Texas A&M Engineering names new aerospace engineering department head
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Space education pioneer Dr. Helen L. Reed has been named professor and head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. Reed comes to Texas A&M Engineering from Arizona State University, where she was professor, associate director of the ASU NASA Space Grant Program, director of the ASU satellite lab and vice chair for graduate programs for the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. "Dr. Reed's achievements in building a research and education program for the nation's next generation of aerospace engineers are impressive," said Dr. G. Kemble Bennett, vice chancellor and dean of engineering. "We look forward to her leadership as we meet the challenges of the exciting future of aerospace technology." In 1993, Reed instituted the ASU Student Satellite Program, which has grown to include four satellite projects, experiments aboard NASA's KC-135 weightless-simulation aircraft, and an award-winning team for a moon vehicle design-build-race competition. "I didn't know what to expect at the time, but it was a brand-new way of education and it looked exciting," Reed said. Reed plans to continue these space education activities for Texas A&M students. She is program manager for MIMIC, a national student satellite mission to Mars that is aiming for launch around 2011. Her research areas include nanosatellite design; satellite constellations and formation-flying technologies; boundary-layer transition and flow control; hypersonic and supersonic flow; micropropulsion/propulsion; computational fluid mechanics; low-chord-Reynolds-number aerodynamics and micro aerial vehicles. Reed, who had been as ASU since 1985, has also held faculty positions at Stanford University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Tohoku University (Japan). She worked as an aerospace technologist at NASA-Langley for five years after graduating from Goucher College in 1977 with an A.B. in mathematics. She received her master's degree and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, both in engineering mechanics. Reed is author or co-author of more than 30 papers and publications. She has served on various NASA headquarters aeronautics advisory committees, subcommittees and task forces; the Federal Laboratory Review Task Force of the NASA Advisory Council; and the NATO/AGARD (Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development) Fluid Dynamics Panel. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Physical Society. She is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee and is associate editor of AIAA Journal. Reed is on the Science Advisory Board of the National Institute of Aerospace and is deputy co-chair of the National Space Grant Student Satellite Initiative Steering Committee. She also is associate director for research for the NASA URETI Institute of Cell Mimetic Space Exploration.