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Take a Break with AE: Quo Vadis Aerospace Engineering Science? A Brief Look at Future and Overdue R&D

Event Type
Department of Aerospace Engineering
wifi event
Apr 16, 2021   12:00 - 12:45 pm  
Harry H. Hilton, Professor Emeritus of Aerospace Engineering in the Grainger College of Engineering NCSA Senior Academic Lead for Computational 1 Structural/Solid Mechanics
Courtney McLearin
Originating Calendar
Department of Aerospace Engineering Events

A short presentation covering an overview of some of the problem areas associated with the analysis and design of entire flight vehicles by considering them as deterministic and stochastic systems of systems (SOS).  Approaches to modeling and their relation to real world behavior. A general discussion of a SOS subset consisting of our ability to formulate stress-strain relations and failure theories and of the unavailability of linear and nonlinear experimental multi-dimensional material property data.

This brief presentation will be followed by Q&A.


Harry Hilton earned a BS 47 and MS 49 in Aeronautical Eng. (compressible aerodynamics) New York Univeristy. He earned his Ph.D. in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics (solid mechanics major with applied mathematics minor) in 1951 from UIUC. He has been on UIUC AE faculty since 1949. Harry has served as Aeronautical & Astronautical Eng. department head (74 - 85), assistant dean of engineering summers (1989 & 90), Alfred M. Freudenthal Visiting Professor, Leopold-Franzens-Universität, Austria, (1995), and  Charles E. Schmidt Distinguished Visiting Professor, Florida Atlantic U., 1997 – 2001, 2007. Professor Hilton is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and of the American Society for Composites (ASC). He has also served as a past consultant for McDonnell Corp., Hughes Aircraft, Aerojet-General, and Boeing, as an expert witness at aerospace accident trials. He served in US Army, 1944-46.

Professor Hilton is currently a member of the following committees: AIAA Structures Technical, AIAA Non-Deterministic Applications Technical, the ASTM D-30 on Composite Materials, UIUC AAUP Policy, UIUC Senate, two archival journal editorial boards and two scientific committees organizing international conferences. He also chairs the AIAA Illinois Section, and is a regional director for Sigma Gamma Tau, the national aerospace engineering honor society and 1959-61, 69-71, 2013-19 president UIUC Chapter American Association University Professors (AAUP). He is a recipient of American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Victor J. Stone Award for Lifetime Commitment to Civil Liberties and the AIAA service award. He has also been active in community affaires as the chair of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Guild, member of the C-U ACLU steering committee, past 2nd vice-president Champaign County Democratic Central Committee and past chair of the C-U Council for Integration.


After his retirement in 1990, he continues to be actively engaged in research with a part time NCSA appointment, teaching one of three graduate AE courses (528, 529, 550) and special research problems AE 497/597, and in public and professional service. Currently he advises one PhD thesis student. He has published over 500 papers in archival journals or conference proceedings and 11 book chapters. His present active analytical & computational research areas are deterministic and stochastic linear and nonlinear viscoelasticity, com-1 National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) posites, aero-thermo-viscoelasticity, aerodynamic noise, computational solid mechanics, structural probabilistic failure criteria and analysis, damping & nonlinear dynamics, linear & nonlinear anisotropic viscoelastic finite element analysis, optimum designer materials and systems of systems, piezoelectric, magnetic, and functionally graded viscoelastic materials, nonlinear creep and delamination column & plate buckling, analytical determination of damping properties, material characterization, stochastic minimum structural weight analysis, probabilistic delamination of composites during service and manufacturing processes, 3D/4D viscoelastic printing, structural control and survivability, engineering education, and structural integrity of dentures.


He is an internationally recognized authority in viscoelasticity and aero-viscoelasticity. Notable research achievements include first papers in the literature on: column creep buckling (1952), aero-viscoelasticity (1956), stochastic minimum weight analysis (1960), the importance of initial loading paths in viscoelasticity (1999), optimum viscoelastic designer materials (2003), and on large optimized designer systems of systems (2013), Theodorsen function for variable flight velocities (2011), generalized multi-dimensional material probabilistic constitutive relations and failure conditions based on stress and/or strain invariants

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