William Crossley J. William Uhrig and Anastasia Vournas Head of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University; Director, FAA Center for General Aviation Research (PEGASAS)

William A. Crossley is the head of Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He assumed the position of J. William Uhrig and Anastasia Vournas Head of Aeronautics and Astronautics on July 20, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

 previously served a professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics and director of Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS), the Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for General Aviation.

His teaching and research interests are in aerospace systems design analysis and optimization, with emphasis on problems that mix continuous and discrete variables, involve uncertainty, and have multiple objectives.

Under Crossley’s leadership since 2013, PEGASAS has been awarded 32 projects and $19.1 million in FAA funds.

As head of the growing School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which has seen its enrollment increase nearly 50 percent in the last decade, Crossley leads about 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students and 38 faculty members in the fall.

Crossley has extensive familiarity with the school, joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 1995. He led the formation of the System of Systems signature area and currently is a member of the Purdue Systems Collaboratory leadership team.

Crossley is an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellow and served as the AIAA Aircraft Design Technical Committee chair. He has received teaching awards at Purdue on the school, college, and university levels.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, Crossley received his master’s and Ph.D. from Arizona State University. While attending Arizona State, he worked for McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems as a member of the Advanced Concept Development Group responsible for conceptual design studies of advanced helicopters and rotorcraft.