2019-2020 AIAA Houston Section Executive Council

The AIAA Houston Section Nominations Committee is happy to announce the 2019-2020 Executive Council!

Chair: Irene Chan
Secretary: Bill O’Neill
Treasurer: Tom Bryan
Operations Vice-Chair: open
Technical Vice-Chair: Patrick Rodi
Councilor: Beth Sheridan
Councilor: Wanda Sigur
Councilor: Laura Sarmiento

Congratulations to this excellent team, and thank you to the 2018-2019 Executive Council for their service and dedication to our local section!

Regards,
Jackelynne Silva-Martinez
AIAA Houston Section Nominations Chair

2019-2020 AIAA Houston Executive Council Nominations

Hello Members of AIAA Houston Section,

We would like to announce that nominations for the AIAA Houston Section Executive Council for July 2019 – June 2020 are now open!

Positions requiring nominations are: Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Operations Vice-Chair, Technical Vice-Chair, 5 Councilor positions. To see the roles descriptions, please visit the bylaws.

Check out the Section Org Chart (PDF) to find the other various positions you can get involved with at the AIAA local level.

Please let us know your interest and we’ll pass it along to the new elected Executive Council.

Deadlines:
Nominations open: 5/13 – 5/27 6/4
Elections held, if needed: 6/4 – 6/5
Announcement of new Executive Council: 6/6

Please submit your nominations no later than 6/4 to elections2019@aiaahouston.org.

Don’t miss the exciting opportunity to be a leader within the world’s largest technical professional society as part of the AIAA Houston Executive Council!

For any questions, please contact the 2019 Nominations Chair, Jackelynne Silva-Martinez at jackysumac@yahoo.com or at 862-703-8027.

AIAA Houston Section – 2016 Election Candidates

Each year the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Houston Section holds an election among AIAA Houston Members in order to choose leaders for the next year. The AIAA Houston Section Year runs from July 1st through June 30th. Those that have been nominated to serve the section from July 1st , 2016 through June 30th, 2017 are listed below and have provided brief statements so that the Membership may know a little more about those on the ballot. The term for Councilors is 2 years so they will serve from July 1st, 2016 through June 30th, 2018 helping to provide continuity of knowledge for the section. The Chair-Elect will serve as deputy for the 2016-2017 year and then take over for the 2017-2018 year.

A Note For AIAA Members:

Members should receive the 2016 election ballot via the email you have registered at www.aiaa.org. If you did not receive your ballot via email please double check that your membership and email information is up to date at the national website. If it is and you would like to vote then please email us at elections2016@aiaahouston.org providing your name and membership number at which time we will send you the ballot. Voting is open to all AIAA Houston Members until April 30th, 2016.


Chair-Elect:

Candidate – Svetlana Hanson

Short Biography

Svetlana Hanson is a senior software engineer a Tietronix, she is involved in Internet of Things (IoT) and Data Centric Architecture projects at Johnson Space Center. Svetlana Hanson has been active members of AIAA for many years (close to 15). At the section level Svetlana has served in position of Pre-College (k-12) Outreach and was responsible for many programs dedicated to promoting early interest and increase involvement in STEM professions. On regional level Svetlana currently serving as Deputy Director – Membership in region 4 and Deputy Director – Pre-College (k-12) Outreach (4 years).

Outside of the AIAA involvement in non-profit organizations: Boys Scouts, Texas PTA, Clear Creak Education Foundation.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

Svetlana joined AIAA to be involved with like-minded professionals and to be able to promote STEM and specifically aerospace within community. Svetlana run numerous events and presentations to increase awareness and interest in early school years and promote engineering. Events ranged from rocket-launching presentations, soda rockets, glider competitions, science fairs (literally lost count in how many participated), assisted in a few Mars Rover Competition events – and this is not a complete list.

Svetlana is deeply passionate about everything engineering and believes in power of networking and exchange of knowledge. And it is exactly what Houston section is serving to our members – a venue for networking, learning and exchanging of ideas. Svetlana hopes to continue to be active participant and contributor of AIAA for many years to come.


