College of Engineering Seminars & Speakers

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Harry H. Hilton Memorial Lecture: Evolution of Aerospace Technologies support National Security Applications

Event Type
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Illini Union Room 210
Sep 8, 2022   4:00 - 5:00 pm  
Dr. Basil Hassan, Director and Deputy Chief Research Officer at Sandia National Laboratories
Student Registration
Courtney McLearin
Originating Calendar
Aerospace Engineering Seminars

Abstract: This lecture will honor the memory of Professor Harry H. Hilton, who contributed much success to the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Illinois and the aerospace profession.

The aerospace engineering discipline has been core to that Nations’ national security and energy related programs.  Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program national laboratory run for the United States Department of Energy. While Sandia’s roots hail from the Manhattan Project of the 1940’s, the Laboratories have evolved into providing support for a wide variety of national security and energy related areas of interest to the Nation. This talk will review Sandia’s history and highlight the role that Sandia plays in the development of capabilities that address a variety of aerospace engineering applications of national importance, including energy, homeland security, and defense.  The talk will also discuss the role that professional societies like AIAA can plan in furthering your professional career.

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About the speaker: Dr. Hassan is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1988, his master’s degree in 1990, and his Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1993. He is currently the Director of the Chief Research Office and serves as Sandia’s Deputy Chief Research Officer. In this role, Dr. Hassan leads Sandia’s research strategy development including the execution of the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program and oversees Sandia’s external partnership and technology transfer programs. Dr.

Hassan has been employed at Sandia since 1993 and has managed all phases of research, development, and applications work. He has focused predominately on the thermal, fluid, and aero science technology areas helping Sandia to accomplish its national security mission.

Dr. Hassan has served in a variety of positions in research and development (R&D) in the areas of aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics of high-speed flight vehicles, drag reduction for low-speed ground transportation vehicles, and high- velocity oxygen fuel thermal sprays. He has overseen all aspects of engineering sciences R&D and applications work at Sandia. Most notably, he helped support National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in determining the cause of the Space Shuttle Columbia accident in 2003 and was part of the team that shutdown the Deepwater Horizon oil well after the explosion and spill in 2010.

Dr. Hassan is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and serves on the Institute’s Board of Trustees as the Immediate Past President (2022-2023).  Previously, he served on AIAA’s Board as Director and Vice President from 2008-2017, President-Elect from 2019-2020, and President from 2020-2022. He currently serves as the Chair of the AIAA Foundation Board of Trustees. In addition, Dr Hassan has served on several national review boards for the National Academies, NASA, DARPA, and Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and has participated as an external member of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center since 2004. Dr. Hassan currently serves on the North Carolina State University’s Engineering Foundation Board and the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Educational Advisory Board and has served on similar boards for New Mexico State University, Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of New Mexico, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.  He was the 2008 recipient of the AIAA Sustained Service Award and a 2017 recipient of North Carolina State University’s Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award.

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