John C. Vassberg '80

Vassberg WebDr. John Vassberg is Chief Aerodynamicist of the BCA Advanced Concepts Design Center in Southern California. He is a Boeing Technical Fellow, an AIAA Fellow, and recipient of the AIAA Aerodynamics Award in 2012. Prior to his current position, he was Chief Aerodynamicist of Boeing’s Research & Technology organization

Vassberg joined Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) in 1982, working in the Aerodynamic Technology Programs group, where he co-developed transonic airfoil technologies. He has developed numerous computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods and aerodynamic technologies. He has worked in aerodynamic research and technology groups, as well as aircraft program development organizations. During his 34-year career at Boeing, Vassberg collaborated with NASA Ames and Langley Research Centers, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Naval Research Laboratory, as well as various academic institutions. He is considered a world authority in the development and application of CFD and aerodynamic shape optimization for aerodynamic design within an aircraft design environment. He has worked on or supported 19 aircraft programs, including the B747, B777 and B787.

Vassberg holds over a dozen patents related to aerodynamic technologies, including the Advanced Winglets of the B737-MAX.  He has authored over 100 publications, and is an Associate Editor for the AIAA Journal of Aircraft. He has pioneered new fields of numerical simulation including: in-flight refueling hose-drogue dynamics, towed-decoy dynamics, fast surface-panel methods, and globally-elliptic meshing.

Dr. Vassberg received his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Southern California (1992), and his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University (1981 & 1980) in aerospace engineering. He has taught at the University of California, Irvine in the MAE Department and is currently on USC Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Department’s Advisory Board.