AMES, Iowa–The Iowa State University Department of Aerospace Engineering has inducted five new members into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni for 2008. The Hall of Distinguished Alumni, inaugurated in 2004, is a permanent display that showcases individuals who have made significant contributions to the aerospace industry.
The inductees are Clayton C. Anderson, NASA astronaut; Sukumar Chakravarthy, founder, Metacomp Technologies, Inc.; Neil G. Kacena, vice president and Advanced Development Programs deputy, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company; Vijaya Shankar, founder, HyPerComp, Inc.; and Donald F. Young, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor, Iowa State University.
Anderson, who earned his MS in aerospace engineering in 1983, is the first Iowa State University alumnus to become an astronaut. A Nebraska native, he earned his BS in physics at Hastings College. Anderson joined NASA in 1983 in the Mission Planning and Analysis Division. Over the next 15 years, his responsibilities included designing rendezvous and proximity operations trajectory designs for early space shuttle and space station missions and leading the trajectory design team for the Galileo planetary mission. Anderson was accepted into the astronaut-training program in 1998. As an astronaut, he led the development of the Enhanced Caution and Warning System to aid astronauts in diagnosing and correcting problems that occur during space flight. In June 2007, Anderson began a 152-day mission onboard the International Space Station. His mission ended successfully on November 7, 2007.
Chakravarthy earned his MS in 1978 and PhD in 1979 in aerospace engineering. He spent 15 years with Rockwell International Science Center where he led the computational fluid dynamics team. In 1994, Chakravarthy founded Metacomp Technologies, Inc., a small business devoted to research, development, dissemination, and support of effective computational methodologies in a variety of disciplines. He helped develop the simulation software that is used by leading organizations around the world in the analysis and design of aerospace, automotive, and hydrodynamic vehicles and devices. Chakravarthy has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of California at Los Angeles since the late 1980s.
Kacena, while not an aerospace engineering alum, has made key contributions to the aerospace industry throughout his career and, therefore, has been selected as the first honorary inductee to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni. Kacena, who is an Iowa State graduate with a BS degree in industrial engineering, is vice president and Advanced Development Programs (ADP) deputy at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. He also chairs the company’s corporate-wide low observables technology focus group, working across business areas and company lines to address critical technologies for applications to advanced projects. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin in 1998, Kacena served in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of colonel. His 20-year military career included service as a fighter pilot in the F-4 Phantom and F-15 Eagle aircrafts; Fighter Weapons School instructor; 9th Fighter Squadron commander; chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Doha, Qatar; and director of special programs, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.
Shankar completed his PhD in aerospace engineering in 1977. He started his career with Rockwell Science Center in 1976 and became director of computation sciences in 1987. He left Rockwell in 1998 to form HyPerComp, a software company that specializes in high-performance computing in multidisciplinary technologies catering to defense and commercial markets. In recognition of his significant contributions to computational fluid dynamics, electromagnetics, and other disciplines, Shankar has received numerous awards. These include the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Lawrence Speery Award and the Dryden Research Lectureship; the NASA Public Service Award; the Rockwell Engineer of the Year; and the Computerworld Smithsonian Award in Science.
Young earned his MS in 1952 and PhD in 1956 in theoretical and applied mechanics. He began his career at Iowa State in 1952 and spent the next 47 years as an exemplary educator and researcher in applied mechanics. Young is internationally recognized for his pioneering contributions in similitude, fluid mechanics, and biomechanics. He was among the first to apply the concepts of fluid mechanics to the study of cardiovascular flow and arterial disease, and he helped create the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Bioengineering Division. He was awarded the Anson Marston Distinguished Professorship in 1974 and the Iowa State Research Foundation Special Recognition Award in 1988.