AIAA singles out AFRL researchers for 2016 Fellows honor

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Three researchers from the Air Force Research Laboratory have been named American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Fellows for 2016.

The three new Fellows are:

· Dr. Russell M. Cummings, of AFRL's European Office of Aerospace Research and Development and the U.S. Air Force Academy, is being honored for his work in simulating maneuvering aircraft through the use of reduced order modeling and computational fluid dynamics, and for his contributions to undergraduate education as an author and educator in the field of computational aerodynamics.

· Dr. Ajit K. Roy, of AFRL's Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, is internationally recognized in the aerospace science community for his outstanding scientific contributions and technology leadership in complex (structural, thermal, and electronic) materials, through advancing aerospace science and technology transition.

· Dr. James Gord, of AFRL's Aerospace Systems Directorate, has made advancements in high-power, high-repetition-rate burst-mode laser diagnostics systems, applying them to turbulent combustion and high-speed flows. His research has produced myriad fundamental technology breakthroughs in burst-mode laser measurement systems that enable scientists and engineers to better understand the performance of real-world air breathing and rocket engines.

AIAA is the world's largest aerospace professional society. The designation of Fellow is given to those judged to have made notable and valuable contributions to the aerospace arts, sciences, or technology.  Only one per every 1000 voting AIAA members are elected each year, meaning only 3% of AIAA members achieve the distinction of Fellow.

In 1933, Orville Wright became AIAA's first Honorary Fellow. Since then, there have been over 1800 people who have achieved the distinguished honor as an AIAA Honorary Fellow or AIAA Fellow, and they are recognized as some of the most respected names in the aerospace industry. 

The three AFRL scientists were uniformly humbled by the prestigious designation, which will be officially bestowed at the AIAA Fellows Dinner, held June 2016 in Washington, D.C.

"It is truly an unexpected honor and a privilege to join the ranks of the AIAA Fellows here in AFRL and throughout the S&T community, many of whom I have idolized over the course of my career," said Dr. Gord. "I don't feel worthy, but I couldn't be happier."

Dr. Roy concurred: "In view of all the distinguished list of AIAA Fellows, I'm truly humbled by the recognition.  I have had the privilege of working with a large number of very bright people over the years - my research team members, AFRL colleagues, and collaborators.  I'm immensely grateful to them for this accomplishment.  Furthermore, the unconditional support from AFRL leadership and stimulating work culture at AFRL makes AFRL a rewarding place to grow professionally and certainly made this recognition possible.  I'm proud to be a part of AFRL."

Cummings added:  "When I look at the list of previous AIAA Fellows I am greatly humbled and truly honored to be included in the same company. I am also excited that three of the 24 AIAA Fellows for 2016 are associated with the Air Force Research Laboratory, which is a testament to the dedication and capabilities of the USAF in supplying the resources and facilities for researchers to perform world-class work."