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Member Profiles

Jorge Barata

Jorge M M Barata, AIAA Associate Fellow

Professor of the Aerospace Sciences Department, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal, Dir. Aeronautics & Astronautics Research Center of the Associated Laboratory on Energy, Transports & Aerospace.

PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, 1989. Master on Energy Transfer and Conversion, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, 1985. BEng on Mechanical Engineering, University of Coimbra, 1982. Authored more than 300 publications including books, chapter of books, papers on journals and scientific meetings in the areas of V/STOL aerodynamics and propulsion. Member of the editorial board and reviewer of scientific journals (AIAA Journal, Journal of Aircraft, IMechE Journal of Aerospace Engineering, Atomization and Sprays, among others) and scientific congresses. Interests: Biomimetics, Aerospace History, and 49er Sailing Sport

John Blanton

John C. Blanton, Ph.D., Fellow AIAA

Owner and Chief Engineer - Classic Engineering, LLC  864-382-0626 (C)

Dr. Blanton is Owner and Chief Engineer of Classic Engineering, LLC, a provider of technical education and consulting services in gas turbine technologies. In 2016 he retired after 36 years with GE, having spent most of his career in the gas turbine field (both aircraft and power generation), specializing in heat transfer and secondary air systems design and analysis. He earned B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. He also has been an Instructor or Adjunct Professor at Virginia Tech, Union College, and the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Blanton is an active member and passionate supporter of ASME and AIAA and a Fellow of both organizations.

Aiden Bramer

Aiden Bramer, AIAA History Communications Committee Member

Production Engineer - Boeing, Mesa, AZ

A proactive learner committed to "defying gravity", Aiden began his pursuit of the skies at 13 when he first flew a small aircraft and was hooked. During High School, he participated in the Real World Design Challenge by leading two teams to design aeronautical platforms, placing 3rd and 2nd out of up to 60 competing designs in the state of Arizona for consecutive years. Having steered his career toward engineering, he continued to gain experience by leadership and participation in numerous projects throughout his academic career, culminating in earning his Bachelors degree in 2017 from Embry-Riddle in Aerospace Engineering. He continues his professional development at Boeing as a Liaison Engineer, giving direction on the use of discrepant parts to facilitate on-time delivery of safe, effective aircraft.


Adam Bruckner, AIAA Fellow, History Museum Committee Member 

Professor, Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 

He graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, in 1966 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and received his PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1972. He joined the University of Washington (UW) faculty that same year. Professor Bruckner was Chair of his department from 1998 to 2010, and was one of the founding members of the University’s Astrobiology Program. His research has encompassed hypervelocity accelerators, planetary in situ resource utilization, space propulsion, space power systems, energy conversion, and biomedical applications of lasers. To date, he has published 195 technical papers and reports, and has six U.S. patents in the areas of ram accelerators, launch vehicles, and heat exchangers. He has also served as a consultant to industry and the U.S. Government. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and has received several awards from NASA, AIAA, and other organizations. Although Prof. Bruckner officially retired from the University of Washington in November 2017, he has continued to be engaged with his department through teaching and advising graduate and undergraduate students. He is also a history buff, and is the historian of his department.

Aadm Bruckner
Kevin Burns

Kevin Burns, Associate Fellow of the AIAA, (Past AIAA History Committee Chair)

Retired after a long career in the aerospace industry working for companies such as Hughes Aircraft Company, Bell Aerospace, Calspan, General Dynamics, Computer Sciences Corporation, General Electric, and Northrop Grumman.  He is the Chair of the AIAA History Integration and Outreach Committee, and Track Chair for the History Track of SciTech 2022.  He is a past Chair of the Niagara Frontier Section and San Diego Section of the AIAA.  Within the American Legion he currently serves as the Vice-Commander of the Charles W. Turner Post 867 at the Chula Vista Veterans Home, and serves on the Aerospace Commission representing the 5th Area of the Department of California.  As a member of the American Legion for over 45 years, he is a past Commander of the Hughes Aircraft Post.  He is a past Chairperson of the Society for Technical Communication’s (STC) National Standards Council and served for a number of years as their representative to the National Information Standards Organization (NISO).


Tom D. Crouch, PhD, Chair, Gardner-Lasser Literary Award; History Manuscript Award

Retired Scholar/Curator and Manager, National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of American History (home) (work-retired, but still using)

Tom D. Crouch is an emeritus curator with the Smithsonian Institution, where he was employed as a scholar/curator and manager for forty-five years, working at both the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History. He holds a BA from Ohio University, an MA from Miami University, a PhD from the Ohio State University and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Wright State University. He is the author or editor of fifteen books and over one hundred articles in scholarly journals and popular magazines. His publications have been awarded several awards, including the Christopher Prize, The Aerospace Writer’s Association Book Prize, and both the AIAA History Manuscript Award and the Gardner-Lasser Prize. One of his books, Rocketeers and Gentlemen Engineers: A History of the Americans Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and What Came Before, is the official history of the AIAA. He first joined the History Committee in the mid-1970s.