Vice-Chair Technical:

Candidate – Justine Wiles

Short Biography

Justine Wiles graduated from Michigan Tech with a BS in Biomedical Engineering and has been a contractor at JSC since 2010. She currently is a project engineer for the ISS Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED).  Her interests include systems engineering and human factors engineering.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I would like to continue my role as Vice Chair-Technical because I enjoy being involved with the technical presentations AIAA Houston puts on and organizing the Annual Technical Symposium.  I have been in this role for 2 years and worked to organize 2 ATS’S during which I have learned a great deal about AIAA and gained experience in planning the ATS.


Vice-Chair Operations:

Candidate – Ashley Nelson

Short Biography

After graduating from UT Austin in 2010, I began working at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth as an avionics system test engineer. I became an AIAA member in 2011, and served as membership director that first year. For the next two years, I served as the vice-chair of the North Texas chapter. In 2014, I transferred to the Orion program in Houston as a systems engineer, doing requirements, verification, and integration of the ECLS subsystem. I served as the Vice Chair – Operations last year for the Houston chapter. This year, I am also serving on the AIAA national Young Professionals Committee.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

If elected, this would be the 4th year in a row I’ve served an AIAA chapter as vice chair. The first two were with the North Texas chapter; these second two would be with the Houston chapter. As such, I bring with me not only the experience of being vice chair, but also the experience of working with a different chapter with different demographics and needs. I look forward to once again serving the Houston chapter and its members.


Treasurer:

Candidate – Richard Strope

Short Biography

My name is Richard Strope. I moved to Houston 4 years ago when I began working (and currently still) as a structural engineer for The Boeing Company. Over the past 4 years I have worked on the Space Launch System and the Commercial Crew Program. I am originally from Illinois, lived in Louisiana where I received my Bachelors in Astrophysics, then again in Illinois where I received my Masters in Aerospace Engineering. Outside of work I enjoy playing intramural sports, going to concerts, drawing, and anything space related.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I want to serve the AIAA Houston because I want to contribute to the AIAA family and give back to the association that has helped me in the past.  I feel the AIAA helped guide me into the aerospace industry by helping engage me in topics, ideas, and science that was outside of my astrophysics background. I feel a lot of people do not know how interesting engineering in aeronautics/astronautics can be, and AIAA can help not only bridge the gaps between people in other sciences, but help expand ideas in one’s own field. I really just want to help people engage and get involved in aerospace fields any way possible, and this position gets me closer to doing so.


Secretary:

Candidate – Lea M. Hougland

Short Biography

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Education. I taught as an elementary school teacher for 11 years from 2003-2014. I am now a contractor for NASA as a Training Coordinator with ISS Medical Projects. During the short time I have been here, I have taking on the role of Ground Support Personnel (GSP) Training Coordinator and stepped up as the Chair of the Lockheed Martin Human Health & Performance Contract (HHPC) Diversity & Inclusion Council. I coordinate crew member training, GSP training, build training plans, create lesson plans, and provide feedback to our trainers.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I have one year of experience as secretary of the AIAA Houston Council. I am a very detailed-oriented person and can provide comprehensive council meeting minutes. I am interested in serving AIAA Houston again to gain a broader knowledge base of the space program and NASA.


Councilor(s):

Candidate – David Dannemiller

Short Biography

I am a project manager and flight dynamics engineer currently working Orion.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I have been around JSC for over 30 years. I can provide an “old guy” perspective to help guide our chapter.

 

Candidate – Arjumand Alvi

Short Biography

Arjumand Alvi is a senior at the Colorado School of Mines who will be graduating this May with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and two minors in International Political Economy and Humanitarian Engineering. She has served on the leadership board of the Mines Space Society (known as AIAA-Colorado School of Mines) for the past 3 years and is currently the student branch President. She has served her college community as a Resident Assistant for the past two years and previously as a Dignitary for the Mines Philanthropy Council. For 2 consecutive years, she has organized and led a campus-wide sustainability event, known as Mines Earth Hour, which raised awareness about energy conservation and environmental issues. Apart from her involvement at Mines, she also served on the National Board of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS-USA) for nearly 2 years, and she hosted a national online talk show called SpaceTalks.

