Joseph Schetz, the Fred D. Durham Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech, was recently awarded the 2023 AIAA Hypersonics Systems and Technologies Award by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). 

Schetz was honored for his sustained contributions to hypersonics through graduate education of a large cadre of Ph.D. students and seminal research on high-speed aerodynamics, heat transfer, and propulsion.

Schetz was recognized at the 2023 AIAA AVIATION Forum, held in San Diego, California in June. The Hypersonics Systems and Technologies Award recognizes outstanding sustained contributions and achievements in enabling technologies and/or the integration of technologies for system applications in the advancement of hypersonic flight.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1969, Schetz made significant contributions to the area of hypersonic and supersonic vehicles, skin-friction measurements, sensor development, and the multidisciplinary design optimization of the Truss-Braced Aircraft.

He served as head of the department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering from 1969 to 1993, leading its transformation from a predominantly undergraduate teaching department to a powerhouse in both undergraduate and graduate teaching and research.

Schetz achieved a rare distinction of guiding 78 students to complete their Ph.D. dissertations and helped them develop successful careers in academic, government, and industrial settings. In the classroom, he taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses.

He announced his retirement in the Spring of 2022, and was conferred the title of Fred D. Durham Professor Emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors later that year. He continues to conduct some research, teaching and supervision of graduate students.