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Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office

July 11, 2007
RELEASE : 07-022
NASA Glenn Director named Scientist of the Year
Cleveland--Dr. Woodrow Whitlow Jr., director at NASA's Glenn Research Center, has been selected as the top recipient of the 2007 Minorities in Research Science Award.

Also called the Emerald Honors award, this is the premier award for African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Native Americans working in the research sciences.

The winners will be featured in a special issue of Science Spectrum magazine and honored at a black tie gala during the Minorities in Research Science Conference on September 15 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Whitlow received the Scientist of the Year award for his exemplary record of research, scientific and management accomplishments while working for NASA.

"It is an honor to receive the Minorities in Research Science Award. I consider myself privileged to be among those, like Dr. Isaiah Blankson, a brilliant researcher, who previously was chosen for their scientific contributions," said Whitlow about his achievement.

Dr. Whitlow earned his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has written nearly 40 technical papers, mostly in the areas of unsteady transonic flow and aeroelasticity. While managing an annual budget of approximately $650 million, he oversees a workforce of close to 1,640 civil service employees that is supported by approximately 1,430 contractors. Glenn has 24 major facilities and over 500 specialized research facilities located at the 350-acre Cleveland site and the 6,400-acre Plum Brook Station site in Sandusky, Ohio.

Richard Christiansen will be honored with an award for Career Achievement. Christiansen is former Deputy Director for Glenn, and will receive this award for his true commitment to excellence. He was cited as one of the nation's highest achievers in research science.

Christiansen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering in 1979 from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University in 1985. He is an Associate Fellow of AIAA and has served on numerous committees and has authored nine papers on V/STOL aerodynamics and missile aerodynamics. After serving as Glenn's Deputy Director for 3 years, Christiansen retired from NASA on May 31.

The third awardee, honored as a Special Recognition Honoree, is Carlos Morrison, a physicist and aerospace engineer at Glenn. Morrison's contributions have focused in advancing technology for magnetically suspended oil-free aircraft engines, a new five-axis magnetic facility to advance the state-of-the-art testing capability for turbomachinery damping and mistuning research and a flightweight electric motor for a pollution-free electric aircraft propulsion system. Morrison received the prestigious R&D 100 Award in 2004 for his invention of the "Morrison Motor" and was recognized in the same year with the National Technical Association Technical Achiever of the Year award and in 2005 with the Black Engineer of the Year award.

Morrison owns four patents related to physiology and engineering and has authored and co-authored 24 journal and technical articles. He is a member of the American Physical Society and the National Technical Association. Morrison earned his bachelor's degree in physics/mathematics from Hofstra Universtiy in Long Island, NY and his master's degree in physics from Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, NY.

Additionally, two other Glenn employees, Lancert Foster and Lizalyn Smith, will be recognized by Science Spectrum magazine as Trailblazers for 2007. They are minority men and women who create new paths for others in science, engineering or technology, show leadership in their workplaces and communities, are role models and mentors and demonstrate commitment to recruiting and retaining minorities in the nation's science and technology enterprises.

Print quality photos of Whitlow, Christiansen, Morrison, Foster and Smith are available online:

For more information on Emerald Honors Award, see:


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