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Dr. Dallas Little and Dr. Helen Reed.
Dr. Dallas Little and Dr. Helen Reed. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Two faculty members from the Texas A&M University College of Engineering were among seven faculty appointed as University Distinguished Professors. The recipients are Dr. Helen Reed, Regents Professor, Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence and holder of the Edward "Pete" Aldridge '60 Professorship in the Department of Aerospace Engineering; and Dr. Dallas Little, Regents Professor and Snead Chair Professor in the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The title is among the highest honors awarded to Texas A&M faculty members. 

The designation identifies faculty members who are preeminent in their fields and who have made at least one landmark contribution to their discipline. Their research and advancements are considered central to any narrative of the field. Past recipients of the lifetime title participate in the selection process, growing the ranks of distinguished professors by just a handful of scholars each year. Distinguished professors retain their current title but add the new distinction, along with additional salary support during the summer for three years and an annual bursary of $5,000 for five years. The honorees will be inducted at a ceremony in March. 

“It is a privilege to recognize these faculty and honor the impact they have made on the world through scholarship and advancements in understanding,” Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Carol A. Fierke said. “Distinguished professorships celebrate the high caliber and global significance of research underway at Texas A&M University.”

Dr. Dallas Little

Little is a senior research fellow at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, where he was the first researcher to hold that position. He is a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), one of about 200 to hold that rank out of over 150,000 members. In 2016 he was presented with two awards from ASCE: the Francis C. Turner Award, and the Carl L. Monismith Lecture Award. Turner is considered the “father of the interstate highway system” as the first administrator of the Federal Highway Administration. Monismith, professor emeritus at U.C Berkeley, is considered by many as the father of modern structural pavement design.

His research interests include asphalt technology, pavement design, soil stabilization, fracture mechanics, soil mechanics and foundation engineering. He has served as principal investigator on over $35 million in research during his academic career and has chaired the doctoral committees of a number of nationally and internationally prominent leaders in academia.

Little has published over 230 refereed journal publications, over 80 refereed proceedings, has contributed to five books and has given over 420 invited lectures. He has served on many advisory and executive committees and remains a widely sought-after consultant and expert witness on projects related to infrastructure performance and forensic studies.

Dr. Helen Reed 

In addition to small satellite design, Reed is widely regarded as an expert in hypersonics, boundary-layer stability and transition, and energy-efficient aircraft. In addition, Reed directs the Computational Stability and Transition Lab, as well as the AggieSat Lab satellite program. 

She is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Texas, and has received numerous professional awards and honors, including being named a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American Physical Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). She is the recipient of the 2018 AIAA/National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Yvonne C. Brill Lectureship in Aerospace Engineering, 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.

Reed is a member of the United States Air Force (USAF) Scientific Advisory Board, the USAF Studies Board Development Planning Roundtable, the NAE Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group, and the NATO Science and Technology Organization Applied Vehicle Technology 346 Technical Team in Hypersonic Transition. She is a co-founder of Chandah Space Technologies. 

Reed was also 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.