In this role, as SpaceTalks Project Manager, she interviewed various aerospace industry professionals – from Systems Engineers for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle and OSIRIS-REx, to aformer NASA Astronaut. She is a passionate runner, a pilates enthusiast, a rising singer and pianist, and an aspiring astronaut. Her aspirations also include promoting international space diplomacy and exploring human-centered applications of NASA Spin-off technologies. One day, when she is a NASA Astronaut and eventually a NASA Administrator, she hopes to increase widespread investment in spin off technologies by discovering appropriate humanitarian applications of space technologies.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

At the Colorado School of Mines, I have grown as a leader. I have established a thriving AIAA chapter at my college campus, have improved membership retention, and have shared my passion for aviation and aerospace with my campus community. I have challenged myself to inspire others by mentoring local area students participating in STEM competitions. My vision for AIAA Houston includes stronger partnerships with local high schools, middle schools, elementaries, and industry. Stronger industry partnerships can encourage a stronger professional base, while local academic partnerships can create opportunities for professionals to inspire young dreamers in Houston. Although I’ve had invaluable experiences in Colorado, I have felt home calling my name for quite some time now. I have never lost sight of the fact that, while I was growing up in Katy, TX, I was inspired by NASA and the lively Houston aerospace industry. I consider Houston home, and I would like to invest my energy in this city – to maintain Houston as not just the Energy Capital of the World, but also the Space Capital of the World. As an AIAA Councilor, I will ensure that AIAA Houston continues towards a bright future by offering my own skills, talents, and time to the Houston community. I love this city and I believe it is my time to give back. It would be an honor to serve as a Councilor, and I hope to have your vote in the 2016 AIAA Houston Elections. Thank you for this opportunity.

 

Candidate – Fred Ouellette

Short Biography

I graduated from Texas A&M in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. My human space flight career started working for Rockwell as a Space Shuttle Flight Controller. In 1989, I was hired by NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Engineering Directorate as a shuttle subsystem manager working extended duration orbiter and Shuttle/MIR. In 1994, I received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Houston and then in 1995, I detailed to Hamilton Standard in Connecticut, to work on the ISS Pump and Control Valve Project. From 1997 to 2004, I worked in the Shuttle Program Orbiter Project Office as the Electric Auxiliary Power Unit project manager and various branch management positions. In 2004, I detailed to NASA Headquarters as the Deputy Business Manager for the Science Mission Directorate and in 2005 I was selected as the Assistant Manager for Technical Resources within the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and the Contracting Officer Technical Representative for the Lockheed Martin MPCV Contract. In 2011 I was detailed to the Commercial Crew Program (CCP) Office to work the request for proposal for the Interim Design Contract for commercial crewed vehicles. In 2012 through my NASA retirement in July of 2013, and I was detailed to Kennedy Space Center as the Deputy Manager for Orion Production. After retirement, I was hired by Special Aerospace Services in Boulder Colorado to support Boeing Commercial CCP activities near JSC. I have been a member of ASME since 1985 and a member of AIAA since 2013. I was the AIAA Houston Section membership chair from 2014/2015 and I am the AIAA Houston Section treasurer for 2015/2016.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I have a significant amount of project and program management experience that will assist in my position as a councilor of AIAA activities. I have also served as membership chair from 2014 to 2015 and treasurer from 2015 – 2016.

 

Candidate – Wayne Hale

Short Biography

Mr. Hale is currently a consultant for Special Aerospace Services of Boulder, Colorado. In that capacity he provides services in technical consulting, seminars, technical analysis, and speaking engagements with aerospace, energy, and other high reliability organizations on safety, management, culture change, operations in high risk environments.

Mr. Hale retired from NASA in 2010 as the Deputy Associate Administrator of Strategic Partnerships at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Mr. Hale served in the senior leadership of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program from 2003 to 2008 as Launch Integration Manager at the Kennedy Space Center followed by two years as Deputy Program Manager and finally as Program Manager all during the post-Columbia return to flight effort. From 1988 to 2003, he was a Space Shuttle Flight Director for 40 Space Shuttle flights, and prior to that as an orbiter systems flight controller in Mission Control for 15 early Space Shuttle flights.

Mr. Hale counts as the capstone achievement of his career the transformation of NASA Space Shuttle management culture to be one that emphasized safety and mission success. His tenure as Program Manager marked seven successful space shuttle flights and set the safety expectations for the fly out of the space shuttle program.

