Roy V. Harris to Receive AIAA 2015 Distinguished Service Award Written 31 March 2015



Roy V. Harris to Receive AIAA 2015 Distinguished Service Award
Honored for 58 Years of Service to AIAA

March 31, 2015 – Reston, Va. – Roy V. Harris, an AIAA Fellow, and director of Aeronautics (retired) at NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, has won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) 2015 Distinguished Service Award. Harris will receive the award on May 6, during the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, in Washington, D.C.

The award honors Harris’ “lifetime contributions to aeronautics and astronautics, the aerospace profession, and AIAA.”

“I want to sincerely thank AIAA for this award. I believe AIAA plays a profoundly important role in the advancement of aerospace science and technology with huge benefits to our nation’s economy, national defense, aviation safety, and space exploration,” said Harris. “I am very thankful for the opportunities it has given me to be a part of this effort. From my earliest days in the Hampton Roads Section through membership on the Board of Directors to representative on the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences, I have been richly rewarded by the experience. Thank you very much, AIAA.”

Harris has served AIAA in a multitude of roles over the course of his 58-year membership. From 1971 to 1973, he was a member of the Aircraft Design Technical Committee, chairing the committee from 1974 to 1975. From 1976 to 1978, he served as a Technical Specialty Group Coordinator for Aircraft Systems, and then as a member of the Technical Activities Committee itself from 1976 to 1979. He served as General Chair of the International Atlantic Aeronautical Conference in 1979, and as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Astronautics and Aeronautics magazine from 1979 to 1981. In 1980, he became a technical director, a post he held until 1983 when he became a member of the Institute Development Committee. He was AIAA’s representative to the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences from 1984 to 1988; and served as Vice President of Technical Activities from 1985 to 1988. From 1990 to 1993, Harris served as a member of the AIAA Board of Directors as a Director–At-Large. In 1995, he served on the International Activities Committee and from 1994 to 1996, on the Honors and Awards Committee.

“On behalf of the entire Institute, I thank Roy Harris for his many contributions to the Institute,” said AIAA Executive Director Sandra Magnus. “His leadership, organizational ability, wisdom, and foresight have helped make AIAA a dynamic and effective organization, allowing our members to shape the future of aerospace. Harris is an outstanding example of AIAA volunteers who give so much of their time and energy to ensure that our events are effective and inclusive, that our presence in international bodies is effective, and that we remain a forward-looking, relevant organization.”

Harris joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in 1958 as an aerospace technologist at the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, later renamed the Langley Research Center in 1959, after Congress created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In 1973, Harris became head of Langley’s Advanced Configurations Branch and initiated cooperative programs with industry that created an advanced F-16 fighter type, and worked with the Navy on developing a scramjet propulsion system for missiles. In 1974, Harris became chief of the High-Speed Aerodynamics Division where he worked on advances in turbulent flow drag reduction and supersonic cruise aerodynamics. In 1985, Harris became director of Aeronautics overseeing all of Langley’s research activities including NASA’s Advanced Aircraft, Advanced Subsonic Transport Technology, High Speed Research and the National Aerospace Plane Programs. Harris concluded his time at Langley as the facility group director for Wind Tunnels and Aerothermodynamics Facilities, before retiring in 1998 to become a consultant to industry and government.

In addition to his service to AIAA, Harris has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS); Chairman of ICAS’ Strategic Planning Committee; a member of ICAS’ Program Committee; and a member of the joint Department of Defense/NASA Aeronautical R&D Study.

Harris is also an Honorary Fellow of ICAS. His past honors include the 1998 Reed Aeronautics Award, a 1998 NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the 1989 AIAA Wright Brothers Lectureship in Aeronautics, the 1968 AIAA Lawrence Sperry Award, and a 1982 NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership. In 1983, Harris was the Virginia Peninsula Engineer of the Year.

The AIAA Board of Directors established the Distinguished Service Award in 1968 to give unique recognition to an individual member of AIAA who has distinguished himself or herself over a period of years.

For more information about the Distinguised Service Award, or the AIAA Honors and Awards program, please contact Carol Stewart at or 703.264.7623.



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