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The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has recognized Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor Emeritus John Anderson with the 2021 Summerfield Book Award for Hypersonic and High-Temperature Gas Dynamics, Third Edition.

Written to be either a classroom text, or working tool for professional in the field, the book is a self-contained text for those interested in learning hypersonic flow and high-temperature gas dynamics. Readers don’t have to have prior familiarity with the subjects, and it provides a cohesive presentation of the fundamentals, a development of important theory and techniques, a discussion of the salient results with emphasis on the physical aspects and a presentation of modern thinking in these areas.  

Anderson has published ten books, some in multiple editions, in the areas of aerodynamics, computational fluid dynamics, airplane performance, hypersonic aerodynamics, high-temperature gas dynamics, the history of aerodynamics and the history of aeronautical engineering. These include A History of Aerodynamics (Cambridge University Press) and The Airplane: A History of Its Technology (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics).

Anderson is also the author of Introduction to Flight, the leading introductory textbook on aeronautical and aerospace engineering. His books are frequently praised for their clarity and accessibility—which also earned him AIAA’s Pendray Aerospace Literature Award.

In addition, McGraw-Hill has named his series of aerospace engineering textbooks the “Anderson Series” in recognition of their impact on engineering education.

“Dr. Anderson has made tremendous contributions to the field of aerospace engineering and education with his books,” said Dr. Norman Wereley, department chair and Minta Martin Professor of Aerospace Engineering.

Anderson joined the Department of Aerospace Engineering faculty in the sixties as an instructor, and would go on to become department chair in 1973. After 1980 he served as Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Maryland, being designated a Distinguished Scholar/Teacher in 1982. In 1993 he was made a full faculty member of the Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science, and in 1996, be became both an affiliate member of the History Department at the University of Maryland and the Glenn L. Martin Distinguished Professor in Aerospace Engineering. He retired from Maryland in 1999.

Currently, Anderson is the Curator for Aerodynamics at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, where he has helped develop exhibits like “How Things Fly” and actively works to preserve aviation history with an engineering twist.

Both an engineer, and a historian, Anderson has published more than 120 papers in his field, been recognized internationally, and has been named a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

The Summerfield Book Award is named in honor of Dr. Martin Summerfield, founder and initial editor of the Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics series of books published by the AIAA. The award is presented to the author of the best book recently published (within the last five years) by AIAA.



November 13, 2020


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Dr. Anderson has made tremendous contributions to the field of aerospace engineering and education with his books.

Dr. Norman Wereley, department chair and Minta Martin Professor of Aerospace Engineering

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