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The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has named University of Maryland (UMD) Department of Aerospace Engineering alumnus David M. Van Wie (B.S. '80; M.S. '82; Ph.D. '86) head of its Air and Missile Defense Sector, which aims to advance the nation’s ability to defend itself and others against cruise and ballistic missiles and threat aircraft.

Van Wie, who was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2017 for his contributions to hypersonic technology to enable new classes of flight vehicles, has served in various leadership roles at APL, where he has worked for over 35 years. 

In 2016, UMD’s Department of Aerospace Engineering inducted Van Wie into its Academy of Distinguished Alumni, which recognizes alumni who have made notable contributions to the field of aerospace engineering and/or achieved other significant accomplishments. One of the nation’s foremost experts in hypersonics, Van Wie has lectured extensively at UMD on the topics of hypersonics, fluid dynamics, and space propulsion. 

In his most recent role at APL, he served as the mission area executive for the Precision Strike Mission Area. In this capacity, Van Wie helped advance weapon development, electromagnetic spectrum dominance, and novel long-range detection and targeting systems through applying technologies in hypersonics, adaptive coordination of discrete kinetic and non-kinetic systems, and upstream data fusion.

Van Wie, who holds a research faculty position in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University’s G. W. C. Whiting School of Engineering, has published more than 140 papers on high-temperature fluid dynamics, plasma aerodynamics, and hypersonic air breathing propulsion systems. He has contributed to major studies conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, and the Defense Science Board.

A fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Van Wie has also been recognized for his sustained contributions by the Joint Army, Navy, NASA and Air Force Airbreathing Propulsion Subcommittee as a recipient of the Air Force Award for Meritorious Civilian Service.



January 10, 2019


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