Alfriend named 2015 AIAA Honorary Fellow

Image of Terry AlfriendThe American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has named Dr. Terry Alfriend, professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, a 2015 AIAA Honorary Fellow. Presentation of the new Fellows and Honorary Fellows will take place at the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala, Wednesday, May 6, 2015, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, in Washington D.C.

The title of Honorary Fellow, the highest distinction conferred by AIAA, is granted to preeminent individuals who have long and highly contributory careers in aerospace, and who embody the highest possible standards in aeronautics and astronautics.

“The title of AIAA Fellow is among the highest honors that one can earn in the aerospace community. It represents the acknowledgement of peers that one’s work is truly outstanding, and that you have made lasting contributions to significantly advancing the state-of-the art of aerospace science and technology,” said Mike Griffin, AIAA past-president. “Beyond that, the title of Honorary Fellow honors those whose work and contributions have placed each at the pinnacle of our profession.”

For more than 40 years, Alfriend has been making key contributions to the understanding of the flight mechanics and control of space vehicles. His career includes an mix of experience in academia, industry and government. His innovations appear prominently in subjects as diverse as analytical celestial mechanics; satellite formation flying; attitude dynamics and control; surveillance of space; probabilistic problems in astrodynamics including probability-of-collision formulations used by NASA to ensure safety of manned space flight; and application of space systems to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Papers from every phase of his career continue to be cited regularly at conferences and in journals.

In addition to his academic and industrial posts, Alfriend has served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, as editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Astronautical Sciences and as associate editor of the International Journal of Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy.

Alfriend’s many honors include election to the National Academy of Engineering, election to the International Academy of Astronautics, and citation with the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award. He is a Fellow of both the AIAA and the AAS and has received both the Mechanics and Control of Flight Award and the Dirk Brouwer Award from these societies. In 2005, he received the AAAS International Scientific Cooperation Award for his decade-long efforts to organize the US/Russian Space Surveillance Workshop series. He continues today as one of the two principal American organizers of this unique contribution to international understanding. 

In 1933, Orville Wright became AIAA’s first Honorary Fellow. Today, AIAA Honorary Fellows and AIAA Fellows are the most respected names in the aerospace industry. Candidates of no more than four deemed most worthy of the Honorary Fellow  honor shall be recommended to the AIAA Board of Director for election each year.  To be elected signifies that Alfriend stands out amongst his peers and some of the greats in aerospace history.

AIAA is the largest aerospace professional society in the world, serving a diverse range of more than 35,000 individual members from 80 countries, and 100 corporate members. AIAA members help make the world safer, more connected, more accessible, and more prosperous.