90th Anniversary Celebration

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/lVGKWkoQ7Io?rel=0
The Next Giant Leap - 50-90-200 event logo

On August 29, 30 and 31, 2019, the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics hosted a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, the 90th anniversary of the department and the bicentennial of the University of Cincinnati.

We explored the incredible history of the department, looking at “What’s Next” in aerospace, and celebrating the life and legacy of former UC Professor Neil A. Armstrong.

Historical Timeline of Department

1927

Decision made to create Aeronatical Engineering department. Search for chair begins.

1929

Bradley Jones in military uniform

Bradley Jones in 1918

The Aeronautics Engineering program at the University of Cincinnati begins, chaired by Bradley Jones.

Jones had already invented the instruments to navigate in flight without view of the ground - an aviation sextant and Earth Inductor Compass, as well as a flight indicator.

Jones developed the initial curriculum with consulation by Orville Wright. 

1932

First Aeronautical Engineering class graduates.

1940

Bradley Jones, department chair, serves on the Civil Aeronautics Bureau, preparing for expanded civilian pilot program as tensions that led to World War II increased.

Ray Bisplinghoff and another person work on an airplane.

Ray Bisplinghoff (left), Class of ‘40 and a faculty member during World War II; later Dean of Engineering at MIT

Ray Bisplinghoff graduates from department. He will go on to serve in the Bureau of Aeronautics, as a professor at MIT, an assistant administrator at NASA, helped plan the Apollo 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 Missions, and as the dean of engineering at MIT.

1941-45

“Goodyear Girls” ca. 1943: two UC co-ops at the Goodyear Aircraft Factory

“Goodyear Girls” ca. 1943: two UC co-ops at the Goodyear Aircraft Factory

Department began "Goodyear Girls" training program for women undergraduates to be airplane factory supervisors.

1957

Department changes name to Aerospace Engineering after the launch of Sputnik and subsequent space race.

1959

Graduate programs begin with M.S. and Ph.D. programs in department's newly formed Institute of Space Science.

Paul Harrington appointed department head.

1966

First GE-AE/UC graduates, 1969. L to R: David Amos; George Grant; Stav Perdumo, AC Supervisor; Bud Thomas; Bob Kraft; John Blanton, GE AE Program Manager; unknown.

First GE-AE/UC graduates, 1969. L to R: David Amos; George Grant; Stav Perdumo, AC Supervisor; Bud Thomas; Bob Kraft; John Blanton, GE AE Program Manager; unknown.

Graduate program partnership with General Electric (GE) begins that continues today, combining work at GE with thesis research at UC.

1968

Dr. Tabakoff with graduate students at the jet engine test facility

Dr. Tabakoff with graduate students at the jet engine test facility

The Center of Excellence in Propulsion established with Widen Tabakoff as the director.

1971

Neil Armstrong lectures with diagrams on a chalkboard

Neil Armstrong during his time at the University of Cincinnati

Neil Armstrong joins department faculty. He will teach UC aerospace engineering students for nine years.

R. Thomas Davis appointed department head.

1972

Dr. Hamed with a new LDV system, ca. 1994

Dr. Hamed with a new LDV system, ca. 1994

Awatef Hamed becomes first woman to join aerospace engineering faculty. She will become department head in 2001.

1979

Stanley Rubin appointed department head.

1980

The department establishes a NASA Center in Computational Fluid Dynamics in 1980, one of only seven NASA-funded centers nationwide.

1988

George Simitses appointed department head.

1994

Gary Slater appointed department head.

1997

The Gulfstream V receives the Robert J. Collier Trophy for outstanding achievement in U.S. aviation. Richard Johnson, a 1973 graduate of the department, oversaw its design and certification.

2001

Awatef Hamed becomes department head.

2004

Department receives $4.3 million OCAPP Grant and uses funds to build Center Hill Research Facility.

2008

UC Aerospace Wins $27.5 million Center for Intelligent Propulsion & Advanced Life Management from ODoD.

2010

UC named an Ohio Center of Excellence in Intelligent Air and Space Vehicle Energy Systems.

Man addressing a seated crowd

Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut announces the Ohio Center of Excellence in Air & Space Vehicle Energy Systems at ceremonies held on UC's campus.

Wall plaque in Rhodes Hall Lobby commemorating Dr. Tabakoff

Wall plaque installed in Rhodes Hall Lobby commemorating Dr. Tabakoff and the lab, 2013

Professor Widen Tabakoff Propulsion and Gas Dynamics Lab dedicated.

2013

Paul Orkwis appointed as Director of School of Aerospace Systems.

2017

Ou Ma named Alan Shepard Professor of Aerospace Engineering. Kelly Cohen appointed interim department head.