Colloquium Lectures 2003

Space Exploration: Sputnik to the International Space Station

by Andrew Chaikin

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Over the last 45 years, robotic spacecraft have explored the Earth, its atmosphere, the Sun and the moon, comets and all of the planets, with the exception of distant Pluto. We have put telescopes in Earth orbit to investigate stars, galaxies, and exotic astrophysical objects at all wavelengths and have investigated the origin and early history of the universe. Humans have walked on the surface of the moon and are presently orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station. The talk will review the first 45 years of the space age.


Andrew Chaikin is a well known writer and author on space exploration and astronomy. He is a graduate of Brown University and served on the Viking missions to Mars at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and was a researcher at the Smithsonian’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies before becoming a science journalist in 1980.

From 1999 to 2001, Chaikin served as Executive Editor for Space and Science at, the definitive website for all things space. He was also the editor of’s print magazine, Space Illustrated. He is a commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, and has appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, and the NPR programs Fresh Air and Talk of the Nation.

Mr. Chaikin authored “A Man on the Moon: The Triumphant Story of the Apollo Space Program,” first published in 1994. This acclaimed work was the main basis for Tom Hanks’ HBO miniseries, “From the Earth to the Moon,” which won the Emmy for best miniseries in 1998. A three-volume, fully illustrated edition of “A Man on the Moon” was published by Time-Life books in 1999. Chaikin also wrote “Space: A History of Space Exploration in Photographs,” published in 2002.

America and The First Century of Flight: Echoes and Resonances

by Dr. Richard P. Hallion

***Changed date and time to Wednesday, February 5, 2003, 10:00 A.M.*** in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The last 100 years of powered human flight saw a remarkable transformation of the world around us, brought about by both the civil and military impact of flight. Today, aviation is integral to virtually everything that the United States does, including most aspects of our economic, social, cultural, and national life.

This talk examines the invention of flight, the role of the United States in the advancement of flight, and the very great challenges that we face today as we enter the second century of powered flight. Illustrated with examples from the first century of powered flight, this talk is certain to provoke discussion and comment.


Dr. Richard P. Hallion is currently the Historian for Air Force Special Programs. Previously, he served as the Air Force Historian for over ten years where he was responsible for directing the worldwide Air Force historical and museum programs. He has served as a Curator at the National Air and Space Museum, a professor at several Universities, and in several other Historian roles with the Air Force. He has broad experience in museum development, historical research, and management analysis; and has served as a consultant to various professional organizations. Also, he has flown a range of military and civilian fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. Dr. Hallion is the author of 15 books relating to aerospace history, and teaches and lectures widely.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland in 1970 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Aviation History from University of Maryland in 1975. He also attended the Federal Executive Institute and completed the National Security Studies Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Crafting the Dream of Wings on the Wind: 100 years from Aviation to Spaceflight

Forum with Dr. Tom D. Crouch, Dr. James R. Hansen, James Schultz, and James Batterson (Moderator)

Tuesday, March 4, 2003 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


This forum on the History of Flight will be moderatored by James G. Batterson of Langley’s Dynamics and Control Branch.

The history of aeronautical technology concerns much more than just the nuts and bolts of airplanes; it tells us a lot about our existence as a thinking, dreaming, scheming, aspiring, and playful people. The airplane, one of the most ingenious and phenomenal inventions in all history, has changed society greatly. The panel will discuss major social and culture effects resulting from flight technology over the past 100 years, and speculate about what the future might bring, perhaps a future that makes even today’s boldest and most optimistic prognosticator seem tame.

Speaker: Dr. Tom D. Crouch

Dr. Tom Crouch has served both the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) and the National Museum of American History (NMAH) in a variety of curatorial and administrative posts since 1974. Prior to coming to the Smithsonian he was employed by the Ohio Historical Society as director of education (1969-1973) and as Director, Ohio American Revolution Bicentennial Advisory Commission. (1973-1974).

He holds a BA (1962) from Ohio University, an MA (1968) from Miami University and a Ph.D. (1976) from the Ohio State University. All of his degrees are in history. Dr. Crouch is the author or editor of a number of books and many articles for both popular magazines and scholarly journals, most of which has been on aspects of the history of flight technology.

In the fall of 2000, President Clinton appointed Dr. Crouch to the Chairmanship of the First Flight Centennial Federal Advisory Board, an organization created to advise the Centennial of Flight Commission on activities planned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of powered flight. His photo was provided by Carolyn Russo/NASM.

