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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics





    Aerospace Leaders to Focus on “Advancing the Science of Flight Technology”

    November 28, 2011 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will host leaders from academia, government, and industry in Nashville, Tenn., at the 50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition, January 9–12 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Featuring a series of keynote addresses and panel discussions, the gathering will explore “Advancing the Science of Flight Technology,” with the New Horizons Forum putting a special emphasis on “Transforming Air and Space Transportation for the Future.”

    Keynote speakers for the New Horizons Forum will include:

    • Monday, January 9, 1:00 p.m. – General William L. Shelton, commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command
    • Tuesday, January 10, 8:00 a.m. – Michael P. Huerta, deputy administrator, FAA
    • Wednesday, January 11, 8:00 a.m. – Dr. Al Romig, vice president, general manager, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works
    • Thursday, January 12, 8:00 a.m. – Brig. Gen. Dana H. Born, dean of the faculty, U.S. Air Force Academy

    Panels for the forum will include:

    • Monday, January 9, 2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Launch Vehicles and Services: the Customer’s Perspective, moderated by Dr. Antonio Elias, executive vice president and general manager for advanced programs, Orbital Sciences. Panelists include: Michele Franci, senior vice president, Planning and Procurement, SES; Michael R. Luther, deputy associate administrator, Programs, NASA Science Mission Directorate; David A. Steffy, senior vice president, Advanced Programs, Orbital Sciences; Suzi McBride, executive director, NEXT Program Management Office and Launch Segment, Iridium
    • Tuesday, January 10, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Cultivating 21st Century Spacecraft, Aircraft, and Air/Space Traffic Management, moderated by Patti Grace Smith, Aerospace Consultant and former FAA Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, FAA, Patti Grace Smith Consulting, LLC. Panelists include: George Whitesides, president and CEO, Virgin Galactic; Vicki Cox, senior vice president, NextGen and Operations, FAA; James Hileman, principal research engineer, , Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and Daniel Dumbacher, deputy associate administrator, Human Exploration, NASA.
    • Wednesday, January 11, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Role of Commonality, Interoperability and Autonomy in Current and Future Unmanned Ariel Systems, moderated by Michael B. Leahy Jr., Director CMMS Product Center, Advanced Programs & Technology Division, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. Panelists include: Randall L. Rothe, senior manager, mission systems, Advanced Missiles and Unmanned Air Systems, Phantom Works, Boeing Defense, Space and Security; John G. Clark, program manager, C2 Systems, Lockheed Martin; Douglas A. Gregory, distinguished member of technical staff, General Dynamics AIS; Brian Schechter, engineering fellow and chief engineer, Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems; Kerry J. Fisherkeller, senior engineer, advanced products and technology, Northrop Grumman; Edgar G. Waggoner, director, Integrated Systems Research Program, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters; Brian Holguin, operations supervisor and front line manager, Route & Oceanic Operations, Eastern Service Area, Federal Aviation Administration Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center; and George Price, Crown Consulting.
    • Thursday, January 12, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Education Issues and Challenges. Panelists include: Annalisa Weigel, Charles Stark Draper Career Development Assistant Professor, Astronautics, Aeronautics and Engineering Systems, MIT; James Stofan, deputy associate administrator, Education Integration, NASA Headquarters; Susan Ying, director, research and technology, The Boeing Company; and Les McFawn, director, Wright Brothers Institute.

    The 50th Aerospace Sciences Meeting will also host a Career and Workforce Development Workshop, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10. The workshop is designed for those beginning their career, those in their first few years of their engineering careers, and those preparing for planned or unplanned career transitions. The workshop will discuss transitioning into an engineering career, increasing one’s net worth, communicating across age gaps, moving into management, and positioning oneself for current or future career changes. The keynote speaker is Reece Lumsden, 2002 Young Professional Engineer of the Year in Canberra, Australia, and author of “The View From Here: Optimize Your Engineering Career from the Start.”

    Also featured are a series of distinguished lectures, which are free and open to the public:

    • Monday, January 9, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Dryden Lectureship in Research: “Space Hardware Design – 50 Years of Unique Lessons Learned,” presented by William C. Schneider, visiting professor, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, senior engineer, NASA Johnson Space Center (retired), and consultant to Bigelow Aerospace. The Dryden Lectureship in Research emphasizes the great importance of basic research to the advancement in aeronautics and astronautics, and salutes research scientists and engineers.
    • Tuesday, January 10, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – AIAA/SAE William Littlewood Memorial Lecture: “Next Gen? Now Gen? What Should We be Doing Now to Achieve a Pragmatic Yet Revolutionary Next Generation Air Transportation System,” presented by John-Paul Clarke, associate professor, Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering and H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, director, Air Transportation Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology. The William Littlewood Memorial Lecture honors an individual who has made contributions to the field of civil air transportation that are of current interest and major important.
    • Wednesday, January 11, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – von Kármán Lectureship in Astronautics: “Global Outpost in Space: A Platform for Discovery…International Space Station,” presented by William H. Gerstenmaier, associate administrator, space operations, NASA. The von Kármán Lectureship in Astronautics honors an individual who has performed notably and distinguished himself or herself technically in the field of astronautics.

    The 50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting is chaired by Frank Coton, professor, Low Speed Aerodyanmics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland. The New Horizons Forum is chaired by Sivaram Gogineni, president, Spectral Energies LLC. The executive chair for both events is Mark J. Lewis, past president, AIAA, and chair, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland, with Abdollah Khodadaust, The Boeing Company, serving as general chair of both events. The Aerospace Exhibition will be chaired by David Welch, Lockheed Martin Corporation.
    For more information on the 50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition, please contact Duane Hyland at 703.264.7558 or Registration information can be found at Registration for the 50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exhibition is free for credentialed members of the media.


    AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and 90 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit



    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500, Reston, VA 20191-4344
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551