requirements (Deputy A5) Headquarters U.S. Air Force; and as the establisher and first Director of the Air Force Warfighter Integration Capability.
Roger S. Hanson
Ph.D., Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 1958
Attorney at law
Roger S. Hanson earned his BS in Electrical Engineering and BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1954 at Iowa State University, where he was elected to Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, Pi Tau Sigma, Pi Mu Epsilon, and Phi Eta Sigma honorary societies. He received his MS in Mathematics in 1955 at The University of Michigan. That fall, he returned to Iowa State University as an instructor, and obtained a PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in 1958. His professional employment included NASA, General Motors Research Laboratories, and Hughes Aircraft Company. In 1965, Dr. Hanson earned his law degree from the University of Southern California and launched an illustrious career as an attorney. He has been admitted to the State Bars of California, Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan and has argued important cases at the United States Supreme Court. In 2005, Dr. Hanson established the Martin C. Jischke Professorship in Aerospace Engineering to honor Dr. Jischke, Professor of Aerospace Engineering and the first engineer to hold the Presidency of Iowa State University.
MS, Aerospace Engineering, 1979
Provost and Professor of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Prabhat Hajela is the Provost at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He previously served as the Vice Provost & Dean of Undergraduate Education. In 2003, he served as a Congressional Fellow responsible for Science and Technology Policy in the Office of US Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT). He worked on several legislative issues related to aerospace and telecommunications policy, including the development of the anti-SPAM legislation (CAN-SPAM) that was signed into law in December 2003. He is a past Vice-President of the International Society of Structural & Multidisciplinary Optimization and a past Chair of ASME’s Aerospace Division. He chairs the NRC Review Panel on Information Sciences research at the Army Research Laboratory. He has conducted research at NASA’s Langley and Glenn Research Centers, and the Eglin Air Force Armament Laboratory. He also worked at the Boeing Company as the Boeing-A.D. Welliver Fellow in 1995. He has published over 275 papers and articles in the areas of structural and multidisciplinary optimization, and is an author/editor of four books in these areas. Hajela is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and a Fellow of the Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI).
Paul “PJ” Herman
BS, Aeronautical Engineering, 1947 | MS, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 1951
Associate professor Emeritus of Aerospace Engineering Iowa State University
Paul J. “P.J.” Hermann, a native of Sheldahl, Iowa, spent three years at Iowa State University before entering the U.S. Navy in 1943. He returned to Iowa State University and received a BS degree in Aeronautical Engineering in August of 1947. He became an Instructor in the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from which he received an MS degree in 1951. After working as an engineer for the Goodyear Aerospace Corporation, he returned to Iowa State University as Assistant Professor of Aeronautical Engineering where he remained until his retirement in 1993. P.J. brought with him knowledge about modern design methodology for aerospace vehicles. His introduction of computer modeling into the Aeronautical Engineering curriculum and his leadership in bringing digital computers into the department led to the department’s leadership in Computational Fluid Dynamics. He developed and led the capstone design courses, which provided an unparalleled learning environment in system design. Going beyond the call of instructor, P.J.’s personal relationships with students inspired them to high career achievement, exemplified by the number of his former students who attained prestigious positions in their fields.
Kathleen Connor Howell
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1973
Hsu Lo Professor of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Purdue University
Kathleen Howell holds a BS degree from Iowa State, a MS degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Stanford University, and a PhD degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Sciences, also from Stanford University. She initially worked for Proctor and Gamble Manufacturing Company. Subsequently she moved to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory prior to completing her PhD. She then joined the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics in the College of Engineering at Purdue University, where she is presently the Hsu Lo Professor of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. Her research includes technical publications in the areas of spacecraft trajectory design and optimization as well as maneuver strategies for transfers and on-orbit operations. She is best known for trajectory design and analysis in multi-body dynamical environments. She is a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society; she continues active involvement with the AAS, AIAA, and the Astrodynamics Committee of the International Astronautical Federation.
