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Dr. Mark Drela of MIT Earns SAE International William Littlewood Memorial Lecture Award

WARRENDALE, Pa., Nov. 23, 2011 - Dr. Mark Drela, Terry J. Kohler Professor of Fluid Dynamics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, was presented with the William Littlewood Memorial Lecture Award during the 2011 SAE International AeroTech Congress and Exhibition.

The award provides for an annual lecture dealing with a broad phase of civil air transportation considered of current interest and major importance. The objective is to advance air transport engineering and to recognize those who make personal contributions to the field. The award perpetuates the memory of William Littlewood, the only person ever to be president of both SAE International (1954) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was renowned for his contributions to the design of, and operational requirements for, civil transport aircraft.

Dr. Drela’s primary research interests are in low speed and transonic aerodynamics, design and performance of aircraft and aeromechanical devices, and computational aerodynamic design methodology. He has developed a number of computational aerodynamic design/analysis codes currently being used in the aircraft and gas turbine industry. He also developed tools for analysis and design of control systems for highly aeroelastic aircraft. Dr. Drela teaches aircraft design fundamentals, external aerodynamics, and fluid mechanics of boundary layers at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Prof. Drela participated extensively in the Chrysalis, Monarch, and Daedalus human-powered aircraft projects at MIT, the latter setting the world record for distance (116km)   and duration (4.0 hours) in 1988. He also was the advisor and pilot for the MIT Human-powered Hydrofoil Project (1989-1993), which holds the current human-powered watercraft world speed record of 18.5 knots in 1991. 

Dr. Drela obtained his SB, SM, and PhD degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.   

SAE International is a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International's core competencies are life-long learning and voluntary consensus standards development. SAE International's charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series.

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