Speaker: Dr. James R. Hansen

Dr. James R. Hansen specializes in the history of science and technology and the impact of science and technology on society. He currently has seven books in press, including a six-volume series on the history of aerodynamics and a monograph devoted to an analysis of the technological design of the airplane in America.

Dr. Hansen is Professor of History in the Department of History at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. From 1992 to 1996 he served as chairman of the history and teaches courses on the history of flight, the history of science, space history, the history of technological failure. Hansen earned a B.A. degree, with High Honors from Indiana University (1974) and an M.A. (1976) and Ph.D. (1981) from The Ohio State University. He served as historian for NASA Langley Research in Hampton, Virginia, from 1981 to 1993.

Speaker: Mr. James Schultz

James Schultz is the author of four books, and has also written analyses and reports, television and theatrical scripts, feature articles for magazines and newspapers, newspaper columns, newsletters, brochures, press releases and speeches.

Mr. Schultz has recently completed Crafting Flight, a revised, updated version of Winds of Change, a 75-year anniversary history of NASA’s Langley Research Center that he wrote in 1992. Mr. Schultz is also the author of “Innovation’s Quickening Pace,” a report included in a larger study released in early 2002 of the future of science and technology, sponsored by the National Research Council for the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

For six years, Mr. Schultz was the editor of Quest, a research magazine founded in 1997 at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Mr. Schultz is a former science and technology reporter for the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and a current member of the National Association of Science Writers.

Moderator: Mr. James G. Batterson

James G. Batterson is currently the head of the Dynamics and Control Branch at NASA Langley Research Center where he has worked since 1978. His specific technical interest has been in system identification applied to flight test data and has worked with a wide range of aircraft types including jet transports, general aviation aircraft, high performance military aircraft and the space shuttle. Mr. Batterson received a B.S. in mathematics and an M.S. in Physics from the College of William and Mary and has completed additional work on science, technology, and public policy at the Brookings Institution and on detail to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Nanotechnology Coordinating Office. He has served on several museum and education boards in his community.

Catching up with NASA: Fuel Cells on Earth

by Brian Walsh

April 1, 2003, 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Offering a combination of benefits that no other technology can match, fuel cells have gone international in a global race to dominate the production of this energy device.

Invented in 1839, fuel cells found their first practical use with NASA during the 1960s for roughly $600,000/kW. Fuel cells now demonstrate everyday practical uses by powering cell phones, laptop computers, homes, commercial buildings, and vehicles of every size and are becoming cost competitive in several applications.

As the laptop computers brought mobile control of information to the individual, fuel cells may similarly provide mobile control of energy to each person with instant recharging and vehicle-to-grid capabilities.

By accessing a fuel cell vehicle’s 100-kW fuel cell, the vehicle becomes a portable generator able to power your home, business, camping equipment or whatever your heart desires. Once fuel cells are thought about ‘outside’ the box and we begin to exploit the freedom of design fuel cells offer, we will begin to see how significantly this technology will change our planet.


Brian Walsh is Technical Director of Breakthrough Technologies Institute (BTI), a Washington DC based think tank for advanced technologies, and of Fuel Cells 2000, the leading organization promoting commercialization of fuel cell technology from the public interest perspective.

Brian Walsh has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Fuel Cell Council on many hydrogen and fuel cell activities. In 2002, Walsh testified on behalf of hydrogen fuel code changes at the ICBO/BOCA conference, and he also presented talks at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sponsored conference in Beijing, China and several other venues. He has authored all of Fuel Cells 2000’s popular charts and numerous quarterly articles. He is co-author of Auto Companies on Fuel Cells, an examination of the automotive industry’s fuel cell strategies, and he has personally operated fuel cell units and driven nearly every fuel cell passenger vehicle prototype. Walsh has a degree in physics from Tufts University.

Disruptive Technology: Meeting the Challenges of Sustainable Mobility

by Bart Thompson

May 6, 2003, 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


100 years ago the introduction of two new technologies began to forever alter our perception of mobility. At the beginning of the last century the petroleum-fueled motor vehicle and the airplane opened up opportunities for greatly increased speed and travel flexibility. These “disruptive technologies” marked the 20th century as a golden age of mobility. By the end of the century, individuals who in earlier centuries would have spent their entire lives within 50 miles of their birthplace thought nothing of traveling to distant continents for business or pleasure.

