UMD Professor and Alum Among 2024 VFS Awardees

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From left: Aerospace Engineering Professor Anubhav Datta and alumnus William Staruk (M.S. ’12, Ph.D. ’17)

The Vertical Flight Society (VFS) announced their annual individual awards earlier this Month, and among them were University of Maryland (UMD) Department of Aerospace Engineering Professor Anubhav Datta and alumnus William Staruk (M.S. ’12, Ph.D. ’17).

Datta was granted the recognition of Technical Fellow for his research and academic leadership in the rotorcraft aeromechanics discipline. Datta is an award-winning researcher and educator who has led significant contributions to the state of the art in vertical flight engineering, having educated and mentored a generation of rotary wing engineers who have gone on to successful careers in Industry, government, and academia.

The title of Technical Fellow is granted to Society members whose career-based accomplishments towards the goals and objectives of the vertical flight technical community constitute an outstanding technical achievement.

Staruk received the annual François-Xavier Bagnoud Award in recognition of his significant contributions in advancing three-dimensional modeling and wind-tunnel testing of rotors.

The Bagnound Award is given to a Society member who is 35 years old or younger for outstanding career-to-date contributions to vertical flight technology.

During his time at UMD, Staruk was an integral team member of UMD’s Human-Powered Helicopter Project and developed a next-generation toolset for 3D structural modeling of helicopter rotors as part of his graduate research. He is currently an aeromechanics engineer at Joby Aviation.

The University of Maryland is home to the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center of Excellence and has a long history of strong contributions to both rotorcraft research and innovations as well as developing the next generation of rotorcraft engineers and leaders.

The Vertical Flight Society was founded as the American Helicopter Society in 1943 by the pioneers of the helicopter industry, who believed that technological cooperation and collaboration was essential to advance vertical flight.

Published March 15, 2024