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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    CONTACT: John Blacksten


    Edward M. Greitzer To Receive the 2017 AIAA Reed Aeronautics Award

    Honored for Outstanding and Sustained Contributions to Solving Real-World Problems in Aerodynamics of Propulsion Components, Systems, and Integration

    March 24, 2017– Reston, Va. – Edward M. Greitzer, an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Honorary Fellow, and the H.N. Slater Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, has won the 2017 AIAA Reed Aeronautics Award. Greitzer will receive the award on May 3 during the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

    The award honors Greitzer for his “outstanding and sustained contributions to solving real-world problems in aerodynamics of propulsion components, systems, and integration, and for the development of successful collaborations with academia, industry and government.”

    “Edward M. Greitzer’s work has done much to help us understand the issue of instability as it relates to aircraft engines, and has helped make flight safer for all,” said AIAA President Jim Maser. “Additionally, thanks to him we now understand vortex formation and activity much better than we used to. Lastly, he has helped us envision the future of aircraft design and has demonstrated the good that comes about when academia and industry combine forces to better the future of our community. We thank him for all he has done to help shape the future of aerospace.”

    Greitzer’s work in understanding the aerodynamics of propulsion components and systems includes three main contributions to the body of knowledge surrounding those interactions. The first is his development of the criteria and mechanisms for determining the consequences of compressor instability. Known as the “Greitzer B Method,” it allows researchers to understand if an engine, experiencing instability, will surge and recover, or go into a rotating stall and not recover. This finding had a great impact on improving the safety of propulsion systems and flight and also led to development of guidelines for recovery from rotating stalls. Greitzer was also the co-inventor of dynamic control of compressor instability. Second, he has made seminal contributions to determining the mechanisms of non-inlet vortex formation, compressor inlet distortion, vortex mixing and tip clearance vortices. Third, not content to only improve their propulsion systems, Greitzer has made major headway in the conceptual design of advanced civil aircraft. He was the co-lead, with AIAA Fellow Dame Ann Dowling of Cambridge University, United Kingdom, of the Cambridge-MIT Silent Aircraft Initiative that created the conceptual design for aircraft significantly quieter than existing aircraft. He has also led the Phase I and Phase II “N+3” NASA projects to create advanced civil aircraft designs for the 2040 time frame, notably the D8 “double bubble” civil transport aircraft.

    Greitzer has also established long-term research projects with a host of other schools and industrial partners, including the California Institute of Technology, Cambridge University, Cornell University, GE Aviation, NASA, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce. With the knowledge gained from these partnerships, Greitzer researched and published a database of best practices for success in industry-university collaboration.

    Greitzer’s past honors include the Institute of Mechanical Engineers T. Bernard Hall Prize; the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) Aircraft Engine Technology Award; a U.S. Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award; the ASME R. Tom Sawyer Award, and the ASME IGTI Scholar Award. He has received numerous Best Paper awards from ASME, AIAA, and ASME IGTI. He has also won several awards as the lead on collaborative projects including, in 2011, having the D8 aircraft named to the MIT 150 List celebrating the 150th anniversary of MIT. Greitzer is an ASME Fellow, an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

    The Reed Aeronautics Award is the highest honor an individual can receive from AIAA for notable achievement in aeronautics. The award honors Dr. Sylvanus A. Reed, an aeronautical engineer, designer, and founding member of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences in 1932. Reed was the first to develop a propeller system composed of metal rather than wood.

    For more information on the Reed Aeronautics Award, or the AIAA Honors and Awards program, please contact Carol Stewart at 703.264.7538 or


    About AIAA
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    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    12700 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 200, Reston, VA 20191-5807
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551