Yet this growth had other consequences. Thirst for ever-improved mobility resulted in pollution and congestion. During the last half of the 20th century the pace of urbanization accelerated on a worldwide basis. Current studies indicate that most of the 2 billion people that will be added to the population of the planet over the next 30 years will live in urban, mega-city environments.

This presentation addresses one aspect of the problem of sustainable mobility: how can we innovate in the area of personal mobility in the urban environment such that the efficiency of public transportation is maintained without sacrificing the autonomy and speed demanded by 21st century urban populations?

We will begin by looking at the character of disruptive technology in general, then survey the disruptive character of new technology recently introduced in the transportation field in particular. Next, we will look at recent research that charts worldwide mobility trends across developed and developing countries. Finally, we will attempt to anticipate how new disruptive technology might be combined to bring solutions to an ever more populated, mobile world.


Mr. Bart Thompson received his BSME in1983 from Louisiana Tech University (Magna Cum Laude), then his MSME from Virginia Tech in 1985. His graduate work centered on structural modeling, specifically Finite Element Analysis (FEA).

Upon graduation, Mr. Thompson joined Michelin Americas Research and Development Corporation in Greenville, SC. From 1985 to 1987 he worked towards developing and validating FEA tools for radial tire design and analysis. From 1988 to 1992 his work centered on applying these tools for systematic design of speed rated performance tires. Since 1993 much of his work has involved concept projects related to both process and product innovation.

Beginning in 1998 Mr. Thompson became technical lead for Michelin’s partnership with DEKA Research and Development, the parent company of Segway LLC.

During his tenure at Michelin Research, Mr. Thompson has been awarded several patents. These patents have related to advances in traditional tire and wheel technology as well as to advanced concepts for future product innovations.

Materials World: What Can Biology Teach Us?

by Professor Ilhan A. Aksay

June 10, 2003, 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Materials surround and compose us. Materials produced by natural geological and biological processes find common use in our daily activities. We produce ever more by synthesizing materials not usually found in nature. Materials have identified the ages of humankind: Stone, Bronze, Iron, and, most recently, Silicon. Materials: what are they, how are they made, and how are they used? What materials are in our future? This presentation will address these questions and conclude with the prediction that the next age will be the age of bioinspired materials. Synthetic materials are designed to satisfy only one or two functions, but biologically-produced ones are typically multifunctional and have properties (e.g., self-replicating, self-healing) that have yet to be introduced into man-made ones. The presentation will emphasize the importance of utilizing bioinspired methods in technological applications.


Ilhan Aksay is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Princeton Materials Institute of Princeton University. He earned his B.Sc. (1967) in ceramic engineering at the University of Washington and his M.Sc. (1969) and Ph.D. (1973) in materials science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining Princeton in 1992, his teaching and research affiliations included appointments at the University of Washington (1983-92); UCLA (1981-83); the Middle East Technical University, Ankara (1975-81); and Xerox Corporation, Webster Research Center (1973-75). His research activities include the utilization of colloidal and biomimetic techniques in ceramic processing. In recent years, his work has mainly focused on the utilization of complex fluids to control the architecture of organic/ceramic nanocomposites. Ilhan Aksay and his coworkers’ research has been recognized not only by contributions to the literature on the fundamentals of ceramic processing but also by products produced by the industry. In recognition of his contributions to ceramic processing, he received the Richard M. Fulrath Award of the American Ceramic Society (1987) and the Charles M. A. Stine Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (1997). In recognition of his research and efforts in promoting technology transfer he was named the Puget Sound Engineering Council’s 1988 Academic Engineer of the Year. Ilhan Aksay is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and an honorary member of the Japanese Materials Research Society.

The ARES Mission to Mars: The First Flight of an Airplane on Another Planet

by Dr. Joel S. Levine and Dr. Robert D. Braun

July 1, 2003, 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Discoveries made over the last decade from Mars Pathfinder, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), and Odyssey have painted a new and intriguing picture of Mars, the most Earth-like planet in the Solar System. There is strong geological evidence that Mars experienced major global climate change from a warmer planet with abundant surface liquid water to a colder planet devoid of surface liquid water, but with large amounts of frozen subsurface water. The discoveries of the last decade have answered many questions, but also created new questions about Mars, its atmosphere, surface, and interior. To help answer these questions, NASA’s Mars Exploration Program of NASA’s Office of Space Science, issued an Announcement of Opportunity in April 2002 for new and innovative Mars Scout missions.

