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Fri, Sep 21, 2012

AIAA Announces Sandra H. Magnus As Executive Director

Will Take Up New Position On October 22

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Board of Directors has approved the appointment of Sandra H. Magnus, Ph.D., as the new executive director of the 35,000-member professional organization, effective October 22, 2012.

We are pleased to announce that after an extensive search with many fine candidates, Sandy was chosen to lead AIAA in this time of critical evolution of the organization and the aerospace industry,” stated AIAA President Michael Griffin. “Her stellar accomplishments at NASA, as well as earlier experience at McDonnell Douglas, will greatly benefit all AIAA members. Indeed, through her extensive public outreach as a NASA astronaut, she has in a sense been working on the future of AIAA for many years, inspiring the next generation to pursue a science, math, or engineering career. I’ve worked with Sandy, and know that she will bring her dedication, leadership and knowledge to AIAA to help us advance the aerospace profession.”

Dr. Magnus will leave the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Astronaut Corps to join AIAA. Her NASA career began in 1996 with training for flight assignment as a mission specialist. She gained much international experience working with the European Space Agency (ESA), with the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA), and with Brazil on facility-type payloads. She also traveled to Russia in support of testing and product development.

Dr. Magnus flew in space on the STS-112 shuttle mission in 2002, and on the final shuttle flight, STS-135, last year. In addition, she flew to the International Space Station on STS-126 in November 2008, served as flight engineer and science officer on Expedition 18, and returned home on STS-119 after four and a half months. Following her assignment on Station she served at NASA Headquarters in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. Her last duty at NASA, after STS-135, was as the deputy chief of the Astronaut Office. Before joining NASA she worked at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft on military aircraft programs.

Born and raised in Belleville, IL, Dr. Magnus graduated from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1986 with a degree in physics and in 1990 with a master’s degree in electrical engineering, and holds a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Georgia Tech (1996). She has received numerous awards, including the NASA Space Flight Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the 40 at 40 Award (given to former collegiate women athletes to recognize the impact of Title IX).

“I look forward to working with the Board of Directors, members, and staff to expand the relevance and reach of this distinguished organization. The aerospace industry is important to our country’s future. AIAA, with its broad base of talented members and their depth of experience, will continue to play a key role not only in creating new opportunities and pushing the boundaries of technology, but also in recruiting the next generation of scientists, engineers, and technologists. I am thrilled to be a part of such a dynamic, vibrant organization!” said Dr. Magnus.

Dr. Magnus succeeds Maj. Gen. Robert S. Dickman, U.S. Air Force (retired) as AIAA executive director. “Bob has been an exemplary leader during his eight year tenure as executive director. We wish him well in his retirement and thank him for his dedicated service to AIAA,” Griffin said.

AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and nearly 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense.

(NASA photo Dr. Sandra Magnus)

FMI: www.aiaa.org

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