BS, Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics, 1962
Chief Scientist, NASA Dryden Research Center
Ken Iliff had an influential career at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center and Dryden Flight Research Center, applying aircraft parameter estimation methodologies to aircraft across all flight regimes, including 15 years of work with the space shuttle program. He was hailed by NASA as a driving force of these methodologies, which are used by virtually all flight test organizations. Iliff joined NASA in 1962. In early studies of the space shuttle, his work included computer simulations of the re-entry and landing of various shuttle designs. He was instrumental in collecting aerodynamic data from wind tunnels and flight tests used in predicting the shuttle’s flight characteristics. He became NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center chief scientist in 1994, a position he held until his retirement in 2002. He published more than 100 technical reports and was a Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He received the NASA Scientific Achievement Medal in 1976 and the Kelly Johnson Award from the Society of Flight Test Engineers in 1989.
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1990 | ME w/ BA Minor, Aerospace Engineering, 1991
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Government Systems, Rockwell Collins
A native of Lamont, Iowa, Phil Jasper holds a BS degree and master’s degree from Iowa State University and is a member of the university’s Engineering College Industrial Advisory Council. Since joining Rockwell Collins in 1992, he’s held various engineering and management positions including: technical director and programs manager of KC-135 programs, director of Air Mobility, Bombers & Special Missions programs and senior director of Air Force programs. He’s served as vice president and general manager of Mobility Rotary Wing Solutions overseeing programs such as the CH-47, UH-60M, CH-53E/K/G and the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH). Prior to his current leadership role he served as vice president of Business & Strategy Development for the Government Systems business unit. Over his career, Phil has performed numerous studies on avionics and communications systems, the emerging global airspace access requirements and the applicability of those requirements to the U.S. Department of Defense and has been heavily involved in the development of Future Air Navigation System (FANS) capabilities. Phil was named Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer in September 2012 and is responsible for the entirety of Rockwell Collins’ military business.
James T. Johnson
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1964 | MS, Aerospace Engineering, 965
President, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
After getting his BS and MS degrees from Iowa State, James T. Johnson spent the next 28 years with the Boeing Company, starting out as an aerospace engineer and rose to the position of Vice President of Engineering and Product Development and later to Vice President and General Manager of the Renton Division and the Everett Division, where the Boeing 747, 767, and 777 were produced. In 1993, he left Boeing and became president of the Large Commercial Engine Group of Pratt and Whitney, a division of United Technologies, and in 1994, he became President of GE Capital Aviation Services, a holding of General Electric. In 1997, he moved to Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, where he served as president and chief operating officer until his retirement. Johnson currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Flight in Seattle. He is an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and earned an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1977. He is a fellow of AIAA and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
BS, Industrial Engineering, 1973
Vice President, Advance Development Programs Deputy, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Neil Kacena, a native of Cedar Rapid, Iowa, received his BS from Iowa State University in 1973 and an MS in Management from Troy State University in 1978. After graduation, he joined the Air Force, where he rose to the rank of Colonel. His Air Force experience included service as a Fighter Pilot in the F-4 Phantom and F-15 Eagle aircraft, Fighter Weapons School Instructor, the 9th Fighter Squadron Commander, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Doha, Qatar, and Director of Special Programs, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. In 1998 Neil joined Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works where he served as the Director of Signature Management Systems and later as the Director of Advanced Development Program’s Technology Development and Integration Organization. In 2005, he was named Vice President of Advanced Development Programs Deputy. He also chairs Lockheed Martin’s corporate-wide low observables technology focus group, working across business areas and company lines to address critical technologies for applications to advanced projects.
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1967
Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin Space Systems
David Klinger began his career with Lockheed Missiles and Space Company as a satellite attitude control systems engineer while pursuing his MS and PhD in aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford. As a control systems engineer at Lockheed, he assumed positions of increasing technical and managerial responsibility, becoming eventually Vice President and Assistant General Manager for the Space Systems Division. After the merger of Lockheed with Martin Marietta, he held several leadership positions in the company’s military and commercial space programs, rising to Executive Vice President of Quality and Operations, Missiles and Space. He received the Meritorious Service Award from the National Reconnaissance Office in 2003, the Silver Knight Award from the National Management Association in 2000, and the Employee Recognition for Management Excellence award from Lockheed Martin in 2002.
