Distinguished Lecturers to Speak at the 2020 AIAA SciTech Forum Written 5 December 2019


CONTACT: Michele McDonald

December 5, 2019 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce the following lectures will be presented during the AIAA SciTech Forum, held 6–10 January 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando in Orlando, Florida. 

“The hallmark of the AIAA SciTech Forum is the sharing of ideas, successes and failures that drives the aerospace industry to improve life on earth,” said Daniel Dumbacher, AIAA executive director. “AIAA members are known for their collaborative spirit as we work together to push the boundaries to make the next technological leap. These lectures will inspire students and professionals to find fresh directions and ideas for their work.”

The Durand Lecture for Public Service, named in honor of William F. Durand, is presented for notable achievements by a scientific or technical leader whose contributions have led directly to the understanding and application of the science and technology of aeronautics and astronautics for the betterment of mankind.

The lecture, “Space Technology: An Investment in Our Future,” will be presented by Dr. Robert D. Braun, Dean of the College of Engineering & Applied Science at the University of Colorado, on Monday, 6 January at 1230 hrs ET.

Dr. Braun has more than 30 years of experience as a space systems engineer, technologist, and organizational leader. He is a recognized authority in the development of entry, descent and landing systems and has contributed to the formulation, development, and operation of multiple space flight missions. Dr. Braun is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of AIAA and AAS, and the author or co-author of over 300 technical publications.

The Dryden Lectureship in Research, named in honor of Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, former director of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and a renowned proponent of the value of research programs to aerospace, emphasizes the important role of basic research in the advancement of engineering and science in aerospace, and salutes the work that research scientists and engineers perform.

The lecture, “Evolution of Optimization, Experiments, and Uncertainty Quantification with Increasing Computing Power,” will be presented by Dr. Raphael T. Haftka, Emeritus Distinguished Professor at the University of Florida, on Wednesday, 8 January at 1800 hrs ET.

Dr. Haftka has focused on the role of simulations and experiments in design under uncertainty. He was one of the founders of the International Society for Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, its second president, and is now editor-in-chief of its journal, Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization. He taught at Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and Virginia Tech before the University of Florida, where he retired as Distinguished Professor in May 2019. He is an AIAA Fellow and recipient of the AIAA Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Award and the AIAA-ASC James H. Starnes Jr. Award.

For more information about the AIAA Honors and Awards program, please contact Patricia A. Carr, Manager, Honors and Awards Programs, at patriciac@aiaa.org.

About AIAA
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 85 countries, and 95 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit www.aiaa.org, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.


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