Dr. Albert Brand
Senior technical fellow, Flight Technology; technical fellow, Vertical Flight Society (VFS) International
Dr. Brand received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from Georgia Tech’s Aerospace Engineering Department and was in the first graduating class of the school’s Rotorcraft Center. Dr. Brand’s 33-year career with Bell includes experimental testing, analytical prediction methods, and design of rotorcraft, including Bell’s 16-passenger commercial 525. During a multi-year assignment at the PAX River Naval Air Station he supported V 22 flight testing with groundbreaking work on vortex ring state. In his current role as senior technical fellow, Dr. Brand provides technical oversight on all major programs at Bell, and he enjoys teaching an annual Rotorcraft Fundamentals course for the company. He holds numerous U.S. patents and is a 2020 recipient of the Textron Chairman’s Award for configuring Bell’s FARA entry to win.
Dr. Ken Brentner
Professor of aerospace engineering, Penn State
Professor Brentner has been a faculty member for the past 18 years in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Penn State. His research interests focus on rotorcraft and aircraft aeroacoustics, computational aeroacoustics, fluid mechanics, computational fluid dynamics, and high performance computing. Professor Brentner and his research team have developed the rotorcraft noise prediction code PSU-WOPWOP which is able to predict noise from a rotorcraft with multiple rotors in both steady and maneuvering flight. Prior to joining Penn State, Professor Brentner was a senior research engineer at the NASA Langley Research Center for 17 years. Professor Brentner has a B.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University, an M.S. degree in aeronautics from The George Washington University, JIAFS, and a Ph.D. degree in acoustics from the University in Cambridge, England. He has authored or co-authored over 135 technical publications, and is the recipient of numerous awards. Professor Brentner is an associate fellow of the AIAA and a past editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Helicopter Society.
Dr. David K. Hall
Assistant professor of aerospace engineering, Penn State
Dr. Hall earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering and materials science and in mathematics from Duke University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the Penn State faculty in 2021, he held positions as a postdoctoral associate and research engineer at the MIT Gas Turbine Lab, and as the propulsion group manager at Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing Company, leading research on novel electrified propulsion and propulsion-airframe integration concepts. Dr. Hall is a member of the ASME and the AIAA.
Dr. Robert F. Handschuh
Former chief, Rotating and Drive Systems Branch, NASA Glenn Research Center
Dr. Handschuh started his career at the then NASA Lewis Research Center in 1982, working for the U.S. Army. While working initially on gas turbine seals and then aerospace gearing, he completed his master’s (University of Toledo, 1987) and Ph.D. (Case Western Reserve University, 1993) in mechanical engineering. He served as the drives team lead for over 20 years at NASA Glenn Research Center, where he oversaw the development and operated many test facilities and analytical projects. Since his retirement in 2019, Dr. Handschuh has worked as a part-time consultant to the aerospace industry and U.S. government. He holds many patents in the mechanical components area and is a technical fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Helicopter Society (Vertical Flight Society).
Dr. Robert M. McKillip Jr.
Senior associate, Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
Dr. McKillip received his BSE degree from Princeton University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He returned to Princeton for eight years as an assistant professor with the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Since 1992, he has been a senior associate at Continuum Dynamics, Inc., where he is involved in government- and industry-sponsored research programs on rotorcraft flight control, rotor system dynamic modeling and instrumentation, flight simulation, and shape memory alloy actuator development. Dr. McKillip holds several patents in these areas. He has served on the handling qualities and the simulation technical committees for the American Helicopter Society.
Chief structural engineer, Advanced Technologies Incorporated (ATI)
Mr. Pullman has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University. Formerly, he worked as a United States Air Force researcher with the Non-Metallic Materials Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He was also a structural engineer with Hartzell Propeller, Inc., where he worked to start the first industry-wide Propeller Damage Tolerance Committee under the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Currently at ATI, Mr. Pullman has designed and built composite propellers and rotors for Boeing Helicopter, NASA, Sikorsky, and others.
William A. Welsh
Senior fellow, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company
Mr. Welsh earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from SUNY Buffalo and a M.S. from Cornell University. Bill has been a dynamics engineer for Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, since August 1981 and was the chief of the dynamics and internal acoustics group for 10 years. His work at Sikorsky has been focused primarily upon active vibration and noise reduction, aeroelastic stability, and vibration analysis. Bill was instrumental in the incorporation of active vibration control on all Sikorsky current military and civil helicopters (except the CH-53K). He is a technical and honorary fellow of the Vertical Flight Society and a fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, where he is the chair of the Structural Dynamics Technical Committee. Bill is a winner of the VFS Alexander Klemin award and is the author or co-author of many technical publications. Bill is the holder of 39 patents.
Dr. Edward C. Smith
Professor of aerospace engineering, VLRCOE director, Penn State
After earning master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland, Dr. Smith joined the aerospace engineering faculty at Penn State in 1992. Dr. Smith’s research and teaching interests are in all aspects of helicopter dynamics, including tailored composite rotor blades, active vibration control, rotor lag damping and aeromechanical stability, shipboard helicopter operations, driveline dynamics, and anti-icing systems.
He has secured research sponsorship from the U.S. Army (Army Research Office [1994 Young Investigator Award], AATD, AED, AFDD), U.S. Navy (ONR, NAVAIR), NASA, Boeing Rotorcraft, Sikorsky Aircraft, Bell Helicopters, LORD Corporation, Goodrich, Timken, and a number of small technology businesses. Since 1995, Smith has served as director of the NRTC–funded Penn State Vertical Lift Research Center (VLRCOE). Dr. Smith is the recipient of the 1994 AHS Director’s Award, has received the AHS Membership Sponsor Award four times, and was awarded the Lawrence Sperry Award from the AIAA, and the 2013 Penn State President’s Award for Engagement with Students. Dr. Smith served as chairman of the AHS Education Committee from 1997 to 2012, and has also served as chairman of the AHS Dynamics Technical Committee. He is a technical fellow of AHS International.
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