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AIAA Dinner Meeting & Awards Banquet

June 13, 2013 @ 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm

$15 - $25

The AIAA Houston Section Annual Awards Dinner In Honor of Jim McLane is scheduled for Thursday, June 13, 2013 from 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.

We welcome Dr. Harold “Sonny” White for his talk on Warp Field Physics at NASA JSC Gilruth Center Alamo Ballroom. Enjoy dinner and the company of friends and colleagues as we honor AIAA Houston members and learn about faster-than-light (FTL) travel from Dr. White who is located right here at Johnson Space Center.

Please join us in honoring fellow AIAA Houston Section members that are celebrating their 25th, 40th, 50th, and even 60th anniversary as AIAA members! We will also be recognizing outstanding members that have gone above and beyond to enrich our section’s programs and technical endeavors, as well as introducing the 2013 – 2014 AIAA Houston Section Executive Council.

There will also be opportunities to win door prizes!

Tickets are $20 for AIAA members, $25 for non-members, and $15 for students and include two drink tickets (must show I.D. at event), appetizers, salad, sides, rolls, choice of entrée, and dessert. The attire for the evening is business casual.

Please see the event flyer (Microsoft PowerPoint).

For questions about the event, please contact Jennifer Wells.

We look forward to seeing you on June 13!

About Jim McLane

James C. McLane Jr. (1923-2012) was the 1971-1972 AIAA Houston Section Chair, during which time the newsletter was started. Years later the newsletter obtained its current name, Horizons. The Houston Section hosted quite a few dinner meetings while McLane was Chair, including a dinner meeting with a presentation called, “God, Science and Technology.” The NASA Apollo 15 and 16 missions took place during McLane’s year as Chair. McLane formed a Chinese sister section relationship in 1987 with the Shanghai Astronautical Society, a tradition which continues in 2013 thanks to Marlo Graves.

As a teenager, McLane was the second person in South Carolina to build a gasoline-powered model airplane. In 1942 McLane left Clemson College to join the Army Air Corps. His Army career included combat pilot duty over German as a member of the famed 357th Fighter Group. After World War 2, McLane returned to Clemson College and earned the degree of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Starting in 1948, he worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in Langley, Virginia. In 1951 McLane moved to Tullahoma, Tennessee to design wind tunnels for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Air Force. He worked at Arnold Engineering Development Center with engineers including many Germans from Operation Paperclip, which was the name given to the operation that brought Wernher von Braun and many other German rocket engineers to the USA after World War 2.

In 1962 McLane arrived in Houston to join NASA. He led the design of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory that handles the precious Moon rocks. He wrote an article about this facility for the February 1967 issue of the magazine Science. McLane’s roles at NASA / JSC included the role of Division Chief for the Space Environmental Simulation Laboratory.

McLane traced his ancestry to those including a Hessian soldier who arrived during the American Revolutionary War. McLane’s ashes were interred in the Houston National (Veterans) Cemetery next to those of his wife Dorothy. He is survived by several family members including his son James C. McLane III.

Speaker Biography

Dr. White holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Rice University, a Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wichita State University, and a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of South Alabama. Dr. White has accumulated over 15 years of experience working in the aerospace industry with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and NASA. He currently serves as the Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate and is the JSC representative to the Nuclear Systems Working Group. In his role, Dr. White is serving to help the Agency incorporate high TRL advanced power and propulsion technologies into near and mid-term human exploration architectures. He is also pursuing theoretical and laboratory research on developing lower TRL advanced propulsion and power technologies in the advanced propulsion physics laboratory known as Eagleworks that is located at the Johnson Space Center. Over the past 15 years, Dr. White has worked with members of academia, industry, and government to further grow this area of research resulting in many published papers, presentations, development and study of physics models, engineering tools, and the implementation and execution of multiple high fidelity experimental efforts.

Dr. White has been recognized many times over the span of his career for his excellent work ethic, exceptional technical skills, abilities as a project manager, and dedication to the pursuit of human space flight. While serving as the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System Manager during Return to Flight, he was awarded the NASA Medal For Excellence in Achievement by the Administrator for his role in getting the Thermal Protection System robotic inspection tools built, delivered and certified to support the STS-114 mission. He was recognized by the crew office with a Silver Snoopy Award for his unwavering commitment to safety and mission success demonstrated by his actions in the discovery and disposition of critical damage to the robotic arm prior to the STS-121 mission. He has also received the Spaceflight Awareness Honoree award for the STS-122 mission, one of the highest, most prestigious awards available to employees of NASA.


June 13, 2013
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
$15 - $25
Event Categories:


NASA/Johnson Space Center, Gilruth Center