NASA Langley aerospace engineer Thomas Horvath has been selected as the 2006 AIAA Engineer of the Year by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
The Engineer of the Year Award provides unique recognition to an individual member of AIAA who has distinguished himself in some facet of aerospace engineering and will be presented to Horvath on June 6 during the 36th AIAA Thermophysics and Heat Transfer Conference to be held in San Francisco, Calif.
Image to left: Tom Horvath. Credit: NASA
Horvath was honored for his "exemplary contributions to understanding of Space Shuttle orbiter aerothermodynamic phenomena which were critical to the Columbia accident investigation and the safe entry of Discovery on the STS-114 Return-to-Flight mission."
"I am very humbled to have received this award," said Horvath. "I was fortunate to have worked with a very talented and dedicated team of researchers and engineers, both here at Langley and throughout NASA. Collectively, our innovative experimental and computational work provided the accident board with information that permitted timely closure to the investigation." Horvath added, "The team’s continuing contributions to the safe return to flight of the Shuttle is of great importance to the nation."
Horvath has been a member of the Aerothermodynamics Branch, at the NASA Langley Research Center for 19 years and has authored or co-authored 71 technical papers including the AIAA best thermophysics paper in 2001. He has degrees in physics and aeronautical engineering from Ripon College and the George Washington University, respectively. In 2003 he received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal for outstanding contributions to advancement of hypersonic-hypervelocity ground based testing methodology and application to a broad spectrum of access-to-space and planetary vehicles. In 2005 he received a NASA Exceptional Engineering Medal for outstanding contributions to the Columbia accident investigation via fast-paced, innovative hypersonic aerothermodynamic ground-based testing of potential damage scenarios.
Most recently, Horvath has distinguished himself in his role as technical project manager/lead for all Shuttle Return-to-Flight efforts within the Aerothermodynamics Branch at Langley. His programmatic and technical leadership was essential to the development of engineering tools to evaluate and deal with thermal protection system damage to the Shuttle Orbiter during STS-114.
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) serves over 35,000 members in 65 regional sections and 79 countries. AIAA membership is drawn from all levels of industry, academia, private research organizations and government.
Further information about the Engineer of the Year Award or the 36th AIAA Thermophysics and Heat Transfer Conference can be found at www.aiaa.org.
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