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Message from new Chair Kristi Morgansen

May 22, 2019

Kristi Morgansen

While we are sprinting to the finish line of another academic year, please join me in taking a moment with this issue of Highflight to be inspired by all of the many initiatives, talents, and cutting-edge research in the department. This is an especially poignant moment for me, as I have recently accepted the appointment of chair of the department. I am very grateful for this new opportunity to serve our A&A community.

The past few months as interim chair have shown me that the department has a fantastic community and an exciting future. The recent hire of Justin Little along with the upcoming searches for lecturers and two new tenure track faculty will add energy and capability to the department. The Direct to College entrance for undergraduates will enable a more holistic approach to undergraduate education, and updates to the master’s level programs will provide interdisciplinary and project-based learning. We will also be exploring options for short courses for professionals.

We have been especially energized by the enthusiasm of our alumni surrounding the centennial celebration of aeronautics at the UW, and we are responding to the call to strengthen the bonds between our students and alumni. With alumni participation, we have launched an on-going series of internship and career-focused events exclusively for A&A students in collaboration with the Career Center @ Engineering, and we will be kicking off an alumni mentoring program in the upcoming fall quarter. We look forward to updating you in the future about all of these efforts.

For now, dig into this issue of Highflight. As you will read, we are implementing very exciting upgrades to the Kirsten Wind Tunnel, furthering our commitment to a world-class facility. Our students are living the Husky Experience through clubs like SARP and Women in Aerospace that deliver real innovations and service to our community. Enjoy the coverage of our centennial, the landing of the Mars InSight, the awards of our students and young alumni, and our advances in plasma fusion, nonlinear complex networks, versatile origami structures, damage sensing composites, and supersonic retropropulsion.

Kristi A. Morgansen
Professor and Chair