122 members of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) have been elected to the grade of associate fellow for the Class of 2023, including Virginia Tech’s H. Pat Artis and W. Nathan Alexander. Artis and Alexander both serve as faculty in the Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering. 

“The AIAA associate fellows personify the innovation that drives our industry forward,” said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA executive director. “The members of the Class of 2023 associate fellows embody the ingenuity and commitment that are crucial for developing solutions to the complex questions raised across the aerospace community. On behalf of the Institute, we recognize the families, friends, and colleagues who support the Associate Fellows as they contribute in such a meaningful way to the aerospace community.”

As the largest aerospace professional society in the world, AIAA associate fellows have made notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences, and technology of aeronautics or astronautics. Associate fellows will be recognized throughout the week at the 2023 AIAA SciTech Forum at National Harbor, Maryland in January. 

H. Pat Artis

Upon graduating from Virginia Tech in 1971, Artis had a love of experimental mechanics and left Virginia Tech with experience with computer hardware and software architecture. This would spur a wildly successful career, serving at Bell Laboratories developing computer measurement techniques, and later at Morino Associates developing computer performance evaluation products.

In 1986, he set out on his own, forming Performance Associates Inc., which focused on the characterization and performance of storage subsystems. For more than three decades since, Colorado-based Performance developed new industry standard tools for the characterization and testing for storage performance, reliability, and replication.

Artis joined the faculty in the department of aerospace and ocean engineering at Virginia Tech in 2016 as professor of practice. Today, he shares his passion for aircraft vehicles and systems, and rocketry with the next generation of Hokie engineers. Artis serves as instructor for Introduction to Aerospace Engineering and often forms a close connection with sophomores and transfer students at the beginning of their time in the department. He also leads the year-long senior capstone course in launch vehicle design and serves as an advisor to a number of student design teams, preparing them to represent Virginia Tech at national competitions. 

W. Nathan Alexander 

Alexander’s research expertise lies in experimental aero/hydroacoustics, spanning both the aerospace engineering and ocean engineering disciplines within the department. Specifically, he has been investigating machine learning methods for data and signal processing; propeller and rotor noise, which has applications in eVTOL and marine engineering; reduction in drone noise and exploration of urban air mobility;  and renewable energy, specifically measurement of noise in wind turbines. 

Alexander is a three-time Hokie, having earned his bachelor’s, masters and Ph.D. from the aerospace and ocean engineering department. Post graduation, he continued with the department as a post-doctoral researcher, later a research scientist, and currently serves as assistant professor. He is also a core faculty member in the Center for Research and Engineering in Aero/Hydrodynamic Technology (CREATe).

Alexander serves  on the AIAA Aeroacoustics Technical Committee, Transformational Flight Integration and Outreach Committee, and the Advanced Air Mobility Task Force. 

He teaches Experiments for Ocean Vehicle Design for the year long senior capstone design course, as well as courses in aero/hydroacoustics and marine propulsion.