Four Embry-Riddle Engineers Named AIAA Associate Fellows for ‘Significant and Lasting Contributions to Aerospace’

Drs. Sirish Namilae, Ali Tamijani, Alberto Mello and Ron Madler
Drs. Sirish Namilae, Ali Tamijani, Alberto Mello and Ron Madler, of Embry-Riddle, were named to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ (AIAA) Class of 2024 Associate Fellows. (Photo: Embry-Riddle/Daryl Labello)

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the world’s largest and premier aerospace professional society, this week announced its newly elected Class of 2024 Associate Fellows, which included an impressive four members from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Embry-Riddle was honored to have more new associate fellows of the AIAA than any other university.

Recognized were four Embry-Riddle professors of Aerospace Engineering: Dr. Ron Madler with the university’s College of Engineering in Prescott, Arizona, and Drs. Alberto Mello, Sirish Namilae and Ali Tamijani with the College of Engineering in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Embry-Riddle’s four new associate fellows will be formally inducted at a ceremony to be held during the AIAA’s SciTech Forum in January 2024.

“Congratulations to all new AIAA associate fellows at Embry-Riddle,” said Dr. Kelly Austin, the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “These inductions are indicative of Embry-Riddle’s place among the nation’s top aerospace engineering schools, placing us in the same tier with Georgia Tech, Purdue, Stanford and many other exceptional engineering institutions. The professional achievements of Ron, Alberto, Sirish and Ali have made us proud.”

AIAA associate fellows are recognized for pioneering innovation across the fields of science, engineering, arts, technology or aeronautics. “This distinguished group of professionals has made significant and lasting contributions to the aerospace profession,” said AIAA President Laura McGill. “They exemplify expertise and dedication to excellence in advancing their specific technical disciplines. They are truly shaping the future of aerospace, and we are proud of their achievements.”

Contributions to the aerospace field by Madler and colleagues have included rocket propulsion and CubeSat technology initiatives. The AIAA recognized Madler specifically for “outstanding leadership to AIAA and for excellence in educating the next generations of aerospace engineers.” Former dean of the Prescott Campus College of Engineering, Madler’s primary professional interests are in engineering education, orbital debris, astrodynamics, spacecraft design and space exploration. He has served Embry-Riddle students for the past 29 years.

“Being named an associate fellow of the AIAA is a high honor,” said Dr. Dietmar Rempfer, dean of the College of Engineering at Prescott. “Kudos to our newly named associate fellows, who will inspire us to pursue ever more ambitious goals in research, teaching and service.”

At Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus, Namilae was recognized by the AIAA for “impactful contributions in the areas of composite materials and multiscale modeling.”Previously a structural engineer at Boeing, his research led to the development of hybrid composites with better mechanical properties and new methods to reduce residual stresses and processing defects. Recently, he has been developing explainable artificial intelligence methods for processing defect detection. As yet another example of his work, Namilae has conducted research on human movement through public spaces, with the goal of minimizing the spread of disease, particularly through aircraft boarding strategies.

Tamijani, who won a highly competitive National Science Foundation Early Career Award in 2019 and the Air Force Young Investigators Research Award in 2017, has led innovative research into how 3D-printed composite materials can be used to build stronger and more economical aircraft hardware. He has recently secured funding from the Office of Naval Research for equipment for Composite 3D Printing. Tamijani is also the founder and CEO of Novineer, an engineering design firm that builds modeling, design and simulation software for 3D printing.He was recognized by the AIAA for“seminal contributions in the area of structural design and optimization.”

Mello was recognized by the AIAA “for seminal contribution in the area of aerospace materials characterization.” Previously with Purdue University and the Brazilian Air Force, Mello has investigated the behavior of superalloys subjected to fatigue loads under high temperatures. For this research, he has achieved some conclusions with great impact in predicting the fatigue life of superalloys exposed to extreme temperatures. He has also determined the effect of local plastic deformation and localized galvanic corrosion on micro-cracks and fatigue life of bolted joints.

“Faculty recognition by august organizations such as the AIAA adds value to the degrees that our students are earning,” said Dr. Jim Gregory, dean of the College of Engineering at Daytona Beach, who last year was named an AIAA fellow, along with Dr. Tasos Lyrintsis. “This latest distinction is well deserved — we're very proud of Drs. Mello, Namilae and Tamijani, and their accomplishments.”

Embry-Riddle President P. Barry Butler, Ph.D., sent congratulatory notes to the new AIAA associate fellows. “Collectively, these four researchers are setting new standards for innovation, persistence and diligence,” he said. “They serve as role models for our students, for which we are grateful.”

AIAA is the world’s largest aerospace technical society, with nearly 30,000 individual members from 91 countries. To be selected as an associate fellow, an individual must have contributed or been in charge of important/original engineering or scientific work, be an AIAA senior member in good standing with at least 12 years of professional experience, and be recommended by three AIAA associate fellows.

Learn more about this year’s class of associate fellows online.

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