Edward M. Greitzer
Interim Department Head
Welcome to AeroAstro’s Summer 2018 newsletter.
As you will see from our lead story above, this is a transition time for the department, with Dan Hastings’ return from leading the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) to head AeroAstro. Dan has held a number of MIT leadership positions over the years, but he has kept touch with AeroAstro through research and other interactions. His commitments to SMART are such that he cannot take up the Department Head position until January 1. In the meantime, it’s my privilege to serve as Interim Head for the summer and the fall semester—this is MIT, it doesn’t stop, and there are things we need to get done.
I am also pleased to announce that Professor Hamsa Balakrishnan has accepted the position of Associate Department Head. Hamsa has provided exemplary service to the department as Chair of the Graduate Committee and as Undergraduate Advising Chair, as well as serving as Director of Transportation@MIT.
In another note on transitions, as of last month my office was in our newly renovated Building 31, home of the Gas Turbine Lab, a number of our autonomous systems labs, and MIT/Lincoln Lab’s Beaver Works. I’m pleased to report the project is virtually complete, with almost all tenants now in place. From that office I could also see another major AeroAstro facility, our 80-year-old Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel, which we plan to replace with a new facility offering much enhanced capability. The aerodynamic design of the new tunnel is novel, having about one-half the length, and one-third the square footage, of high quality tunnels with the same test section area. Construction is currently slated to start during the 2018 fall semester with an expected completion date in 2020.
We’re grateful for your enthusiastic response to these newsletters, indicated by the many positive emails and phone calls we have received. Thank you for reading and for your feedback, which we welcome. Please let us know your comments and suggestions; we want to hear from you.