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1965 | MS, Aerospace Engineering, 1967 | PhD, Aerospace Engineering, 1969
Deputy Director, Information Sciences and Technology, NASA Ames
Paul Kutler graduated from Iowa State in 1965 and continued with his graduate studies there participating in a NASA Ames/Iowa State work-study program his final year. After being hired by NASA, he performed pioneering research in the discipline of computational fluid dynamics resulting in over 60 publications, numerous invitations to lecture around the world and several awards. He received a master of science in management from Stanford University in 1985. He held key management positions at NASA Ames including Chief of the Fluid Dynamics Division, Director of the Consolidated Supercomputing Management Office, and Deputy Director of the Information Sciences and Technology Directorate. He was an active participant in the AIAA holding various positions on the Board of Directors. He is a Fellow of AIAA.
Joel R. Montalbano
BS Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, 1988
Manager, NASA International Space Station Program
After earning his degree from Iowa State, Joel Montalbano immediately went to work for NASA, holding technical and operational integration roles before being selected as a flight director, where he had overall responsibility for executing Space Shuttle flights and ISS expeditions. He then served as director of NASA’s Human Space Flight Programs in Russia and traveled throughout Europe speaking on the benefits and challenges of international cooperation. He was deputy program manager for ISS, where his contributions included leading the evolution of the ISS National Laboratory to support goals for scientific, technological, educational, and human space exploration while fostering commercial activities in low Earth orbit. He was selected as manager of the 15-nation ISS Program in 2020. With his 2020 promotion he has led a 5,700-person team responsible for the development and operation of complex space flight hardware and software and its integration with modules from international partners into a fully functional and operating ISS with a permanent human presence. He is also responsible for policy development, international partner negotiations, continued development of a commercial low Earth orbit economy, on-board science and technology demonstration, and the overall safety and health of the crew and on-orbit vehicle.
MS, Engineering Mechanics, 1972 | PhD, Engineering Mechanics, 1975
President, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea
Jang-Moo Lee is a 1967 graduate of Seoul National University (SNU) in mechanical engineering and came to Iowa State for graduate study, receiving his MS (1972) and Ph.D. (1975) degrees in Engineering Mechanics. He then returned to SNU and established himself as an internationally prominent scholar in the field of mechanical vibrations, noise, and nonlinear dynamic theory as applied to automobiles. Professor Lee rose through the academic ranks at SNU and in 2006 became president of Korea’s most renowned university. As president he initiated a comprehensive four-year plan of internationalization and diversification, including the appointment of many international professors, joint classes and dual degree programs with prominent international universities. He has championed interdisciplinary teaching and research programs and established a new College of Liberal Studies and a Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology. Jang-Moo Lee is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, International Academy of Production Research, and the Korean Academy of Science and Technology.
Dennis A. Muilenburg
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1986
President, Chair, Chief Executive Officer, The Boeing Company
A native of Iowa, Dennis Muilenburg holds a BS degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State and a MS degree from the University of Washington. He joined Boeing in June 1985. He was Director of Weapon Systems for the Boeing Joint Strike Fighter program, where he was responsible for overall design, analysis and integration of the Boeing JSF weapon system. He subsequently was named Vice President of Programs and Engineering for Air Traffic Management, where he was responsible for the overall development of Boeing’s program to modernize the air traffic management system. He was the Boeing Company Vice President and General Manager for Combat Systems, and Program Manager of the Future Combat Systems effort. He also was president of Global Services & Support, the organization providing global after-delivery support for military platforms and systems. His recent leadership roles at Boeing included President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, serving on the company’s Executive Council, and as of July 2015, Muilenburg was named Boeing Chief Executive Officer.
Ron E. Narmi
BS, Aeronautical Engineering, 1955
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy Ret.