Mr. Hale has received special honors and awards such as: Associate Fellow of the AIAA, three NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals; the NASA Exceptional Service Medal; Rice University Outstanding Engineering Alumnus; Purdue University Distinguished Engineering Alumnus and numerous other awards.

Mr. Hale holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I hope to serve the section and provide help to the leadership in all aspects of the AIAA.

 

Candidate – Patrick E. Rodi, Ph. D.

Short Biography

Dr. Patrick Rodi is a Lockheed Martin Fellow specializing in high speed aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, and vehicle design. Currently, Dr. Rodi is the AeroSciences Lead for Lockheed Martin-Houston for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Patrick earned his B.S. degree from The University of Florida, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Center for Hypersonic Training and Research at The University of Texas at Austin, as a NASA-Ames Graduate Student Research Fellow. Following college, he won a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Research Associate and was assigned to NASA-Langley to study ramjet/scramjet inlets. Patrick has worked for Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas, and joined Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in 1996 to work in high speed aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics on a number of programs such as X-33 and FALCON. In 2007, he returned to Texas to work on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Dr. Rodi is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA, and has authored over three dozen papers on hypersonics, grid generation, artificial intelligence, and optimization. Patrick has served on a number of AIAA Technical Committees and is an active reviewer for conference papers and journal submissions.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

As a member of the AIAA since 1981, I’ve witnessed a number of changes and trends occurring at student and local levels up through to the national and international levels. These pose unique and potentially difficult challenges for the society in the coming years. During these 35+ years of membership, I’ve been involved in many AIAA activities, from technical activities on committees and as a reviewer, to student paper competitions and STEM outreach. This extensive experience has been invaluable in preparing me to serve the AIAA-Houston community. Additionally, my career has permitted me to work at a number of locations around the country, in both industrial and governmental environments, and I have acquired many local and regional lessons learned and fruitful ideas from this broad background. I am eager to bring this extensive and diverse experience base to serve the AIAA-Houston community, to create a section with strong technical talent, well interconnected across all local stakeholder groups, and prepared for the future of the society.

2015 AIAA Houston Election Nominees

AIAA Houston Section 2015 Election

Each year the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Houston Section holds an election amongst AIAA Members in order to choose leaders for the next year. The AIAA Houston Section Year runs from July 1st through June 30th. TThose that have been nominated to serve the section from July 1st , 2015 through June 30th, 2016 are listed below and have provided brief statements so that the Membership may know a little more about those on the ballot. The term for Councilors is 2 years so they will serve from July 1st, 2015 through June 30th, 2017 helping to provide continuity of knowledge for the section.

A Note For AIAA Members:

Members should receive the 2015 election ballot via the email you have registered at www.aiaa.org by 4/10/2015. If you did not receive your ballot via email please double check that your membership and email information is up to date at the national website. If it is and you would like to vote then please email us at elections2015@aiaahouston.org providing your name and membership number at which time we will send you the ballot. Voting is open to all AIAA Houston Members until April 30th, 2015.

Chair:

Candidate – Alan Sisson

Short Biography

Alan Sisson is a systems engineer for the International Space Station’s Vehicle Integrated Performance, Environments, and Resources (VIPER) office. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas (UT), and a master’s degree in systems engineering from University of Houston Clear Lake. He has been involved with AIAA for a number of years. In college, Alan served as an officer in the UT student section of AIAA for three years; first as social chair, then treasurer, and finally as vice-president.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

After completing his undergraduate degree, Alan requested to join AIAA-Houston, and was appointed programs chair. As programs chair, Alan organized Nicholas Johnson’s dinner meeting, Douglas Terrier’s dinner meeting, the 50th Anniversary Celebration, and the end-of-year awards ceremony. In 2012 he was elected to the position of counselor, where continued to take an active role in the planning and organization of AIAA dinner events, as well as assisting with the planning of the 2014 Yuri’s Night celebration. In 2014 he was elected to the position of Vice-Chair of Operations. As VC of Operations, Alan was responsible for organizing and hosting the 2015 AIAA Region IV Student Paper Conference, after taking over from the previous SPC chair.

