AIAA Journal Publishes Festschrift in Honor of Aerospace Engineering Professor Dewey Hodges

AIAA Journal Publishes Festschrift in Honor of Aerospace Engineering Professor Dewey Hodges
Prof. Dewey H. Hodges
Prof. Dewey H. Hodges

The outstanding research and teaching accomplishments of Prof. Dewey H. Hodges were formally recognized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) this month with the publication of "Asymptotic Analyses, Dynamics and Aeroelasticity," a special section in the AIAA journal.

The 31-paper festschrift enters into the written record the many and fervent praises that Hodges received in January of 2018, when the AIAA Sci Tech Forum hosted a tribute to Hodges that featured the presentation of 18 technical papers that focused on the longtime researcher's interest in these three areas. Fifteen of those papers -- and another 15 fresh manuscripts - were included in the compendium that was published October 17.

William R. T. Oakes Professor and School Chair Mark Costello commended organizers for recognizing Hodges, a member of the AE faculty since 1986.

"I think everyone in the AE School feels fortunate to have Dewey as a colleague," he said. "He is a preeminent scholar and an outstanding mentor and role model to both students and faculty while at the same time being a genuinely kind person."

The AIAA  honored the longtime Daniel Guggenheim School faculty member not only for his many contributions to the field but for the generosity of his mentorship and the unyielding standards he held up for the next generation of thought leaders. In his introduction to the festschrift, Dr. Dineshkumar Harursampath - a former Hodges doctoral student, now a professor at the Indian Institute of Science - made it clear that the tribute was borne of professional respect and unwavering affection:

"Rare is such a true teacher and many of the contributors to this special section were indeed blessed to have enjoyed the privilege of studying with such a venerable teacher in Dewey," Harursampath writes in the introduction to the AIAA's special section. 

"While his technical brilliance is too obvious to elaborate upon, the way he blends it with his humane heart is to be experienced to be believed. He strives to minimize assumptions in his search for the Truth—the goal of life, as I perceive it—so continuously that many a times it seems like an art rather than a conscious effort. Every interaction with him, formal or informal, has been a learning experience for me which has been treasured throughout life."

Hodges has been recognized with numerous awards for his research, teaching, and scholarship over the course of his career. In addition to authoring more than 200 journal papers, five textbooks, and numerous named lectureships, he is a Fellow of the American Helicopter Society (now Vertical Flight Society), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In 2018, when he was tapped to receive AIAA's SDM Award, several of his former students and current colleagues decided to use the occasion to celebrate not only his professional achievements, but his upcoming 70th birthday. The sessions were appropriately titled “Dewey70: Asymptotic Analyses,” "Dewey70: Dynamics,” and “Dewey70: Aeroelasticity.”

Hodges's work developing variational asymptotic beam sectional (VABS) analysis, a software program, has impacted the development and design of helicopter blades wind turbine blades that are used by numerous aircraft and rotorcraft manufacturers. As the project manager, chief analyst, and co-developer of the General Rotorcraft Aeromechanical Stability Program (GRASP), a hybrid multi-body/variable-order finite element program, he helped to model the complex behavior of bearingless rotor helicopters.

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