AIAA Houston 2016 Elections

AIAA Houston will have elections for Chair-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice Chair – Operations, Vice Chair – Technical, and for 5 Councilor positions during the month of April. In order to hold the vote, nominees for these positions are needed by March 25th with the nominating period opening today. To nominate someone, please send their name, the position sought, and contact information to Michael Frostad, Election Committee Chair, at by March 25th.

AIAA Houston is one of the most active AIAA sections in the nation. If you find that you or someone you know is excited about Aerospace, wants to help pick our speakers, and wants to develop leadership skills, please consider nominating them or yourself for one of these positions described below:


The Chair-Elect shall assist the Chair in performing the Chair’s duties as requested by the Chair. The Chair-Elect shall attend Council and committee meetings to monitor and become familiar with the functions of the Section officers and the Section committees. The Chair-Elect shall coordinate with all officers, Councilors, and committee chairmen to prepare plans for the orderly transition for the Chair-Elect’s term of office as Chair during the following year. The Chair-Elect becomes the Chair after 1 year.

Vice Chair – Operations

The Vice Chair – Operations shall be responsible for conducting the detailed planning in Operations such as managing the officers who help run the section (i.e. Programs, Communications, etc.).

Vice Chair – Technical

The Vice Chair – Technical shall be responsible for conducting the detailed planning in the Technical area such as managing the Technical Committees and their Chairs and overseeing the Annual Technical Symposium (ATS).


The Secretary shall be a member of the Council and shall maintain minutes of all meetings of the Section and shall be custodian of all its records not specially assigned to others. The Secretary shall conduct the correspondence of the Section and the Council and send out all meeting notices.


The Treasurer shall be a member of the Council, shall have charge of the funds of the Section, and shall make all required financial reports and such expenditures as may be authorized by the Section or by the Council or by the Bylaws of the Institute.

Councilors (5 openings)

Councilors are responsible for providing advice and recommendations to the Council. They are also responsible for assisting in the coordination and execution of Section dinner meetings. They are encouraged to take an active part in committees and other Section activities. They shall take office at the beginning of the administrative year for terms of two years and shall continue in office until their successors qualify and take office.

Thank you! Please direct any questions about the elections to Michael Frostad at

Alan Sisson
2015 Chair, AIAA Houston

AIAA 2013 Space Automation and Robotics Award

The AIAA Houston Section proudly wishes to congratulate the Robonaut2 team on this exciting award. Robonaut2 continues to inspire the youth and adults around the world, and is a prime example of high technology and a strong model for how governmental research entities can partner with industry in a mutually beneficial manner. Their team has overcome great challenges and rose to the occasion in ways that us outside their team may never fully understand, but will strive to duplicate in the future. Congratulations, the AIAA Houston Section is very proud of their achievements and this wonderful recognition of their efforts.

Daniel Nobles, Chairman, AIAA Houston Section 2012-2013

AIAA Houston Section Executive Order – Treasurer direction, delegation, and openness


Treasurer: If an event costs more than fifty dollars ($50) or requires money to be reallocated (no budget was previously assigned for this committee), it requires an EC presentation.  If, however, money has already been assigned to a committee or event, and they are working within reasonable expectations, I delegate EC authority over purchasing up to two hundred and fifty dollars ($250), so long as it will be reported in your monthly EC Treasurer Report, which falls within the reasonable responsibilities of the position that you hold.  Secondly, AIAA dinner meeting costs should be held to $25 or less for members, unless approved by the EC, and the costs of program events like dinner meetings is also within your discretion.

Example 1: Wings Over Houston has small expenses related to the event, which are well established and well understood.  It should not require approval to spend money on this event, which would be already approved through the EC vote to accept the annual budget.

Example 2: The Annual Technical Symposium must develop a budget that contains all expenses related to the event.  Although this is a typical event held every year, with pretty typical expenses every year, the cost of this event exceeds the level of expected treasurer discretion and reasonable judgment would be that these expenses should be discussed briefly with the EC for approval.

Example 3: The Programs Committee, setting prices wisely for dinner meetings throughout the year decides to spend overages at the end of the year on a social event in the Gilruth Pavilion to celebrate the completion of a successful and busy year.  This “celebration” will cost $200, and will be considered a free event for all members.  This expenditure, while less than $250 is unique enough that I would expect it to be discussed in advance.

Example 4: The Programs Committee plans a dinner meeting in which the total costs are expected to be $1000, and prices appear to be reasonably set to avoid a substantial loss or profit, based on anticipated expenses.  Music costs were off-set by corporate sponsorship that was raised, and the event is being held locally at a reasonably priced venue.  Unless something concerned you about the cost of the event, you should be able to report this event through your monthly budget report to the EC and proceed as you feel is appropriate.

Example 5: The Life Sciences TC decides to hold a lunch and learn event at Gilruth, providing lunch for members for a small fee.  No budget was assigned to the TC, but the potential for a loss appears to be reasonably less than $250, and you feel the risk of a substantial loss or profit is negligible and easily can be absorbed by the budget.  You should be able to report this event through your monthly budget report to the EC and proceed as you feel is appropriate.

EC: Please let me know if there are any questions.  The authority delegated to each position on the org chart should be used wisely and when in doubt, ask the chair, the treasurer (if money is involved), and the secretary if you should be added to the agenda for an upcoming EC meeting.

All AIAA members are welcome to attend and weigh in on EC decisions, although voting is restricted to the members listed in the by-laws.  As such, I ask that we each consider whether we should include all upcoming EC meetings to the website, and consider forwarding topics of interest to our committees as appropriate.  Anyone that wishes to get more involved in the Section may be added to the EC distribution list as appropriate, per the discretion of the email chair and their management (Comm Chair).  The Top 7 and EC email distributions should be used appropriately to reflect the appropriate level of review; do TC chairs really need to look at this?  I also recommend an “All Ops (including committee members) + top7” and an “All Tech (including committee members) + top7” distribution.  We need to be cognizant of balancing the need to be open about AIAA Houston Section Business with the desire to keep our EC meetings short.  Every member has a right to come participate in EC meetings, and should be encouraged to do so.

A final org chart, including the appointed positions will be distributed within a week, as the last few decisions are expected to be made soon.  There will be new support committees for certain positions on the org chart, and the goal should be to detail these support committees on the new website by the end of this calendar year (if appropriate/possible).

Thank you for your continued support, and I look forward to working with each of you.

Daniel A. Nobles
Chairman, 2012-2013