Tom Crouch
Benjamin Davis

Benjamin G. Davis, Ph.D., LL.M.

Director, The Davis Group

Dr. Benjamin G. Davis serves as Director of the Davis Group, an organization dedicated to the issues of space history, law, and evolving systems. He also serves as Professor of Moral Theology at St. Mary's Seminary and University and as an Adjunct Professor of Business and of Aerospace Studies at the American Public University System. He served as a design engineer for General Motors, Research Economist for the Executive Office of the President, Executive Director of The Religious Coalition, and President at three universities. Dr. Davis holds A.B. with Distinction and A.M. degrees in Economics, an M.B.A., an M.Th. in Systematic Theology, an M.S. with Honors in Space Studies, an M.A. in Mission, an M.M.L. in Leadership, and an L.L.M. with Distinction in Commercial law where his dissertation concerned private property rights in outer space. He has been awarded two doctorates, a D.Min. in Ethics and Theology and a Ph.D. in Business Administration. Dr. Davis has over 100 publications including works for the United Nations, the International Reading Association, and Faith at Work. He has been an invited presenter at numerous conferences including the I.A.C., the A.I.A.A., Reinventing Space, and the International Social Science Association. He has two textbooks published by Pearson-Prentice Hall.

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Craig Eckersley
Gary Fogel

Craig F. Eckersley, Senior Lifetime AIAA Member and Member of the AIAA International Subcommittee

Senior Wind Tunnel Engineer, Chartered Engineer and Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Newsletter Editor for the Preston (United Kingdom) Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Professional Registration Interviewer for the Royal Aeronautical Society, Community Volunteer, and Churchwarden at Holy Trinity Church, Freckleton (United Kingdom).


Gary Fogel, Associate Fellow of the AIAA

Chief Executive Officer of Natural Selection, Inc. in San Diego

Dr. Fogel focuses on broad applications of machine learning. With a diverse background in biology and earth science as well as aerospace, Dr. Fogel has interest in the evolution of flight, the use of bio-mimicry for aerospace engineering, and the history of gliding and soaring. Having been involved with aeromodeling for much of his life, he has also established numerous national and world records for model airplanes. He has authored several books on the history of gliding. As Adjunct Faculty at San Diego State University, he teaches a freshman introductory course on aerospace engineering. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, Fellow of the Academy of Model Aeronautics

Richard Hallion

Richard P Hallion, PhD., AIAA Fellow, Past Chair AIAA History Committee

Founding curator at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution

Richard P. Hallion consults, lectures, and writes widely on aerospace history, technology, and policy. He has been a historian with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Air Force; the General Harold Keith Johnson Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army War College; a senior issues and policy advisor for the Secretary of the Air Force; the Air Force Historian and Director, U.S. Air Force History and Museums Program; a senior advisor on aerospace technology to the Air Force Chief Scientist, and a Founding Trustee of Florida Polytechnic University. He has mission observer (not pilot) flying experience in a wide range of military and civil aircraft and is a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and the Royal Historical Society. Dr. Hallion received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Maryland, and completed postgraduate study programs at the Federal Executive Institute and the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Michael Lavelle

Michael G. Lavelle, AIAA Associate Fellow

Retired Engineer, Boeing

Mike Lavelle is an aviation historian and author with over 50+ years of aviation/aerospace experience, including 12 years at Cessna Aircraft Company and 24 years with the Boeing Company. Lavelle’s assignments in those companies were in aircraft flight crew and maintenance training operations for both commercial and military programs. After retiring from Boeing in 2006, he became a director at the Museum of Flight in Seattle for 7 years. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society of Great Britain. A FAA flight instructor with 7000+ hours flying in a variety of aircraft, he is also a certified airframe and powerplant mechanic. He shares his knowledge of aviation history with universities, industry groups and air museums around the world. Mike has always had an interest in the people, events, and aircraft that have made up the rich history of aviation. His presentations subjects rank high in all three of those categories.

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David Loda

David C. Loda, AIAA Associate Fellow, AIAA Systems Engineering TC, AIAA Digital Engineering Integration
Commander, USNR (RET)

Dave Loda is a former military pilot who first piloted the UH-1H Huey and UH-60A Black Hawk as a US Army Lieutenant with the 101st Airborne Division (AASLT), then earned his Navy wings with the Naval Reserve as an SH-2F Seasprite ASW pilot. Dave has logged pilot time in the OH-58, P3, F/A-18, served on the USS John F Kennedy (CV-67) and later in the Naval War College’s War Gaming Department. He was also the first US Navy pilot to fly JointSTARS (a specialized Boeing 707) as the Navy liaison for airborne fleet battle experimentation to the Air Force. An avid fan of history, Dave has done numerous re-enactments for National Parks, State and local governments, and historical organizations, with a unique highlight, racing antique cars and a 1909 French Bleriot aeroplane on horseback. He lectures on these events in venues such as the Collings Foundation’s Race of the Century, as well. In his professional career, he is an early pioneer in the Internet of Things as applied to airborne networking and has been awarded 13 US patents. Dave now resides in Wisconsin where he works for the Oshkosh Corporation.

