Hypersonics: Fostering Innovation and Research at Mach 5 E17
In this episode of AZTechCast, the official podcast of the Arizona Technology Council, distinguished business leaders from Raytheon Missiles & Defense, the University of Arizona College of Engineering and the U.S. Air Force Academy joined Council President and CEO, Steve Zylstra, to discuss the importance of hypersonics research in Arizona. These leaders included Roy Donelson, Executive Director of Strategic Missile Defense at Raytheon; David Hahn, Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Arizona; and Dr. Russell Cummings, Director of the DoD Hypersonic Vehicle Simulation Institute at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Throughout this hour-long episode, this seasoned panel of experts stressed the importance of collaboration between government, academia and industry to invest in hypersonics technology and testing facilities, conduct applied research and train aspiring engineers to solve complex societal problems. By allocating additional resources towards hypersonics, Arizona is creating high-paying STEM jobs, growing the local economy and protecting national security against foreign threats.
Listeners should tune in to this episode to learn how Arizona’s increased investments in hypersonics technology is providing the United States with significant strategic and tactical advantages against foreign threats. Through collaborative partnerships between government, academia and industry, Arizona is developing a pipeline of innovative engineers ready to solve complex challenges, serve clients on the front lines of national security and shape Arizona’s STEM future for the better.
Raytheon Missiles & Defense provides the industry’s most advanced end-to-end solutions to detect, track and engage threats. The company takes a customer-centric approach, focused on each customer’s specific concerns and needs, and tailoring solutions that integrate key capabilities.
Raytheon Missiles & Defense is the combination of two former business units of Raytheon Company—Raytheon Missile Systems and Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems—which joined forces when Raytheon Company merged with United Technologies Corporation in April 2020. The company offers the advantages of a consolidated, collaborative team with the talent and technology to detect, track, intercept and engage the constantly evolving threats around the world.
Visit www.raytheonmissilesanddefense.com to learn more.
Roy Donelson is the Executive Director and Product Area Director of Strategic Engagement Systems, Strategic Missile Defense for Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a business of Raytheon Technologies. In this role he leads a program portfolio of effectors, counter hypersonic programs and related advanced missile defense technologies. Prior to the merger with United Technologies in 2020, he was strategic and missile defense systems portfolio director, overseeing SM-3® and kill vehicle programs. He previously served as the managing director for the Raytheon UK Defence mission area and as program director of Tomahawk missile programs for the former Raytheon Company Missile Systems business.
Before Raytheon Technologies, Donelson was a senior consultant in system architecture and systems engineering at Booz, Allen & Hamilton. Donelson also served as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of captain.
Donelson earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and his MBA from the University of Phoenix.
The University of Arizona’s College of Engineering is ranked among the best in the world for its research and development, a place where the entrepreneurial spirit reigns and where graduate and undergraduate students alike roll up their sleeves and work alongside world-renowned faculty and industry partners.
The College’s 16 undergraduate degree programs prepare some of the University of Arizona’s best students for successful careers in engineering. Visit www.engr.arizona.edu to learn more.
David W. Hahn, an accomplished mechanical engineer specializing in thermal sciences and laser-based diagnostics, including renewable energy and biophotonics, is the Craig M. Berge Dean of the College of Engineering. He has more than two decades of experience in higher education and with national agencies and laboratories, and he is a champion of diversity in engineering.
Hahn takes the helm as the college embarks on the establishment of a four-year student design program with renewed commitment to strengthening hands-on education and focusing on today’s most pressing issues – food and water, energy, health care and security.
He joins the University of Arizona after a 20-year career at the University of Florida, where he served most recently as chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Under his leadership, the university built a 4,000-square-foot student design center, his department grew to the largest on campus in terms of student enrollment, and the female student population in mechanical and aerospace engineering increased to 20%, about 50% above the national average.
