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Conference Honors Pioneer in Aircraft Safety Methods

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October 18, 2005 | by Megan Fellman

EVANSTON, Ill. --- In honor of Jan D. Achenbach receiving the National Medal of Technology this year, Northwestern University will host a two-day conference, "The Quest for New Aerostructural Materials and Designs," Oct. 25 and 26.

President Bush presented Achenbach, Walter P. Murphy Professor and Distinguished McCormick School Professor of the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering, with the nation's highest honor for technological innovation March 14 in a White House ceremony.

Leaders from industry, academia and government will discuss the promise of next-generation materials for commercial and military aircraft as well as what new alloys or other materials are being considered for engine components, landing gear and other structural components. The conference will be held at the James L. Allen Center, 2169 Campus Drive, Evanston campus, and will run from noon to 10 p.m. Oct. 25 and from 8:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 26.

R. John Hansman, professor of aeronautics and astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will deliver the keynote address, "Air Transportation and Technological Change," at 8:15 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Allen Center's Tribune Auditorium.

Other speakers at the conference include Achenbach; Thomas A. Cruse, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory; Gail Hahn, Boeing PhantomWorks; Larry Ilcewicz, Federal Aviation Administration; John Liu, Alcoa; Oliver Masefield, Eclipse Aviation; Gregory B. Olson, Northwestern University; Henrik Roesner, Airbus; Brian W. Smith, The Boeing Company; Terry Weisshaar, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; and James C. Williams, Ohio State University.

Achenbach received the National Medal of Technology for his seminal contributions to engineering research and education and for pioneering ultrasonic methods for the detection of cracks and corrosion in aircraft, leading to improved safety for aircraft structures.

For more information on the conference, including fees and a complete schedule, call (847) 491-8670 or visit <http://www.quest.mccormick.northwestern.edu/>.

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