Alan is deeply passionate about the field of aerospace, and is highly dedicated to AIAA. He hopes to be an active contributor to the organization for many years to come.

Treasurer:

Candidate – Fred Ouellette

Short Biography

I graduated from Texas A&M in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  My human space flight career started working for Rockwell as a Space Shuttle Flight Controller.  In 1989, I was hired by NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Engineering Directorate as a shuttle subsystem manager working extended duration orbiter and Shuttle/MIR.  In 1994, I received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Houston and then in 1995, I detailed to Hamilton Standard in Connecticut, to work on the ISS Pump and Control Valve Project.  From 1997 to 2004, I worked in the Shuttle Program Orbiter Project Office as the Electric Auxiliary Power Unit project manager and various branch management positions.  In 2004, I detailed to NASA Headquarters as the Deputy Business Manager for the Science Mission Directorate and in 2005 I was selected as the Assistant Manager for Technical Resources within the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and the Contracting Officer Technical Representative for the Lockheed Martin MPCV Contract. In 2011 I was detailed to the Commercial Crew Program (CCP) Office to work the request for proposal for the Interim Design Contract for commercial crewed vehicles. In 2012 through my NASA retirement in July of 2013, and I was detailed to Kennedy Space Center as the Deputy Manager for Orion Production.  After retirement, I was hired by Special Aerospace Services in Boulder Colorado to support Boeing Commercial CCP activities near JSC.  I have been a member of ASME since 1985 and a member of AIAA since 2013.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

During my career, I have managed small to large project financial budgets within the Space Shuttle Orbiter Project Office and the Orion Project Office.  In my current position with Special Aerospace Services, I manage, track and record the expenditures of a $4 million subcontract budget with Boeing. All of these positions have required the development, approval and execution of different size budgets.  My MBA and 20 plus years of managing small to large project budgets should prepare me to manage the AIAA budget for the upcoming year.

Secretary:

Candidate – Lea Hougland

Short Biography

I grew up in Miami, Florida.  I attended the University of Central Florida and attained both a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Education.  I taught as an elementary teacher for 11 years, 4 of which were spent in Orlando, FL. My husband and I moved to Clear Lake in December of 2006.  I taught for 7 years at Ed White Elementary STEM school in Clear Creek ISD.  My 6-year-old son now attends as a kindergartener and is thrilled with his teacher and the school.  In June of 2014, a Training Coordinator position opened up at Lockheed Martin/JSC. I jumped at the chance to work for NASA and thoroughly enjoy my job. I began working there in August of 2014. Within the Human Research Program and ISS Medical Projects, I coordinate crewmember training, build training plans, create lesson plans, and provide feedback to the trainers.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I am a very detail-oriented person.  I am skilled at planning, coordinating, and communicating effectively with fellow coworkers.  I am eager to learn as much as possible about all aspects of the space program and feel that the position of Secretary will help me to do just that. 

Vice-Chair Operations:

Candidate – Ashley Nelson

Short Biography

Ashley Nelson is currently a systems engineer working the Orion program for Lockheed Martin in Houston, TX. Her responsibilities include requirements, verification, and integration of the Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) subsystem for the Systems Engineering Integration Team. Prior to this position, she worked at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth as a systems engineer, performing avionics integration test on the F-16, FA-50, and new T-X competition. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 with a BS in Electrical Engineering and BA in Mathematics. In addition she has an MS in Systems Engineering from SMU and will complete her MS in Engineering Management this May. She has been an AIAA member since 2011.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

 Before taking my current position in Houston, I had been the vice-chair of the North Texas chapter of AIAA for almost two years. Since moving to Houston, I have still participated in the planning of chapter events, but have, for obvious reasons, been unable to attend.  I was also involved in the planning of AIAA AVIATION 2015, which will take place in Dallas, TX in June, as a local liaison. Before serving as vice-chair, I was appointed as the membership director for a year. I have a strong passion for AIAA. I bring the experience of previously serving as an elected officer, as well as the diversity of coming from a different chapter. I look forward to serving the members of the Houston chapter of AIAA.