Michael Mackowski

Michael J. Mackowski, Associate Fellow of AIAA, AIAA History Committee Chair, Children’s Literature Award subcommittee.

Michael J. Mackowski retired from his position as an electrical systems engineer at Orbital ATK (now Northrop Grumman) in October 2018, after over forty years in the spacecraft design and development field. He worked on programs such as Landsat 8, the Fermi and Swift gamma ray observatories, the Iridium communications satellite constellation, several NASA science satellites, and the Space Shuttle. He was with McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company in St. Louis from 1977 until 1992. Outside the workplace, he is very involved in space advocacy and promoting the benefits of space exploration and held leadership positions with the St. Louis and Phoenix chapters of the National Space Society. He has been deeply involved with K-12 and STEM outreach, primarily for the AIAA’s Phoenix Section. In addition to his involvement with the AIAA History Committee, Mike is a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, and a member of the International Plastic Modelers Society and the International Association of Astronomical Artists. See his personal website at for additional background.

Fernando Neves

Fernando Neves, PhD., International Member of the AIAA History Committee, Senior Member AIAA

Research Member, AEROG-Aeronautics and Astronautics Research Center (R&D Unit), and Member of the Scientific Council of AEROG/LAETA

Fernado Neves holds an Aeronautics Engineer Dipl. 5 years Licenciatura Degree at the University of Beira Interior (UBI), Covilhã, Portugal. His Dissertation Thesis was on a Numerical Study of the Effect of the Initial Turbulence Level in the Mixture of Confined Coaxial Jets. During 2008, he held the position of Operations Engineering Manager at the euroAtlantic Airways enterprise. In 2012, he obtained his Ph.D. Aeronautical Engineer degree (at UBI) with a doctoral dissertation on experimental work concerning the Aerodynamic Control of the Mixing of Confined, Plane, and Co-axial Jets (combustion chambers). He participated, and developed research works in the area of VSTOL; his current research areas of interest are Biomimetic Techniques of Propulsion and Aviation History.

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Rachel Tillman

Rachel Tillman, AIAA Senior Member, History Committee Communications Chair, AIAA DEI Committee Member

Founder/Director of The Viking Mars Missions Education & Preservation Project (VMMEPP)

Rachel was 'born into aerospace' watching her Fathers work as Scientist on the Viking Mars missions of the 1970s. Inspired by space sciences and engineering, she gained her multidisciplinary degree in Biology, Art and languages from Occidental College, and has been a leader in community projects, on Advisory Boards, teaching students, and writing grant proposals and leading STEM activities. In 1990-1992, Rachel was part of a broad collaboration of engineers, academics, educators, and media experts redefining the term “multimedia”, just as it became a driving force in much of the technology and media explosion of the decade. Her career includes 20 years in the computing industry identifying real world problems and innovating solutions as business development professional, analyst, and inventor, with patents in streaming media and clean tech. Her space history preservation began in 1979 when she saved the third flight qualified Viking Mars Lander (VL3) from scrap, and continued, helping her Father develop an exhibit for the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in 1983, and ultimately founding VMMEPP, a 501c3 nonprofit, to preserve the Viking mission history and artifacts. 

Julian Tishkoff

Julian Tishkoff, PhD., Retired Engineer, AIAA Fellow

PhD PE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering  cell (301)424-8469

PhD in 1973 in Fluid, Thermal, and Aerospace Sciences from Case Western Reserve University. 1972-82 Staff Research Engineer at the General Motors Research Laboratory. 1982-2010 Program Manager at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Retired in 2011. 2012 – present Volunteer at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  Fellow of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Walter Gordan

Walter Gordon, Chairman of the Niagara Frontier section of AIAA, Vice-chair AIAA History Committee

Defense Market Manager, Advanced Programs Directorate of the Moog Space and Defense Group.

Walter Gordon worked as an engineer in Western New York from 1979 to 2020 at four different aerospace firms, retiring recently as a business development manager in the Moog Space and Defense Group.  He is also retired from a parallel thirty-year career in the Air Force Reserve, serving as commander of the 328th Airlift Squadron and 914th Airlift Wing in Niagara Falls, New York.  Colonel Gordon is a veteran of Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom and has over 2,000 hours flying time in the C-130.  Walter has a long time interest in aerospace and aerospace history, joining the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics at age seventeen and currently serving as chairman of the AIAA Niagara Frontier Section and deputy chair of the History Committee.  He is also the chairman of the Niagara Frontier Aviation and Space Hall of Fame nominating committee and a past president of the Niagara Aerospace Museum and Aero Club of Buffalo.  Walter has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University at Buffalo and an M.S. in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Air Force Air War College.

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