College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Ossama Abdelkhalik named Vance D. Coffman Faculty Chair

Ossama Abdelkhalik
Ossama Abdelkhalik
Vance Coffman Faculty Chair Ossama Abdelkhalik

The Department of Aerospace Engineering (AerE) has announced that professor Ossama Abdelkhalik will become the next Vance D. Coffman Faculty Chair.

Vance Coffman is an Iowa State University AerE alumnus (B.S. 1967) who is the past chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Lockheed Martin endowed the Vance D. Coffman Faculty Chair to bring lasting recognition to Coffman’s leadership by encouraging faculty who hold this endowed position to pursue cutting edge research in the aerospace fields, and thereby help faculty attain leadership in their fields.

Abdelkhalik joined the Iowa State AerE faculty in 2018 after more than ten years on the faculty at Michigan Technological University. He received a B.S. and M.S. in aerospace engineering from Cairo University in Egypt and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University.

His research areas of interest are space trajectory optimization, spacecraft control, and control of ocean wave energy converters. He teaches both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in orbital mechanics, dynamics, control, and optimization. He has published close to 150 journal and conference papers, one book, and holds seven patents. He has graduated nine Ph.D. students and is currently advising six Ph.D. students.

Vance Coffman
Vance Coffman

Abdelkhalik is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA); is a member of the AIAA Technical Committee on Astrodynamics; a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Technical Committee on Power Generation; and the IEEE Control Systems Society. He has served as associate editor of the AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, the Springer journal Astrodynamics, and the journal IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy.

Coffman joined Lockheed Corporation’s Space Systems Division shortly after his graduation from Iowa State in 1967. He also earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Stanford University. At Lockheed he worked with several major space programs and large ground data-processing systems. By 1988 he was president of the Space Systems Division. Among major accomplishments at Lockheed is his directing the Hubble Space Telescope Project. He later became chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin and fully retired from the company in 2005 after 37 years of service. He subsequently served on the boards of 3M, John Deere and Amgen, a biotechnology company. He is a fellow of the AIAA, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a member of the AerE Hall of Distinguished Alumni.