As an Iowa State NROTC student, Ronald Narmi was the university’s first midshipman to be promoted to flag rank. His thirty year U.S. Navy career included service in the missile branch of the SLBM Polaris/Poseidon/Trident Project Office and Deputy Project Manager for procurement of all antisubmarine weapons systems. He commanded a P-3 Orion squadron and a P-3 Wing composed of six P-3 squadrons and he also commanded The Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF), the largest joint service senior war college. As Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, he commanded all NATO forces in Iceland responsible for the air and antisubmarine defense of the North Atlantic. In addition to a BS from ISU, Admiral Narmi earned a MS in nuclear physics from The Naval Postgraduate School, a MSSM in systems management from the University of Southern California, and a MS in national security policy from The George Washington University. He is also a distinguished graduate of the ten month resident course at ICAF. Admiral Narmi earned 14 military decorations and was a 1984 recipient of the ISU Professional Achievement Certificate in Engineering award.
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1991
Vice President, 787 Production System Operations, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
A native of Bettendorf, Iowa, Kim (Shryack) Pastega holds a BS degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State. She joined The Boeing Company in 1991, with a variety of assignments in engineering, program management, and operations. She served as the Chief Engineer and 787 Program Manager for the Interiors Responsibility Center. She subsequently led the 777 Freighter program as the Deputy Program Manager and Engineering leader, where she was responsible for its successful development and entry into service. She subsequently was director of Boeing 777 Manufacturing, where she provided overall leadership, management and strategic direction for the 777 production line. She now serves as Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President and Program Manager of the 767 Program and Deputy Program Manager of the U.S. Air Force Tanker Program, where she is responsible for all aspects of the 767 Program as well as integration of the U.S. Air Force KC-46A Tanker program with Commercial Airplanes.
Kevin L. Peterson
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1974
Director of NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
Born in LeMars, Iowa, Kevin Petersen began a distinguished career with NASA as a co-op student at Dryden in 1971, while a student in aerospace engineering at Iowa State. Petersen earned an MS degree from UCLA in 1976, specializing in control systems and gained early recognition at Dryden in the areas of flight dynamics, controls, and flight systems. He worked as a research engineer on the F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire, Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology, and X-29A Forward Swept Wing experimental aircraft programs. He has received many awards for his distinguished service, including NASA’s Exceptional Engineering Medal in 1985, the Exceptional Service Medal in 1987, and the Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2000. Petersen was named Director of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in 1999, where he served until his retirement from NASA in 2009.
Bion L. Pierson
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1961 | MS, Aerospace Engineering, 1963
Professor Emeritus, Aerospace Engineering, Iowa State University
Bion L. Pierson, a native of Michigan City, Indiana, received all of his degrees in aerospace engineering: B.S., Iowa State, 1961; M.S., Iowa State, 1963; Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1967. His primary teaching and research interests were in vehicle dynamics, trajectory analysis, and flight control systems. He was a member of the Iowa State faculty from 1967 until is retirement in 2010. During 1974-75, he was on leave at the Eindhoven Technical University in the Netherlands. His publications include forty-one journal papers plus numerous technical reports, conference papers and book reviews. In 1980, he founded the international journal, Optimal Control Applications and Methods published by John Wiley and Sons in Chichester, England. He also remains active as a trumpet player in several instrument groups.
PhD, Aerospace Engineering, 1977
Founder, HyPer Comp, Inc.
Vijaya Shankar received his BTech from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur in 1972 and his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University in 1977. He started his career with Rockwell Science Center in 1976 and became the Director of Computational Sciences in 1987. He left Rockwell in 1998 to form HyPerComp, a software company that specializes in high performance computing in multidisciplinary technologies catering to defense and commercial markets. For his many significant contributions to computational fluid dynamics, electromagnetics, and other disciplines, Dr. Shankar has received numerous awards, including the Lawrence Sperry award and the Dryden Research Lectureship from AIAA, the NASA Public Service award, and the Rockwell Engineer of the Year. For his work in time-domain modeling of electromagnetic wave propagation for stealth applications, Dr. Shankar received the Computerworld Smithsonian Award in Science in 1993. Dr. Shankar is also a Fellow of AIAA.
