Anthony Waas gives 2022 Dryden Research Lecture

Aerospace chair gives prestigious AIAA Lecture at the 2022 SciTech Forum


A hybrid AIAA SciTech Forum in January offered the opportunity for the world’s leading researchers in aeronautics and astronautics to connect, collaborate and advance ideas together. One of the signature events at SciTech, the Dryden Lecture in Research was given by Anthony M. Waas, the Richard A. Auhll Department Chair of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

One of the most prestigious lectures bestowed by AIAA, the Dryden Lecture in Research emphasizes the importance of basic research in advancing aeronautics and astronautics. Since the inaugural lecture in 1961, it has been a catalyst for sharing research advancements and knowledge. 

His lecture, titled, “Digital Tools for Designing Composite Aerostructures of the Future”, centered around the outcomes of his research studies at Michigan over the past 15 years, where his group has produced software that enables high-fidelity predictions of the deformation response and failure of contemporary aerospace structures in a computationally efficient manner. One of the hallmarks of his research is being able to use experimental results to validate the software tools that he and his students produce for certification of composite aerospace structures.

Waas thanked his students for their major contributions to his research as well as fellow composites researchers for their tireless efforts to develop better and lighter structures. He said, “There’s a lot more we all still can do together.”

Watch the full lecture here.

About Anthony M. Waas

Anthony M. Waas is the Richard A. Auhll Department Chair of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where he holds the Felix Pawlowski Collegiate Chair in Aerospace Engineering. He is also a Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Prior to that, he was the Boeing Egtvedt Endowed Chair Professor and Department Chair in the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle.

His current research interests are: robotically manufactured lightweight structures, computational modeling of composite structures, 3D printed structures, damage tolerance of structures, affordable textile composites, and data science applications in modeling of materials and structures.

Dr. Waas is currently the head of the University of Michigan’s Composite Structures Lab (CSL), where he leads the study of composite aerostructures and how they respond to external environments. Over the past 20 years or so, the CSL has pioneered many digital tools, including the widely used EST model, software that helps simulate road vehicle and aircraft dynamics. The CSL is currently at the forefront of this research, and the Dryden Lectureship is an excellent opportunity for them to share their developments with the rest of the aerospace community.

About the Dryden Lecture This premier lecture is named in honor of Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, a renowned aerospace leader and the director of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or NACA, as well as the first deputy administrator of NASA when the agency was created in 1958.