On August 1, 2002, the Langley Research Center proposed a science-driven, powered Mars airplane mission entitled, “Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey” (ARES). In December, NASA’s Office of Space Science selected four Mars Scout missions from 25 candidate proposals for Phase A study. ARES was one of the four missions selected. The Mars Scout Phase A Concept Study Report was submitted on May 15 and NASA will select the Mars Scout winner in August 2003.

If selected, ARES will achieve the first flight of an airplane on another planet in September 2008. The ARES rocket-propelled airplane will autonomously complete a pre-programmed, controlled, science traverse over the ancient Southern Highlands of Mars, one of the most interesting regions on Mars. During its flight at an altitude of about 1.5 km spanning regional-scale distances, ARES will gather important and previously unobtainable information about Mars. ARES will investigate the distribution of atmospheric water vapor and the chemically active gases that are produced from water vapor. ARES will also obtain the most precise measurements ever obtained of the isotopic ratios of atmospheric gases to be used to re-construct the atmospheric and climatic history of Mars. During its traverse, ARES will search for gases of biogenic and volcanic origin. ARES will also provide more than two order of magnitude increase in spatial resolution of the MGS-discovered Mars crustal magnetism and will provide information on the mineralogy of the crustal magnetism sites.

ARES will be the first planetary mission to combine an airplane and a spacecraft. The wings and tail of the ARES airplane are folded in the aeroshell, part of the ARES spacecraft bus. As the carrier spacecraft approaches Mars, the aeroshell will be released and enter the atmosphere of Mars. The ARES airplane will be released from its aeroshell, unfold its tail and wings and start its engine and begin its historic scientific flight through the atmosphere of Mars.

This talk will discuss the ARES science objectives as well as the design and flight testing of the ARES airplane and its delivery to Mars.


Dr. Joel S. Levine

Dr. Joel S. Levine is a Senior Research Scientist in the Chemistry and Dynamics Branch of the Atmospheric Science Competency. Dr. Levine is the Principal Investigator of ARES, the Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey of Mars, one of four Mars Scout finalists selected by NASA’s Office of Space Science for a Phase A concept study. From 1998 to 2002, at the request of the National Archives, Dr. Levine formed and led a Langley team of researchers that investigated the sealed atmosphere in the encasements containing the Declaration of Independence, the U. S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The Langley researchers found significantly elevated levels of water vapor in the encasements. From 1984 to 1998, Dr. Levine was Principal Investigator of the NASA Biospherics Program on Biomass Burning and Global Change. As part of this program, Dr. Levine served as a lead scientist and lead author on biomass burning for the United Nations Environmental Program, the World Meteorological Organization, and the World Health Organization. Dr. Levine has authored or co-authored more than 125 journal articles and book chapters and edited four textbooks dealing with planetary atmospheres, atmospheric chemistry, and biomass burning and global change. Dr. Levine was selected as Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist in 1987.

Dr. Robert D. Braun

As a member of the technical staff of the NASA Langley Research Center, Dr. Robert D. Braun has made significant technical and program development contributions in NASA’s Space Science, Human Exploration, and Aerospace Technology enterprises. He has performed research and technology development of advanced aerospace transportation systems including aircraft, spacecraft, launch vehicles, and entry systems. A majority of Dr. Braun’s work has focused on systems aspects of robotic Mars exploration, where he has made contributions to the design, development, test, and operation of several NASA space-flight systems. For the past two years, Dr. Braun has managed the development of the Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey (ARES) Mars Scout mission, a proposed 2008 scientific survey utilizing a Mars airplane. Dr. Braun received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State in 1987, a M.S. in Astronautics from the George Washington University in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University in 1996. He has received the 1999 AIAA Lawrence Sperry Award, 2 NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals and 6 NASA Group Achievement Awards. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and the principle author or co-author of over 100 technical publications in the fields of aerospace systems design, astronautics, atmospheric flight dynamics, guidance and navigation, multidisciplinary design optimization, and systems engineering.

Avionics in the Operation of Modern Civil and Military Aircraft

by Cary R. Spitzer

August 5, 2003, 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Avionics are playing an increasing role in the operation of modern civil and military aircraft and their flight in controlled airspace. Avionics are about ten percent of the value of a civil transport and up to forty percent of the value of a fighter.

