SciTech 2015 is Right Around the Corner - Make Sure You?re Going to Be There! Written 16 October 2014

By Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications (2008-2017)

Recently, I sat down with George Lesieutre, Professor and Head of the Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Aerospace Engineering, and General Chair of the AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (AIAA SciTech 2015) to discuss the upcoming event that takes place 5–9 January 2015, at the Gaylord Palms Hotel and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida.

When asked about the importance of AIAA SciTech 2015 to the aerospace community, Lesieutre replied, “It is the world’s largest gathering of aerospace professionals, bringing together representatives from all over our community. Attendees represent nearly every scientific and technical field critical to aerospace, and they use the forum to have a week of dialogues and collaboration on the most important issues facing our community. From plenaries to panel sessions, to hallway discussions and our Forum 360 – there is something to engage everyone.”

When asked about the themes for this year’s forum, Lesieutre stated it would feature “critical and timely themes, calculated to provoke serious discussion and thought about our community’s future.” Among those topics are: R&D investment trends and strategies, globalization and its effect on aerospace, adaptation to new technology, and how to keep ahead of the emergent technology curve while ensuring that our workforce is diverse and thriving. The forum will look at new ways to respond to shifts in business models, and how issues such as global warming, big data, and autonomy will reshape our community’s goals and requirements in future years.

While the forum’s speaker slate is yet to be finalized, Lesieutre promises it will be dynamic, featuring “a wide cross section of community thought leaders, business leaders, government officials, and academics.” He emphasized, however, that “it’s the individual member who attends SciTech that makes it so important, especially given how the forum brings all of our disciplines together.”

To close our interview, Lesieutre noted how important it is for young professionals and students to attend AIAA SciTech 2015: “Where else, if you are a young professional just starting out, or a student aspiring to work in the community, are you going to find a grouping of aerospace engineers and scientists who can inspire, mentor, and help you along your chosen career path? Nowhere else, really—that’s what makes coming to SciTech so important – you start the year, or the term, off with a week dedicated solely to discussing aerospace engineering and science, hearing from high-level speakers, networking with industry officials and peers, and building the types of relationships that lead to new breakthroughs, I can’t imagine any other place to be during the 1st week of January than at AIAA SciTech 2015.”

To register for AIAA SciTech 2015, please visit: