McCormick Lecture

Barnes W. McCormick Honorary Alumni Lectureship Award

The McCormick Honorary Alumni Lectureship in Aerospace Engineering was established in 2001 in honor of Dr. Barnes W. McCormick, Boeing Professor Emeritus and Department Head of Aerospace Engineering from 1969 to 1985.

The lectureship is presented twice annually by a graduate of the Department of Aerospace Engineering who has performed notably and distinguished himself or herself technically in aeronauticcs or astronautics. This award provides a means for the recipients to share their professional experiences with students and faculty of the department.

2019 McCormick Lecture

Joel Madison ('88 M.S. AERSP), chief operating officer, Sierra Nevada Corporation

  • Date: Monday, April 8
  • Time: 12:20-1:10 p.m.
  • Location: 207 Sackett Building

Refreshments will be served at a pre-seminar reception in the Aero Café in 229 Hammond.


The following list includes each award recipient and their lecture topics.

2017 (fall)
Edward Smith (B.S. '88)
"Penn State Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence: 20 years of Education & Research"

2016 (spring)
William W. Liou (M.S. '86, Ph.D. '90)
“Wait, aerodynamics and what?”

2015 (fall)
Michael S. Selig (Ph.D. '92)
“Low-Speed Airfoil Design and Application”

2015 (spring)
Isaac (Michael) Ross (Ph.D. '90)
“Unscented Optimal Control”

2014 (fall)
Philip A. Balaam (Ph.D. '97)
“From Happy Valley to Happy Valley (HK) ... and back again”

2014 (spring)
Stefan Bieniawski (B.S. '89, M.S. '92)
“Flight Testing Results for the Formation Flight for Aerodynamic Benefit Program”

2013 (spring)
Thomas F. Starchville, Jr. (B.S. '90, M.S. '93, PhD. '96)
“Space Debris and Space Operations”

2012 (fall)
Edward V. White (B.S. '76)
“Smart Structures Technology Development at Boeing”

2012 (spring)
Robert C. Nelson (Ph.D. '74)
“Wind Energy Research”

2011 (fall)
James W. Woodburn (B.S. '86)
“Dealing with Uncertainty in Astrodynamics”

2011 (spring)
Peter J. Kunz (B.S. '93, M.S. '97)
“The Modern Tactical UAS, An Aerodynamicist’s Perspective”

2010 (fall)
Mark E. Dreier (B.S. '74, M.S. '77)
“Vortex Ring State Myths”

2010 (spring)
Krishnamurthy Viswanathan (Ph.D '91)
“Aircraft Noise: Importance and Control”

2009 (fall)
William J. Guzik (B.S. '79)
“Aerospace Engineering to Medical Ultrasound: A Different Path”

2009 (spring)
Daniel Kunec (B.S. '80)
“F-35 Lighting II Program Update”

2008 (spring)
David G. Miller (B.S. '84)
“Are Pilots and Flying Qualities Engineers Still Needed”

2007 (fall)
James E. McMillen (B.S. '63)
“Personal Observations on the Development of the Commercial High Bypass Engines”

2006 (fall)
Duncan B.  Koerbel (B.S. '83)
“The Business of Building Airplanes 20+ Years Since Penn State”

2005 (fall)
John E. Colwell (B.S. '59)
“Making Space Affordable and Secure”

2005 (spring)
T. Alan Egolf (B.S. '71, M.S. '73)
“Rotorcraft Interaction Aerodynamics – A Computational Challenge”

David C. Wisler (B.S. '63)
“Engineering – What You Don’t Necessarily Learn in School.”

Daniel P. Mooney (B.S. CE '80)
“Airplanes for the 21st Century”

Samuel L. Venneri (B.S. '69)
“Pathway to the 21st Century Aerospace Systems”

Barnes W. McCormick (B.S. '48, M.S. '49, Ph.D. '54)



The Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, established in 1961 and the only aerospace engineering department in Pennsylvania, is consistently recognized as one of the top aerospace engineering departments in the nation, and is also an international leader in aerospace education, research, and engagement. Our undergraduate program is ranked 15th and our graduate programs are ranked 15th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, while one in 25 holders of a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in the U.S. earned it from Penn State. Our students are consistently among the most highly recruited by industry, government, and graduate schools nationwide.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry. Through an innovative curriculum and world-class instruction that reflects current industry practice and embraces future trends, Penn State Aerospace Engineering graduates emerge as broadly educated, technically sound aerospace engineers who will become future leaders in a critical industry

Department of Aerospace Engineering

229 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2569