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Member Profiles

Jorge M M Barata, 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.

AIAA Associate Fellow

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 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, AIAA Member, Production Engineer - Boeing, Mesa, AZ

Earned his undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering in 2017 and currently works as a on rotorcraft in Mesa, Arizona.

Kevin Burns, AIAA History Committee Chair

Associate Fellow of the AIAA who is 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 (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.

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

Craig F. Eckersley, Member of the AIAA International Subcommittee

Senior Wind Tunnel Engineer, Senior Lifetime AIAA Member and member of the International Subcommittee, 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, History Committee Member

Dr. Fogel is Chief Executive Officer of Natural Selection, Inc. in San Diego focusing 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 biomimicry for aerospace engineering, and the history of gliding and soaring. Having been involved with aeromodelling 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, and Associate Fellow of the AIAA.

Dr Richard P Hallion, AIAA Member and Past Chair, History Committee

Richard P. Hallion consults, lectures, and writes widely on aerospace history, technology, and policy. He has been a founding curator at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution; 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 Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 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 G. Lavelle, AIAA Associate Fellow, Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society of Great Britain

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. 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.

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

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 was co-founder of the original St. Louis Space Frontier and is the former president of the Phoenix chapters of the National Space Society and the Moon Society. He has been deeply involved with K-12 and STEM outreach for the Phoenix Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Mr. Mackowski also is an , on the AIAA History Committee, a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, and a member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists. See his personal website at for additional background.

Rachel Tillman, History Committee Communications, 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, PhD., Retired Engineer, AIAA Fellow  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.

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