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Helen ReedDr. Helen Reed, Regents Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University and AIAA Fellow, is the recipient of the third Yvonne C. Brill Lectureship in Aerospace Engineering from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Reed will present her lecture, “Student Design-Build-Fly Micro- and Nano Satellites,” on October 2 in conjunction with the National Academy of Engineering’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Reed has contributed to the discipline through her Satellite Design Programs: first at Arizona State University (ASUSat Lab) and then when her Lab moved with her to Texas A&M and became AggieSat Lab. She found effective ways to create interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students, with industry and government affiliates, to engage in design-build-fly of operational small satellites while advancing new technologies that feed into national initiatives and learning industry practices within the university environment. Involving more than 1,000 students over the years, her team has launched four small satellites with the U.S. Air Force and NASA and partnered on other projects. Her students have joined space-oriented businesses and the national laboratories.

AIAA, with the participation and support of NAE, created the Yvonne C. Brill Lectureship in Aerospace Engineering to honor the memory of the late, pioneering rocket scientist, AIAA Honorary Fellow and NAE Member, Yvonne C. Brill. Brill was best known for developing a revolutionary propulsion system that remains the industry standard for geostationary satellite station-keeping.

The lecture emphasizes research or engineering issues for space travel and exploration, aerospace education of students and the public, and other aerospace issues such as ensuring a diverse and robust engineering community.

Reed has been with the department for 13 years, serving as department head for four years before returning to teaching and research on a full-time basis. In addition to small satellite design, she is also widely regarded as an expert in hypersonics, boundary-layer stability and transition, and energy efficient aircraft, and she has led research projects totaling millions of dollars. Among those projects, she is presently a member of two of the five NASA University Leadership Initiatives (one led by Texas A&M and one by University of Tennessee Knoxville). She is a principal investigator on a major Air Force Office of Scientific Research program to model the transition process on a next-generation hypersonic flight-test article. In addition, Reed has a phase II small business innovation research program through the Arnold Engineering Development Center and CFD Research Corporation to disseminate her analysis tools. She directs the Computational Stability and Transition Lab as well as the AggieSat Lab satellite program.

Reed is a consultant to the Institute for Defense Analysis, a member of the National Academies Air Force Studies Board Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group, a member of the National Research Council’s Air Force Development Planning Roundtable, chair of the AIAA Transition Discussion Group, and a member of the NATO AVT ET 136 Technical Team: “Hypersonic Boundary Layer Transition Prediction”. She is also co-founder and chief technology officer for Chandah Space Technologies, a start-up company specializing in small satellite systems. She is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Texas.

She has received numerous professional awards and honors, including being named a Fellow of the AIAA, the American Physical Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). She is the recipient of the 2018 AIAA Fluid Dynamics Award, the 2016 Kate Gleason Award from ASME, the 2007 Atwood Award from the American Society for Engineering Education and AIAA, and the 2014 Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award from the State of Texas. She was inducted into the Academy of Engineering Excellence and the Committee of 100 in the college of engineering, and the inaugural class of the Academy of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Excellence all at Virginia Tech.

In 2013 she was named a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence (in perpetuity) as well as a Regents Professor (in perpetuity), and in 2014 she was awarded the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching at the University level and was named holder of the Edward “Pete” Aldridge ’60 Professorship.

Reed earned an A.B. degree in mathematics from Goucher College, and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech.