NASA News

Chris Rink
757-864-6786, 757-344-7711
christopher.p.rink@nasa.gov
03.05.12
 
MEDIA ADVISORY : 12-022
 
 
NASA Talk Focuses on the Future of Aerospace Research
 
 
HAMPTON, Va. -- Is it a mature science or a future of endless possibilities? Have we reached our limits in research and design, or is it still possible to build a better airplane?

On Tuesday, March 6, at NASA's Langley Research Center here, Mark Lewis, former Chief Scientist of the Air Force will present, "Expanding the Envelope: Challenges and Opportunities in Aerospace Research," at 2 p.m. in the Reid Conference Center. Lewis will discuss the research challenges ahead for the current generation of aerospace engineers.

Lewis will be available to answer questions from the media during a news briefing at 1:15 p.m. that day. Media who wish to do so should contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786, or by e-mail at chris.rink@nasa.gov, by noon on the day of the talk for credentials and entry to the Center.

That same evening at 7:30, Lewis will host a similar presentation for the general public at the Virginia Air & Space Center in downtown Hampton. This Sigma Series event is free and no reservations are required.

While the Aerospace engineering field experienced tremendous success in the last century -- from the Wright brothers to a man on the moon in less than 66 years ­ there has been a general perception that the aerospace field is "maturing." The most basic systems concepts worked out, airplane designs solidified, and space vehicles embellishing on what has already been done.

Lewis will examine the most pressing problems and opportunities in the aerospace field from the need for environmentally responsive aircraft systems, alternate energy solutions and demands on future air traffic control, to the challenges associated with unmanned systems, highly-efficient aircraft, low-cost space launchers and supersonic vehicles.

Lewis is the Willis Young, Jr. Professor and Chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland. He is also Immediate Past President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the technical society of aerospace engineers. He has undergraduate degrees in aeronautics, astronautics, earth and planetary science, a master's degree in science and his doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Lewis is the founding director of a NASA sponsored multi-university institute, supporting research in space access and launch-vehicle technologies. He was the longest serving Chief Scientist in Air Force history and served on various advisory boards for NASA, the Air Force, and the Department of Defense.

For more information about NASA Langley's Colloquium and Sigma Series Lectures, visit:

shemesh.larc.nasa.gov/Lectures

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