Professor Nguyen Vinh passed away recently after a long, distinguished career in aerospace engineering and life dedicated to supporting the Vietnamese community. He was 92 years old.
In 1965, he was the first PhD recipient in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He joined the Aerospace faculty in 1968, educating and researching here for 31 years before his retirement in 2000. He was well known for his accomplishments in the field of Flight Mechanics and Orbital Trajectories. He authored 3 landmark textbooks while he was a professor of Aerospace Engineering at Univ of Michigan.
- Hypersonic and Planetary Entry Flight Mechanics. 1980.
- Optimal Trajectories in Atmospheric Flight. 1981.
- Flight Mechanics of High-Performance Aircraft. 1993.
He authored hundreds of articles, mentored many graduate students, and chaired over 20 doctoral committees. In 1994, we received the Mechanics and Control of Flight Award by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, one of the field’s highest honors.
Says department chair Anthony M. Waas, “Professor Vinh was a person of very high standards and technical perfection. He was very well respected and beloved by students and faculty during his time here. We mourn his passing while we honor the legacy of excellence he left behind.”
Before his PhD, Vinh spent years serving in high ranking positions in the Vietnamese Air Force, leaving service as the Air Force Commander when he emigrated to the United States in 1962. After his retirement, he dedicated years supporting Vietnamese communities in the U.S. A widely read novelist and poet, he received the prestigious Vietnam National Literature Prize in 1961. He has been much in demand as a speaker for Vietnamese organizations on such topics as education, culture, society, and the future of Vietnam and the Vietnamese people. He is widely recognized as a role model within the Vietnamese community in North America and elsewhere.