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

Traversing New Horizons – 2012-2013 Executive Council, Latest Issues of Horizons Available, Awards+Robonaut2, and Website Status

2012-2013 Election Results

It is our pleasure to announce the 2012-2013 elected council members:
Chair: Daniel Nobles
Chair-Elect: Jonathan Sandys
Vice-Chair, Technical: Brian Banker
Vice-Chair, Operations: Michael Frostad
Secretary: Robert Plunkett
Treasurer: Clay Stangle
Councilors: Shirley Brandt, Larry Friesen, Sarah Shull, Christopher Davila, Alan Sisson
(One year term left) Ellen Gillespie, Matt Johnson, Melissa Kronenberger

We will also be interviewing candidates for appointed positions for next year’s AIAA Houston Executive Council very soon.

If you are interested and would like to be considered for any of positions with a red border or without any border on the 2011-2012 org chart, please contact the chair, Daniel Nobles, at chair2012[at]

Congratulations to all! The 2012-2013 year will be another fantastic year with these leaders serving the council!


The AIAA Houston Section is proud to present its latest issues – including a special edition highlighting the section’s 50th Anniversary gala – of Horizons, the award-winning bi-monthly newsletter publication.

  • May/June 2012 Issue (PDF, 13948kb)
    Volume 37, Number 7

    • Cover story: Morpheus, by Dr. Jon B. Olansen, NASA/JSC
    • Dinner meeting of June 6, 2012, the 50th anniversary of AIAA Houston Section
    • The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport
    • The Annual Technical Symposium (ATS 2012) at NASA/JSC
    • Planetary Resources: Flight of Fancy or Real Wealth?, editorial by Shen Ge
    • Will Europe Participate in the Orion MPCV Project of the USA?, by Philippe Mairet, 3AF MP
    • Ellington Field, Airport, Spaceport & The Lone Star Flight Museum
    • Yuri’s Night Houston 2012: The 5k Fun Run and Space Day
    • Space Fighter: 1963, by Scott Lowther, Aerospace Projects Review
    • Rest in Peace, John Llewellyn, Apollo era engineer
  • 50th Anniversary Edition (PDF, 14884kb)
    Volume 37, Number 6, Special Edition, June 6, 2012

    • The 1987 twenty-page booklet celebrating the 25th anniversary of AIAA Houston Section
    • More than twenty news pages extending that 1987 for our 2012 celebration of the 50th anniversary of AIAA Houston Section
  • March/April 2012 Issue (PDF, 14731kb)
    Volume 37, Number 5

    • Cover story: Develop Cislunar Space Next, by Paul Spudis
    • Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC 2012), by Shen Ge
    • Commercial Cargo, by Carl Walz of Orbital Sciences Corporation
    • Leading the Next 50 Years of Exploration, by Douglas Terrier, NASA/JSC
    • NASA GRAIL Lunar Mission, from the Lunar and Planetary Institute Cosmic Explorations lecture series
    • Dream Chaser for NASA Commercial Crew Development (CCDev), by John Curry of Sierra Nevada Corporation
    • Book review by Daniel R. Adamo, Astrodynamics Consultant, 50 Years on the Space Frontier by Robert W. Farquhar
    • Astronaut Training in Star City, by Philippe Mairet, 3AF MP
    • International Cooperation, by Philippe Mairet, 3AF MP
    • Virtus, by Scott Lowther, Aerospace Projects Review (APR)
    • The Conquest of Space and The Ugly Spaceship, by Dr. Albert A. Jackson IV

AIAA-Houston Section Annual Awards Banquet

Featuring guest speaker, Nicolaus A. Radford, Robonaut 2 Deputy Project Manager, who will give us an update on the latest developments of Robonaut 2

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.

Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Time: 6:00pm
Location: NASA JSC, Gilruth Center, Alamo Ballroom
$15 – Members; $20 Non-members
Public welcomed
Come meet the 2012-2013 AIAA Houston Section Council!

AIAA-Houston will also be presenting a charitable donation to the Challenger Center from Yuri’s Night’s proceeds.

Details on how and when to RSVP will follow.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Speaker Biography:

Nicolaus A. Radford currently works for National Aeronautics and    Space Administration at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in the Dexterous Robotics Laboratory. He serves as the Deputy Project Manager and Chief Electrical Engineer for NASA’s Robonaut 2, an anthropomorphic humanoid robot. He is also the Principal Investigator for NASA in DARPA-funded advanced electric machine research for robotics. He also leads NASA efforts in exoskeleton research for crew exercise and mobility assistance.  He specializes in inverter design for brushless DC motor control. He graduated with a B.S.E.E. (’00) and a M.S.E.E (’12) from Purdue University and is currently pursuing a PhD absentia with Dr. Steven Pekarek in Optimal Design of Variable Flux Permanent Magnet Synchronous Machines at Purdue also.

Website Status

Migration of the data from the old website to this site is coming along steadily. What you see now is not the final product. Stay tuned for a new look and feel and more updated content (especially under the Technical Committee page).