Joseph L. Steger
MS, Aerospace Engineering, 1967 | PhD, Aerospace Engineering, 1969
Professor, University of California, Davis
Joe Steger began his career as an NRC Fellow at NASA Ames in 1969, became an aeronautical engineer in 1970, and promoted to Senior Scientist in 1978. From 1980 to 1983, he was an associate professor at Stanford. In 1983, Joe returned to NASA Ames as a senior staff scientist, and in 1989, joined the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department at The University of California at Davis as a full professor. Joe did pioneering research in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and is internationally recognized for his ground breaking work on grid generation, overlapping Chimera grids, and flow solvers for problems with highly complicated geometrics. He has received numerous awards from NASA for his significant contributions to the foundation of CFD.
John C. Tannehill
BS, Aerospace Engineering, 1965 | MS, Aerospace Engineering, 1967 | PhD, Aerospace Engineering, 1969
Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Iowa State University
John Tannehill, a native of Salem, Illinois, began his career as an assistant professor of aerospace engineering at Iowa State in 1969 and was promoted to full professor in 1979. He is recognized as a pioneer in the field of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). He helped design and implement the first CFD courses at Iowa State in 1972 and co-authored the first comprehensive CFD textbook which is used by over 100 institutions around the world. Professor Tannehill is internationally recognized for his research in computing high-speed flows using either the complete or parabolized Navier-Stokes equations. He has been actively involved with NASA in developing CFD computer codes for many projects including the Space Shuttle, the National Aerospace Plane (X-30), the High-Speed Civil Transport, and the Hyper-X Research Vehicle (X-43A). Professor Tannehill has been the Manager of the CFD Center since its establishment in 1984. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and has received the Iowa General Assembly Excellence in Teaching Award and the Boylan Eminent Faculty Award for Research. Professor Tannehill retired in 2005 and is currently an Emeritus Professor.
Robert E. Uhrig
MS, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 1950 | PhD, Theoretical and Applied Mathematics, 1954
Distinguished Professor, University of Tennessee, Distinguished Scientist, Oak Right National Laboratory
A native of Raymond, Illinois, Robert Uhrig came to Iowa State in 1948 for graduate studies in theoretical and applied mechanics after completing his BS with honors from Illinois. He was an instructor in engineering mechanics at West Point while on active duty with the U.S. Air Force from 1954 to 1956 and then returned to Iowa State as a faculty member in engineering mechanics and nuclear engineering. In 1960, he became chairman of Nuclear Engineering Sciences at the University of Florida and served as Dean of Engineering from 1968 to 1973. Uhrig then left academe to become Vice President for Advanced Systems and Technology at Florida Power and Light. During his career, he authored 250 technical articles and two books, was elected Fellow of the American Nuclear Society in 1970, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1980, and Fellow of ASME in 1980. In 1969, he received the ASME Pi Tau Sigma Richards Memorial Award as Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Graduate for the Period 1944-1949. He was the recipient of the Glenn Murphy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nuclear Engineering Education from the ASEE in 1992.
PhD, Aerospace Engineering, 1982
Chief Technologist, Systems and Technology Division NASA Ames Research Center
A native of a small, rural village in the south of India, Ethiraj Venkatapathy holds an undergraduate degree in Aeronautics from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University. His dissertation research was the first computation of flow over the NASA Shuttle orbiter. His work with the Shuttle Program took him to NASA Ames in Mountain View, California, where he settled after receiving his PhD. He started his professional career with ELORET where he became President and led over 100 scientists and engineers in support of NASA’s missions. He subsequently joined NASA, and was responsible for the heat shield hardware development for NASA’s Orion program. He is now the Chief Technologist for the Entry Systems and Technology Division at NASA. He is currently leading innovative, long-term projects in entry systems design to enable future human missions to Mars. He has received numerous NASA awards and is an Associate Fellow of AIAA.