Advanced building blocks such as liquid crystal displays and very high speed data buses are used to construct highly integrated avionics systems. These avionics are being allocated more flight critical functions, thereby requiring increasing levels of integrity and fault tolerance.

Example avionics architectures for the B-777 and the F-22 will be highlighted.

The interaction of these avionics with ground- and space-based systems to achieve increased flight efficiency and air traffic capacity will be discussed.


Cary R. Spitzer is a graduate of Virginia Tech and George Washington University. After service in the Air Force he joined NASA Langley Research Center.

During the last half of his tenure at NASA he focused on avionics. He was the NASA manager of a joint NASA/Honeywell program that made the first satellite-guided automatic landing of a passenger transport aircraft in November 1990. In recognition of this accomplishment, ARINC, ALPA, AOPA, ATA, NBAA, and RTCA nominated him jointly for the 1991 Collier Trophy “for his pioneering work in proving the concept of GPS aided precision approaches.” He led a project to define the experimental and operational requirements for a transport aircraft suitable for conducting flight experiments and to acquire such an aircraft. Today that aircraft is the NASA Langley B-757 ARIES flight research platform.

Mr. Spitzer was the NASA representative to the Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee. In 1988 he received the Airlines Avionics Institute Chairman’s Special Volare Award. He is only the second federal government employee so honored in over 30 years.

He has been active in the RTCA, including serving as chairman of the Airport Surface Operations Subgroup of Task Force 1 on Global Navigation Satellite System Transition and Implementation Strategy, and Technical Program Chairman of the 1992 Technical Symposium. He was a member of the Technical Management Committee. Presently he is chairman of SC-200, Modular Avionics.

In 1993, Mr. Spitzer founded AvioniCon, an international avionics consulting firm that specializes in avionics systems architectures, strategic planning, business development, and in-house training.

Mr. Spitzer is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He received the AIAA 1994 Digital Avionics Award, an IEEE Centennial Medal, and an IEEE Millennium Medal. He is a Past President of the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society and Past Chairman of the IEEE United States Activities Aerospace Policy Committee. Since 1979, he has played a major role in the highly successful Digital Avionics Systems Conferences, including serving as General Chairman.

Mr. Spitzer presents one-week shortcourses on digital avionics systems and satellite-based communication, navigation and surveillance for air traffic management at the UCLA Extension Division. He has also lectured independently and for the International Air Transport Association.

He is the author of Digital Avionics Systems, the first book in the field, republished by Blackburn Press, and Editor-in-Chief of the Avionics Handbook, published by CRC Press.

The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, The World’s Most Astonishing Number

by Dr. Mario Livio

September 9, 2003, 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Throughout history, the astonishing number known as the “Golden Ratio” has intrigued mathematicians, scientists, artists, and theologians. This number is found in the leaf arrangements of plants, the structure of spiral galaxies, the symmetry of quasicrystals, the art of Salvador Dali, and the music of Debussy. This talk will bring the “Golden Ratio” to life, by telling the story of both the math and the myth.


Dr. Mario Livio is a senior astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), the institute which conducts the scientific program of the Hubble Space Telescope. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics from Tel Aviv University in Israel, was a professor in the Physics Dept. of the Technion-Israel Institute of technology from 1981 till 1991, and joined STScI in 1991. Dr. Livio has published over 300 scientific papers and received numerous awards for research and for excellence in teaching.

His interests span a broad range of topics in astrophysics, from cosmology to the emergence of intelligent life. Dr. Livio has done much fundamental work on the topic of accretion of mass onto black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs, as well as on the formation of black holes and the possibility to extract energy from them. During the past five years Dr. Livio’s research focused on supernova explosions and their use in cosmology to determine the rate of expansion of the universe. In particular, he has shown that in spite of some uncertainties that still exist in theoretical models for supernovae, it is very likely that the recent findings that the expansion of our universe is accelerating are correct. In addition to his scientific interests, Dr. Livio is a self-proclaimed ‘art fanatic’ who owns many hundreds of art books. Recently, he combined his passions for science and art in two popular books, “The Accelerating Universe”, which appeared in 2000, and “The Golden Ratio”, which appeared at the beginning of November 2002. The former book discusses ‘beauty’ as an essential ingredient in fundamental theories of the universe. The latter discusses the amazing appearances of the peculiar number 1.618… in nature, the arts, and psychology.

