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In 2016, President Barack Obama named Aerospace Engineering Professor Anya Jones, a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Jones, whose PECASE nomination was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense, was recognized for her for her outstanding contributions to foundational research in aerodynamics, and for her dedicated community service through which she inspires young people from underrepresented groups to seek careers in science and engineering.

She has been a faculty member at the University of Maryland (UMD) since 2010 where she is director of the Jones Laboratory, an experimental aerodynamics laboratory that focuses on unsteady, separated and three-dimensional flows on flapping wings, rotorcraft and wind/water turbines.

In addition, the National Science Foundation recognized Jones with their Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program award for her research to improve the safety, reliability, and efficiency of air vehicles through a deeper understanding of the physics of the large flow field disturbances encountered in high winds and gusty flight environments.

Jones has developed unique experimental capabilities at UMD to allow for the exploration of the interaction between a wing and a large, well-characterized gust in a repeatable and controlled environment. By modeling this interaction both experimentally and analytically, her research offers a new approach to validating classical aerodynamic theories and a new framework for physics-based models of separated flow.

Jones is chair of a NATO Research Technology Organization task group on gust response and unsteady aerodynamics and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). She serves as a member of the AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Technical Committee, the University of Maryland Energy Research Center and the Maryland Robotics Center.

She also supports the next generation of engineers and scientists as a faculty advisor to UMD’s Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics organization, and by serving on the Raising Excitement for Science Engineering and Technology (RESET) board of directors.



February 27, 2017


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“Dr. Jones’ unmistakable leadership in our field so early in her career gives me great hope for the future of engineering and our country."

Darryll J. Pines, Clark School Dean and Nariman Farvardin Professor of Engineering.

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