L. Michael Weeks
BS, Civil Engineering, 1943
Deputy Associate Administrator, Space Shuttle Program National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A native of the Ames, Iowa vicinity, L. Michael Weeks began his career at Iowa State teaching in the Department of Mathematics for $3 per day. He moved to McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis where he served as Chief Engineer. During his tenure at McDonnell, over 5000 F-4 Phantom aircraft were delivered worldwide. Beginning in 1956, he worked on McDonnell Project 7969, which culminated with the award in 1959 of Project Mercury. He had major roles in both Mercury and Gemini, and after 17 years left McDonnell for the Aerospace Corporation. He moved to a hotel in Washington, DC for 9 months to help define the mission to the moon that ultimately became Apollo. After 10 years at Aerospace, he joined IBM as second in command of the Oswego Facility, where the Apollo triple-redundant computer was developed. After working at LTV/Dallas-Ft. Worth and at General Electric where he was responsible for re-entry systems, he became Deputy Associate Administrator for the Space Shuttle Program prior to the first launch of Columbia in 1981. After the trauma of Challenger, he continued to contribute in key positions in the National Aerospace Plane (X-30) and Orbital Sciences X-34 programs in a career that spanned 56 years.
Thornton “T” A. Wilson
BS, Aeronautical Engineering, 1943
Chairman of the Board of Directors, The Boeing Company
From Sikeston, Missouri, “T” Wilson graduated from Iowa State in aeronautical engineering in the class of 1943 and joined The Boeing Company. The first airplane to bear the Wilson imprint was the dramatically new B-47 swept-wing bomber. Wilson was the overall project engineer of the B-52 program during the latter stages of its design, and he led the proposal team for Boeing that won the Minuteman ICBM program. Wilson was elected vice president of Boeing in 1963 and was named company president in 1968 and chief executive officer in 1969, a position he held until 1986. Awards received include the James Forrestal Award in 1975, the Wright Brothers Trophy in 1979, and the 1982 Collier Trophy. Wilson also received the National Academy of Science Award for Aeronautical Engineering and the Daniel Guggenheim Medal. In 1983, he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame for his achievements during his Boeing career. In 1989, he was inducted into the National Business Hall of Fame. Wilson is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
John F. Yardley
BS, Aeronautical Engineering, 1944
Senior Vice President of McDonnell Douglas Corporation
A native of Chesterfield, Missouri, John Yardley was a Navy veteran of W.W. II and finished his undergraduate education at Iowa State in aeronautical engineering. He earned an MS degree from Washington University and began his professional career as a stress analyst with the McDonnell Aircraft Co. in 1946 and was immersed in the expanding space program through the 1950’s. In 1958, he became project engineer for the one-man Mercury space capsule in which Alan B. Shepherd Jr. would become the first American in space. Yardley served as technical director for the Gemini program and was involved in the Apollo program. McDonnell named him Vice President for the company’s Skylab program and then as general manager for space shuttle program. In 1974, Yardley left McDonnell to become associate administrator in charge of the manned space flight for NASA. In 1981, he returned to McDonnell Douglas as senior vice president of its astronautics division and in 1988, became a senior vice president of the company.
Donald F. Young
MS, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 1952 | PhD, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 1956
Anson Marston Distinguished Professor, Iowa State University
From Joplin, Missouri, Don Young came to Iowa State in 1948 and earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1951 and his MS and PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in 1952 and 1956. Dr. Young began his career at Iowa State in 1952 and spent his next 47 years as an exemplary educator and researcher in applied mechanics. He is internationally recognized for his pioneering contributions in similitude, fluid mechanics, and biomechanics. Dr. Young was among the first to apply the concepts of fluid mechanics to the study of cardiovascular flow and arterial disease and has helped to create ASME’s Bioengineering Division. Dr. Young authored and co-authored several books in engineering mechanics and fluid mechanics and numerous scholarly publications. He was awarded the Anson Marston Distinguished Professorship in 1974 and the ISU Research Foundation Special Recognition Award in 1988. He is a fellow of ASME.