He was the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering 2007-2008 Teacher/Scholar of the Year and 2009-2010 Advisor/Mentor of the Year, and he received the UF Society of Women Engineers 2016-2017 Outstanding Support of Women in Engineering Award. Hahn is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Optical Society and Society for Applied Spectroscopy.
Hahn began his research career as an NRC postdoctoral associate in the electro-optics branch of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health. He then spent four years at Sandia National Laboratories, first as a postdoctoral researcher and then as a member of the technical staff.
Hahn studied mechanical engineering at Louisiana State University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1986 and a doctorate in 1992. In 2014 he received the Alumni Achievement Award from his home department.
With a history of excellence and a focus on the future, the United States Air Force Academy instills cadets with pride and integrity while preparing them to serve their country and succeed in 21st-century careers.
As a public university and a military service academy, we are leading the way into an increasingly complex future, driving advancement and innovation in air, space and cyberspace, among countless other fields. Visit https://www.usafa.edu to learn more.
Dr. Russell Cummings is Professor of Aeronautics and Managing Director of the DoD HPCMP Hypersonic Vehicle Simulation Institute at the US Air Force Academy. From 2015-2018 he was the Technical Director at AFOSR’s European Office of Aerospace Research & Development in London.
Dr. Cummings is a graduate of the University of Southern California where he received his Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering, and also has earned B.S., B.A., and M.S. degrees from California Polytechnic State University. He currently serves as deputy editor of the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, and is an associate editor of Aerospace Science and Technology.
Dr. Cummings is co-author of the Sixth Edition of Aerodynamics for Engineers and lead author for the Applied Computational Aerodynamics textbook. Dr. Cummings has previously worked at Hughes Aircraft Company, NASA Ames Research Center, and California Polytechnic State University. He is a Fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
About AZ TechCast
AZ TechCast is dedicated to covering innovation and technology in Arizona and beyond.
Through the art of connected conversation, AZ TechCast’s guests will share their expertise, success stories, news and analysis about the region’s leading startups, companies and emerging technologies, as well as the latest industry trends and critical issues propelling the state’s growing technology ecosystem.
About Your Hosts
Steve Zylstra serves as president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, a role he assumed in 2007. He is responsible for strategy, operations, finance and policy development. Zylstra is a vocal spokesman for the value technology can provide in raising social and economic standards in Arizona.
Zylstra serves on numerous councils, committees and boards, was named “Leader of the Year, Technology,” by the Arizona Capitol Times, and “Most Admired Leader” by the Phoenix Business Journal. In addition, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of science in technology from the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Ariz.
Zylstra earned a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering technology from Western Michigan University.
Karen Nowicki is a successful author, speaker and the creator of Deep Impact Leadership™ and SoulMarks Coaching™. She is a two-time recipient of the prestigious national Choice Award® for her book and personal development retreat. Karen was crowned the first-ever “Mompreneur of the Year” Award in 2010 for the southwestern states. She was recognized for her leadership, business acumen, and work-life balance.
Karen has been an expert guest on regional TV and radio shows, including Fox Phoenix Morning Show, Sonoran Living, Good Morning Arizona, The Chat Room, and Mid-Day Arizona. She has been a regular contributor to many print and online magazines – publishing articles and blogs for business and education.
In addition to working with private coaching clients, Karen is also the Owner & President of Phoenix Business RadioX. The Business RadioX Network amplifies the voice of business – serving the Fortune 500,000, not just the Fortune 500. Phoenix Business RadioX helps local businesses and professional associations get the word out about the important work they’re doing to serve their market, profession, and community.
Of all the experiences Karen has had the privilege of participating in over her vast career, she shares that Phoenix Business RadioX is a pinnacle adventure!
About Our Sponsor
The Arizona Technology Council, Arizona’s only statewide organization serving the technology sector, fosters a climate of innovation to enhance technology in Arizona.
A trusted resource in strengthening Arizona’s technology industry, the Council proactively eliminates impediments that companies face, accelerates the entrepreneurial mindset in the state’s expanding innovation ecosystem, and works to create a destination for companies to be, thrive and stay.