Dr. Livio lectures very frequently to the public. He has given 10 full day seminars to the public at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., and just during the past two years has given other public lectures at the Hayden Planetarium in New York, the Library of Congress, the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, the Morrison Planetarium in San Francisco, the Institute of Astrophysics in Munich Germany, and many more.

The Wright Brothers’ Aerodynamics, and the Future of Flight

by Dr. John D. Anderson, Jr.

October 7, 2003, 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


What knowledge of aerodynamics existed in 1899 when Wilbur and Orville Wright began in earnest to study heavier-than-air flying machines? How much of this existing state-of-the-art did they use for their early gliders ? What new aerodynamics did they learn on the path towards the 1903 Wright flyer? Finally, aerodynamically, how good was the Wright flyer? These questions are addressed in the first part of the presentation. In the second part, we leap across the past century and wax philosophically on the future of flight. If the Wright Brothers could join us at this time, we wonder what they would think about the future.


Dr. John Anderson, Jr. was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on October 1, 1937. He attended the University of Florida, graduating in 1959 with High Honors and a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering Degree. From 1959 to 1962, he was a Lieutenant and Task Scientist at the Aerospace Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. From 1962 to 1966,he attended the Ohio State University under the National Science Foundation and NASA Fellowships, graduating with a Ph.D in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. In 1966, he joined the U. S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory as Chief of the Hypersonic Group. In 1973, he became Chairman of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland, and since 1980 has been a professor of Aerospace Engineering at Maryland. In 1982, he was designated a Distinguished Scholar/Teacher by the University. During 1986-87, while on sabbatical from the university, Dr. Anderson occupied the Charles Lindbergh chair at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. He continued with the Air and Space Museum one day each week as their Special Assistant for Aerodynamics, doing research and writing a book on the history of aerodynamics. In addition to his position as professor of aerospace engineering, in 1993 he was made a full faculty member of the Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science and in 1996 an affiliate member of the History Department at the University of Maryland. In 1996 he became the Glenn L. Martin Distinguished Professor for Education in Aerospace Engineering. In 1999 he retired from the University of Maryland and was appointed Professor Emeritus. He is currently the Curator for Aerodynamics at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Dr. Anderson has published nine books: Gasdynamic Lasers: An Introduction, Academic Press (1976), and under McGraw-Hill, Introduction to Flight, 1st Edition (1978), 2nd Edition, (1985), 3rd Edition (1989), 4th Edition (2000), Modern Compressible Flow, 1st Edition (1982), 2nd Edition (1990), 3rd Edition (2002), Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, 1st Edition (1984), 2nd Edition (1991), 3rd Edition (2001), Hypersonic and High Temperature Gas Dynamics (1989), Computational Fluid Dynamics: The Basics with Applications (1995), A History of Aerodynamics and Its Impact on Flying Machines, Cambridge University Press (1997), Aircraft Performance and Design, McGraw-Hill (1999), and The Airplane: A History of Its Technology, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2002. He is the author of over 120 papers in radiative gasdynamics, re-entry aerothermodynamics, gasdynamic and chemical lasers, computational fluid dynamics, applied aerodynamics, hypersonic flow, and the history of aeronautics. Dr. Anderson is in Who’s Who in America. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. London. He is also a Fellow of the Washington Academy of Sciences, and a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Tau, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Eta Sigma, the American Society for Engineering Education, the History of Science Society, and the Society for the History of Technology. In 1988, he was elected as Vice President of the AIAA for Education. In 1989, he was awarded the John Leland Atwood Award jointly by the American Society for Engineering Education and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics “for the lasting influence of his recent contributions to aerospace engineering education.” In 1995, he was awarded the AIAA Pendray Aerospace Literature Award “for writing undergraduate and graduate textbooks in aerospace engineering which have received worldwide acclaim for their readability and clarity of presentation, including historical content.” In 1996, he was elected Vice President of the AIAA for Publications. He has recently been honored by the AIAA with its 2000 von Karman Lectureship in Astronautics, and with its History Book Award for 2002 for a History of Aerodynamics. In 2002, he was awarded the position of Honorary Fellow of the AIAA, the Institute’s highest award.

Dr. Anderson is active and known for his professional and educational activities both nationally and internationally. He has given over 40 short courses to the major aerospace companies, the Air Force Academy, the government, and in Europe at Rolls-Royce in England, and the von Karman Institute in Belgium. This includes a pioneering hypersonic aerodynamic course jointly sponsored by the AIAA and the University of Maryland and televised live nationally by satellite. In terms of the publishing world, in 1987 McGraw-Hill chose Dr. Anderson to be the senior consulting editor on the McGraw-Hill Series in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering.

