Mark Lewis Honored with 2018 Theodore von Karman Award

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From left to right: Former Secretary of the Air Force, Whitten Peters (current Chair of the Air Force Association); Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen David Goldfein; Dr. Mark Lewis; Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. Heather Wilson; and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Kaleth Wright.

Aerospace Engineering Professor Emeritus Mark Lewis recently received the 2018 Theodore von Karman Award, the highest honor in the field of science and engineering. The award was presented by the Air Force Association in recognition of Lewis’s contributions as the longest serving Chief Scientist in the history of the Air Force, his national leadership in promoting basic research, and for his contributions and influence in the fields of propulsion and hypersonics.

Lewis, who has a strong background in hypersonic aerodynamics, advanced propulsion, and engine-airframe interaction, was instrumental in advancing the X-51A Waverider test program. Lewis expanded research support and focused efforts on high-speed flight, sustainment, launch vehicle technologies and operational space. The final flight of the test program achieved a breakthrough by reaching a sustained, hypersonic flight using air-breathing, high-speed scramjet propulsion. The fourth and final test vehicle launched during the program reached a speed of Mach 5.1, traveling more than 230 nautical miles in just over 6 minutes.

Bestowed at the 2018 Air Force Association Awards Ceremony, the award was named after Theodore von Karman, an aerospace engineer who was well-known for his work on supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization.

Published October 25, 2018