Alumnus Edward Smith delivers McCormick Honorary Alumni Lecture


Edward Smith ('88 AERSP), professor of aerospace engineering and director of the Penn State Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence (VLRCOE), was the fall 2017 Barnes W. McCormick Honorary Alumni Lecturer. Smith presented "Penn State Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence: 20 years of Education & Research."

His lecture covered the history of the VLRCOE, provided an overview of its educational programs and various research projects, highlighted new facilities and described key accomplishments of the VLRCOE's growing faculty and student team.

The distinguished career and contributions of Boeing Professor Emeritus Barnes McCormick were also discussed in the context of the ongoing activities within the VLRCOE.

About the McCormick Honorary Alumni Lecture:

The Barnes W. 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 typically 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.


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Chris Spallino



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

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