Langley Support to the Columbia Accident Investigation

by Mark Saunders, Charles Miller, Mark Shuart, and Charles Poupard

October 23, 2003, 10:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Langley Research Center (LaRC) contributed in a significant way to the Columbia Accident Investigation. The Aerothermodynamics Branch used ground-based testing in hypersonic wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) computer codes to help the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) understand what led to this disaster. Langley directly contributed analysis to significant portions of the CAIB Final Report. In the area of structures and materials, Langley provided numerous contributions to the accident investigation teams including advancing the state-of-the-art of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technologies to evaluate the integrity of the spray-on foam insulation and its bond to the external tank surface. Analyses and tests were performed to address failure scenarios and to develop a list of causes and recommendations that will be appended to the external tank investigation report. Additionally, Langley participated on the Interagency Photo Working group that was instrumental in digitally enhancing photographs of the launch that proved highly beneficial for understanding the impact of the foam on the Space Shuttle during ascent. Finally, Langley participated in debris collection in Texas with five teams helping over a two-month period. In total, all ground crews searched approximately 672,000 acres and collected over 84,700 pounds of debris or 38 percent by weight of the shuttle.


Mark Saunders is Director of the Space Access and Exploration Program Office, Charles Miller is Head of the Aerothermodynamics Branch, Mark Shuart is Director of the Structures and Materials Competency, and Charles Poupard is Head of the Applied Technologies and Testing Branch.

Six Degrees: The Science of A Connected Age

by Prof. Duncan Watts

November 4, 2003, 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


We’ve all heard of the small world phenomenon–the idea that each one of us can be connected to everyone else through only “six degrees of separation”. But where did this idea come from? Is it true? And if it is, what implications does it have for the problems of modern society? In this talk, I sketch out the scholarly history of the small world problem (alongside its meteoric rise in popular culture), from its origins in sociology to an explosion of recent work in physics and mathematics. I also discuss (very briefly) the importance of “six degrees” to a range of issues, from individuals searching for jobs and organizations solving complex problems, to the spread of disease epidemics and the cascade-like dynamics of cultural fads. In the modern world, I argue, it is not sufficient simply to recognize that we are all connected; we must understand both the patterns of those connections and they way they drive our individual and collective behavior.


Duncan Watts is Associate Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, and Director of the Collective Dynamics Group in Columbia’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy. He is also an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute. He holds a B.S. in Physics from the University of New South Wales, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University. He is the author of Small Worlds: The Dynamics of Networks between Order and Randomness (Princeton, 1999), and Six Degrees: The Science of A Connected Age (Norton, 2003).

Aircraft Noise – Prospects for a Quieter Future

by David H. Reed

December 2, 2003, 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


This talk looks at aircraft community noise throughout the evolution of commercial jet transports from the earliest ear-splitting turbojets to modern high-efficiency turbofan powered airliners. Developments in noise-reduction technology are reviewed along with advances in engine and airframe architecture that have enabled a steady improvement in community noise. Recent technology developments that have not yet been implemented are described, suggesting even more improvement in the near future. Finally, the author examines longer-horizon technology efforts that offer hope that we will achieve our goal of keeping aircraft noise inside airport boundaries-without discovering the secret to anti-gravity.


David Reed has worked in Noise Engineering and Acoustics Technology organizations at The Boeing Company for 37 years. During his career he has provided noise engineering design support for all of Boeing’s commercial jet products from the 707 to the 777; led the development of Boeing’s Low Speed Aeroacoustic wind tunnel; supervised the test engineering group at Boeing’s noise lab; managed research groups in aerodynamics, acoustics, and propulsion; and served as program manager for contract research and development. For the past nine years he has been Boeing’s representative on the Technical Working Group for NASA’s Quiet Aircraft Technology program and its predecessor, the Advanced Subsonic Technology Noise Reduction program. He currently has responsibility for aeroacoustics, structural acoustics, and fluid mechanics technology development within Boeing Commercial Airplanes and for Acoustics Technology development at Phantom Works, Boeing’s enterprise-wide research organization. He holds a B.S. degree in physics from Oregon State University and a M.S. degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Washington.