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Jan. 26, 1999

Michael Mewhinney

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

(Phone: 650/604-3937)



Dr. L. S. "Skip" Fletcher has been named the new Director of Aeronautics at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, effective Feb. 1, 1999, Center Director Dr. Henry McDonald announced today.

Currently Regents Professor in the Texas A&M University System and Dietz Professor of Mechanical Engineering, he has held several different positions in the Texas A&M University College of Engineering, including Associate Dean. Fletcher also serves as the Education Coordinator for the university's Offshore Technology Research Center. Fletcher succeeds Dr. Fredric Schmitz who retired last year.

"It is with a great deal of pleasure that I announce the selection of Skip Fletcher as NASA Ames' new Director of Aeronautics," McDonald said. "Dr. Fletcher began his distinguished career as an aeronautical test technician here at NASA Ames in 1956 and also served as a project engineer and research scientist here," McDonald added. "He is extremely well qualified for this important leadership position, and we look forward to working with him."

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In his new position, Fletcher will be responsible for planning, directing and coordinating Ames' aeronautics technology, science and development activities, including basic and applied aerodynamics, aviation systems, rotorcraft aerodynamics, acoustics, space transportation and thermal protection systems, and advanced aeronautical projects.

"I'm looking forward to returning to Ames and leading the center's aeronautics research and development efforts as we head into the 21st century," Fletcher said. "I'm also looking forward to renewing old friendships with my many NASA Ames colleagues and to making new ones in the Ames research community as we all work together on the many challenges that lie ahead."

During his career, Fletcher has served as professor and chairman of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, and as the Acting Associate Dean for the College of Engineering at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. He also worked as an instructor at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ and as a research assistant at Stanford University.

Fletcher has won numerous honors and awards and is a member of many professional organizations. He is a past president and Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a past president and Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Astronautical Society, the American Society for Engineering Education and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Fletcher is also a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Aeronautical Society, both headquartered in the United Kingdom, and the Institution of Engineers in Australia.

Fletcher has authored or co-authored six books and more than 225 conference and journal publications. He has patents or patents pending on six inventions, including a Heat Transfer Cylinder and Temperature Control Mechanisms for a Micro Heat Pipe Catheter. Fletcher is listed in Who's Who in the World; Who's Who in Aviation and Aerospace; Who's Who in America; Who's Who in Engineering; and American Men and Women of Science.

Fletcher and his wife, Nancy, an instructor at Texas A&M University, have been married 33 years. They are the parents of two children, a son who is attending graduate school at Stanford University and a daughter attending Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.

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