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Aerospace Engineering Professors to Receive SAE International Education Award

WARRENDALE, Pa., Oct. 21, 2008 - Four aerospace engineering educators are recipients of SAE International's Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. They will be honored during the SAE 2009 AeroTech Congress and Exposition in Seattle, Wash.

The Teetor Award, established in 1953, recognizes outstanding engineering educators and offers them the opportunity to meet and exchange views with practicing engineers in their fields. The award honors the late Ralph R. Teetor, 1936 SAE President, who believed that engineering educators are the most effective link between engineering students and their future careers.

This award is funded through the SAE Foundation. In addition to supporting the awards, recognition and scholarship programs of SAE International, the SAE Foundation develops and funds programs and incentives that foster student interest in engineering, scientific and technical education.

Robert Hyers
Hyers is an associate professor in the mechanical and industrial engineering department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst . Previously, he spent four years at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in the Electrostatic Levitation Facility.  At NASA, he helped materials scientists develop experiments for the International Space Station.

A member of SAE International, Hyers was the faculty advisor for the university's SAE student chapter and SAE Supermileage team for three years.

Hyers holds a bachelor’s in materials science and a doctorate in materials engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He resides in Amherst, MA .

For more information on Hyers, please contact Charles Creekmore of the University of Massachusetts at

Janet Brelin-Fornari
Brelin-Fornari is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Kettering University in Flint, Mich. She also oversees operations and research at the university's Crash Safety Center .  In this role, she established a Crash Safety Industrial Advisory Board involving companies such as AAA, Delphi , General Motors and RA Denton.

A member of SAE International, Brelin-Fornari is the faculty advisor for the university's SAE Baja team.  She also instructs a summer program on bioengineering for high school women at Kettering University called "Lives Improve Through Engineering."  In addition, she participates in the American Society of Engineering Educators, the University of Nebraska Cather Circle, the State of Michigan Science Fair , and the McGraw-Hill Board of Advisors for engineering mechanics. 

Previously, Berlin-Fornari worked for General Motors.  During this time, she developed, packaged, marketed and supported the corporation's first release of Fotogram® software which assists crash reconstructionists with 2D photogrammetry.  She also has published several technical papers for industry conferences, including the SAE World Congress and SAE Motorsports Congress.

Brelin-Fornari holds her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln , the University of Michigan and the University of Arizona , respectively. She is also a licensed professional engineer in the State of Michigan .  She resides in Clarkston, Mich.

For more information on Brelin-Fornari, please contact Dawn Hibbard at Kettering University ,

Daniel Kirk
Kirk is an assistant professor of aerospace engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology.  In conjunction with the NASA Kennedy Space Center , Kirk and his students are developing improved thermal-fluids models for launch vehicles and spacecraft, including low-gravity propellant slosh dynamics experiments and prediction.

The recipient of numerous teaching awards, Kirk serves as the faculty advisor for Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society. He also participates in committees for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Kirk holds doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the field of Propulsion and Energy conversion.  He resides in Melbourne, Fla.

For more information on Kirk, please contact Karen Rhine at the Florida Institute of Technology at

Craig Woolsey
Woolsey is an associate professor in the aerospace and ocean engineering department at Virginia Tech. He also is the founding director of the Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems, an interdisciplinary research center focused on the development and application of autonomous systems technology.

Woolsey is the recipient of several awards, including the National Science Foundation Career Award, the Young Investigator Program Award from the Office of Naval Research, and the Outstanding New Assistant Professor Award from the Dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering . He also has been named a Virginia Tech College of Engineering Faculty Fellow and a NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts Fellow.

A member of SAE International, Woolsey is also a member of the American Society of Engineering Educators and the International Federation of Automatic Control, and a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Woolsey holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University .  He resides in Blacksburg, Va.

For more information on Woolsey, please contact Lynn Nystrom of Virginia Tech at

For more information about SAE International’s Ralph R. Educational Teetor Award, please contact