Dr. Shin to Keynote Electric Aircraft Symposium

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Dr. Jaiwon Shin, NASA Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, will close the Friday, April 25 session of the eighth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium with his keynote address, “The NASA Aeronautics Vision and Strategy – How It Relates to Electric Aircraft.”


Dr. Shin (front, center) meets with students from NASA Langley Research Center in this 2010 photo. “Dr. Shin and the others seemed to be genuinely interested in our work at NASA Langley and gave great words of encouragement and advice after our presentations,” said [one of the students]. “They really made me feel as if I were contributing toward the future of NASA.”

 As Associate Administrator, Dr. Shin “manages the agency’s aeronautics research portfolio and guides its strategic direction,” according to his official NASA biography.  He co-chairs the National Science & Technology Council’s Aeronautics Science & Technology Subcommittee, a group of federal departments and agencies that fund aeronautics-related research.

Its first presidential policy for aeronautics research and development (R&D) was ratified by Executive Order 13419 in December 2006, and now guides such research until 2020.  Dr. Shin oversees and sets policies for an array of explorations into aerodynamics, propulsion, air traffic control – including NextGen, aviation safety, and the integration of such technologies into broader economic and strategic concerns at the national and international levels.

With myriad Aeronautics Research Mission Directorates (ARMD) and at least 37 such agreements with foreign countries, NASA hopes to lead efforts to “solve the challenges that still exist in our nation’s air transportation system: air traffic congestion, safety and environmental impacts.”  Directing these diverse efforts requires a person great skill and intellect.

dr shin nasa three planes

NASA’s Dr. Jaiwon Shin will have a large role in determining the look of future air travel

Very much in line with the CAFE Foundation’s goals, NASA’s endeavors will bring an enhanced aviation environment.  “Through green aviation, NASA is helping create safer, greener and more effective travel for everyone. Our green aviation goals are to enable fuel-efficient flight planning, and reduce aircraft fuel consumption, emissions and noise.” 

Below, we see one of the shortest and most exciting Ted Talks ever, by the  Green Flight Challenge’s winning team leader, Jack Langelaan.  Dr. Shin will help develop the transition from what Dr. Langelaan calls the “Lindbergh Moment” of the 2011, NASA-funded Green Flight Challenge to technologies that will help that moment become the arc of the future.

He should be the ideal candidate to oversee that transition.  Dr. Shin’s entry into his current position brought this statement from NASA Administrator Michael Griffin in 2008: “Jaiwon brings expert knowledge of aeronautics and technology to a critical position at NASA. He’s helped develop the aeronautics research roadmap for the 21st century. His leadership of the directorate will assure our continued recognition as the world’s premiere aeronautics research organization.”

His education and previous experience make him a highly-qualified administrator.  According to his NASA biography, “Dr. Shin received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia. His bachelor’s degree is from Yonsei University in Korea and his master’s degree is in mechanical engineering from the California State University, Long Beach. His honors include NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal, a NASA Group Achievement Award, Lewis Superior Accomplishment Award, three Lewis Group Achievement Awards, and an Air Force Team Award. He is a graduate of the Senior Executive Fellowship Program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has extensive experience in high speed research and icing, and has authored or co-authored more than 20 technical and journal papers.”

Dr. Shin served as Chief of the Aeronautics Projects Office at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and before that, Deputy Director of Aeronautics for the Center.  From 1998 to 2002, he was Chief of the Aviation Safety Program Office, and Deputy Program Manager for NASA’s Aviation Safety Program and Airspace Systems Program.

That his address at the EAS includes electric aircraft in NASA’s grand plan is a promising sign that the “Lindbergh Moment” of the 2011 Green Flight Challenge will find a champion at the highest levels of NASA.  He is a great presence and apt speaker for this coming age of green aviation.

Comments 1

  1. Unfortunately, the FAA has started an internal process to kill the development of electric aircraft, by prohibiting carriage of passengers in electric aircraft with Experimental airworthiness certificates. Since Experimental – Amateur Built and Experimental – Light Sport are the two categories where electric was most likely to launch, this is a serious problem. For details, see http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/FAA-Eyes-ELSA-Electric-Flight-Restrictions221665-1.html

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