Councilor(s):

Candidate – Laura Sarmiento

Short Biography

Laura Sarmiento began her involvement with the aerospace industry during her junior year of high school where she participated in the Texas Aerospace Scholars program with Johnson Space Center. Laura continued to be involved with JSC as a cooperative education student while completing her Bachelors of Science in Neurobiology from The University of Texas at Austin. She began working full time at JSC in 2007 as an Experiment Support Scientist for the International Space Station Medical Project (ISSMP) supporting the Bioastronautics Contract. She currently is a Flight Project Manager with ISSMP. 

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

For the past two years Laura has served as Programs Chair for AIAA Houston. Planning the events for the section allowed her to interface with many AIAA members and gauge the interests of the section. Her status as a voting member on the Executive Council also provided knowledge of the Houston section’s priorities. As a counselor, Laura hopes to bring her expertise to the new Executive Committee to help the AIAA Houston section continue to thrive.

Candidate – Jennifer Wells

Short Biography

Jennifer Wells decided to work in the space industry when she was ten years old. She graduated with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2009 and an M.S. in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2014. She is currently employed at UTC Aerospace Systems as a Systems Engineer.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I have been active in AIAA since 2006; first as a student with the Texas A&M chapter, and then as a young professional and Senior Member in the Houston Section. My roles have included Publicity Chair and Vice Chair for the Texas A&M chapter of AIAA, and Honors and Awards Chair (2012-2013) and Treasurer  (2013-2015) for the Houston Section. I would like to serve as a Houston Section Councilor in order to continue my involvement and responsibility within AIAA. I believe my experience and efforts will be valuable contributions to the Executive Council and the section. I would like to expand the Houston Section’s influence in AIAA and industry, government, and education. Specifically, I would like to increase AIAA’s influence on public policy and STEM outreach as it relates to AIAA’s mission. Thank you for your consideration for the position of Councilor of the Houston Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Candidate – Douglas Yazell

Short Biography

I moved into our NASA/JSC community in 1992 and have been active in AIAA Houston Section since 1999, when Merri Sanchez was our Chair. My 1981-2011 Honeywell aerospace engineering career started in the Tampa Bay area and my BSEE is from the University of South Florida. Nine years later I earned a master of science degree in engineering from the University of California, Irvine, mostly from the mechanical engineering department, where several professors specialized in robotics. My studies there included kinematics, dynamics, and control systems. My work experience includes space shuttle entry flight control (field service engineering at the famous customer site in Downey, California, 1983-1988), space station guidance, navigation & control (field service engineering at the McDonnell Douglas customer site in Huntington Beach, California, 1988-1992), and the NASA Orion crew vehicle entry mode team flight control (4.5 years). Born in Alaska before it was a state, we moved every 2 or 3 years until I was 15 years old, thanks to my father’s career as an Army officer in the transportation corp.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

In addition to volunteering for occasional tasks, I can advise AIAA Houston Section based on my experience as a Past Section Chair (2007-2008) and a past Editor for our newsletter, Horizons (2011-2014). I volunteer in several roles in our Section, though it is best to appear only once on our Section’s organization chart of as many as 45 people. As a Councilor, I would be one of the 20 voters on our Section’s Council. I enjoy volunteering in other AIAA roles, too, including Regional, national, and international roles. For example, I am a member of the editorial board of the monthly AIAA magazine, Aerospace America. I brought climate change science & public policy sessions to our Section’s Annual Technical Symposiums of 2013 and 2014, and I will propose another such session for 2015, joined by a Rice University climate scientist. An urgent need exists for citizens, journalists, and specialized professional bodies representing scientific fields to get involved with climate change, especially in the presence of successful movements employing things such as the Tobacco Strategy and the claim that all science is 100% political if results imply conflicts with free market fundamentalism. Thank you in advance for considering me as a Councilor candidate.

Candidate – Zach Tejral

Short Biography

Zach Tejral received his Bachelors of Science in Engineering Physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2013. Over the course of earning his degree, Zach worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the Space Physics Research Laboratory, as well as completing three internships. Zach is currently a Payload Integration Engineer working for MEI Technologies, Inc. in the Department of Defense Human Exploration Payloads Office, Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. Furthermore, Zach is pursuing a Master of Engineering in Space Operations from University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

My interest in space began as a young child stargazing on clear nights in rural Nebraska. Since then, I have maintained the passion of being involved in the space industry and I carry that passion into my membership with AIAA. This past year, I had the honor of serving the Houston AIAA Community by serving as secretary. If elected as a Councilor, I will continue to bring my passion and ideas to the Executive Council of the Houston Section of AIAA. I look forward to the challenges and responsibilities associated with the role of Councilor, and appreciate your consideration.

