Hubbard Chosen for HistoryMakers Oral History Collection
Department of Aerospace Engineering Samuel P. Langley Distinguished Professor James E. Hubbard, Jr. was selected for inclusion in the HistoryMakers' archive of oral histories. HistoryMakers, which houses the nation's largest African American video oral history collection, records the stories and achievements of African American life, history, and culture to educate and archive the diversity of American history.
Hubbard is the Director of both the University of Maryland's Morpheus Laboratory and the National Institute of Aerospace's Alex Brown Center for Adaptive Aerospace Research. He received his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (1977), Master of Mechanical Engineering (1979) and Doctor of Philosophy (1982) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Hubbard's engineering career began long before attending MIT. After high school, Hubbard enlisted as an officer in the U.S. Merchant Marines and attended the Calhoon MEBA Marine Engineering School where he became the youngest serviceman to receive the unlimited horsepower, steam and diesel engine Marine Engineering license. During his service as a Merchant Marine, Hubbard served aboard vessels bound for Vietnam in support of U.S. war efforts.
While attending MIT, Hubbard performed research on parametric wind tunnel tests to investigate blade/vortex interactions on helicopter rotor blades. He was then invited to join MIT's faculty and conduct research in the area of active vibration control of structures. Hubbard performed research in sensors and system concepts, optoelectronics and photonics, and his work resulted in what many consider the first example of an "adaptive" structure," or a structure that can change in response to its environment. He has patented "Smart Skin" technology that is a large-area, blanket-like sensor that could be used in a number of applications.
"After more than 30 years in Engineering I'm still amazed at how much I love my work, how satisfying my interactions are with students, and how close my friendships with colleagues have become. I am blessed indeed."
Hubbard's 30-plus year career has spanned both industrial and academic settings, and he has received several awards for his work, including the 2009 Smart Structures Innovation Award from the International Society for Optical Engineering and the 2002 Black Engineer of the President's Award from U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine. His work has resulted in 2 dozen patents, and he has served as a member of the Air Force Studies Board, the Naval Research Advisory Committee, and the Committee on Space Defense Technology.
"After more than 30 years in Engineering I'm still amazed at how much I love my work, how satisfying my interactions are with students, and how close my friendships with colleagues have become. I am blessed indeed," said Hubbard.
Participants for HistoryMakers collection are nominated and selected based on their accomplishments. According to HistoryMakers' website, "The histories we [HistoryMakers] have recorded are the inspiring stories of people from our communities, who have won success against the odds, and achievement in spite of adversity. Some are unsung neighbors and friends; some are well-known heroes and role models. All help give us a complete understanding of who we are, where we've come from and where we're going….our history and its lessons." To date, the organization has interviewed over 2,000 individuals, recorded over 8,000 hours of interviews, and has been featured on Public Broadcasting System in their "An Evening With" programs.
For more information on HistoryMakers, or to view their collection, visit their website.
Published October 10, 2013