Candidate – John DiIorio

Short Biography

Mr. DiIorio graduated from the University of Minnesota, College of Science & Engineering in 1974 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, power and propulsion. He graduated from the United States Army Management Engineering College in 1975 with a diploma in Quality and Reliability Engineering. Mr. DiIorio has over 40 years of experience in the Defense, Aerospace, and other related industries. He has served as president, secretary, treasurer, councilor of single, chess, volleyball, and bowling organizations. Currently, he is serving on two professional committees for ASQ and NOMADS. He applied for Obama’s ‘car-czar’ and NASA Administrator positions in 2010. He has given many professional speeches and tutorials including three for the NASA/AIAA ATS. He has written 75 technical reports in the last 15 years, sending them to Bush and Obama officials. Lastly, he created the “Outside the Box Thinking Award” for Houston’s science and engineering fair projects that ‘mirrors’ his own national security work.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

Mr. DiIorio’s main reason to serve as councilor is provide his unique body of knowledge and experience to the local chapter. Also, he has contacts and additional skills to maintain and meet any organizational metrics and create new events and member services. Finally, his “outside the box thinking” would lead to stronger viewpoints as needed.

Candidate – William “Bill” West

Short Biography

I began work at JSC 27yrs ago with Rockwell Space Operations Company (which later became United Space Alliance) in the Flight Design and Dynamics group working on entry trajectories for the Space Shuttle and later as a Shuttle Flight Control and Propulsion Instructor in the MOD Training Division.  As an Astronaut and Flight Controller Instructor I had the privilege of being part of the training team for the first Cosmonauts that flew on the Shuttle as well as the first Shuttle-Mir docking.  I then moved to GHG Corporation working as a Shuttle Main Propulsion System Safety engineer and later in the ISS EVA Safety Group where I worked the first ISS assembly missions.   In 2000 I accepted a position with Hamilton Sundstrand working in the EVA Project Office as an ISS EVA Increment Manager.  I’ve been with Hamilton (now called United Technologies Aerospace Company – UTAS) ever since in a variety of different engineering and management roles, including the Project lead for EVA 2010 (an effort focused on continuing EVA support of the ISS post-Shuttle) and in my current position as the ISS Liaison to NASA and Boeing for the ECLSS and thermal system hardware supplied by UTAS for the ISS.  I hold a BS degree from Parks College of St. Louis University in Aerospace Engineering and an MS in Space Science from UHCL.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I’ve been a member of AIAA since 1982, and a continuous member since 1989.  Over the years I’ve been the Chair of the AIAA-Houston EVA Technical Committee and have participated in several AIAA conferences as a panel chair as well as a presenter, most notably at the International Conference of Environmental Systems. I’ve also been actively involved in STEM outreach to the community and have been a judge at the yearly Houston Engineering and Science Fair since 1989.   Being an AIAA Councilor will enable me to continue being an active participant in AIAA-Houston as well as being a mentor to young engineers just beginning their careers. AIAA has a lot to offer, and the AIAA-Houston section has always been one of the most active professional organizations at JSC.  I look forward to serving as a Councilor and helping to continue that tradition of excellence.

Presenting… the 2014-2015 AIAA Houston Section Executive Council

AIAA Houston Section membership,

We are pleased to announce the following nominees have been selected by majority vote to the AIAA Houston Section Executive Council positions for the 2014-2015 cycle. Their tenure, with the exception of the councilor position, will be from July 1st 2014 to June 30th 2015:

Chair-Elect: Eryn Beisner

Vice Chair (VC) Technical: Clay Stangle

Vice Chair (VC) Operations: Alan Sisson

Secretary: Zach Tejral

Treasurer: Jennifer Wells

Councilor: Sarah Shull

Please join in congratulating the nominees!

Thank you,
Robert Plunkett
Councilor, AIAA Houston Section
councilor7-2013@aiaahouston.org