Awards, Events, Research, March 2015

The American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, The Vertical Flight Technical Society, recently announced the 2015 recipients of its prestigious awards program. The title of Honorary Fellow is granted to highly distinguished members “who have made exceptional leadership, innovative or other meritorious contributions that have significantly advanced AHS International and the vertical flight community during their career.” Only two individuals can receive the award per year. The 2015 Honorary Fellows include:

Michael S. Torok, Ph.D. – (NY D ’85) is the vice president for the CH-53K Program at Sikorsky Aircraft. He has been an active AHS member since 1986 and has made exceptional leadership, innovative and technical contributions in the advancement and development of rotary wing aircraft over a career spanning more than 25 years.

Tommie L. Wood – (TX H ’69) is the senior technical fellow at Bell Helicopter. Having worked at Bell for 50 years, Wood has been a key figure in all major development programs undertaken at the company in the past decades, contributing numerous and significant innovations in the field, as well as mentoring generations of rotary wing engineers. Wood has also been a longtime leader in AHS, having joined in 1967.

Read the press release for the complete list of winners to be recognized at the Grand Awards Banquet on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 during AHS International’s 71st Annual Forum and Technology Display in Virginia.


The New Jersey Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, at Stevens Institute of Technology, is hosting a Pi Mile Run/Walk 5k for a Cure for Alzheimer’s. All proceeds from the event will go to the Alzheimer’s Association in a search for a cure. The run will be on Saturday, April 25th along the beautiful waterfront in Hoboken, NJ overlooking the NYC skyline – easily accessible via public transportation. Registration is just $27 and, if you register by March 25th you can get a free t-shirt. Details here.

Pi Mile Run


The Engineer reported on new research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition, showing “how the complex motion of a sidewinder can be described in terms of two wave motions — vertical and horizontal body waves — and how changing the phase and amplitude of the waves enables snakes to achieve exceptional manoeuvrability.”

The researchers are from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the Georgia Institute of Technology, including professor Howard M. Choset, Ph.D. (PA D ’90), from CMU’s Robotics Institute. “We’ve been programming snake robots for years and have figured out how to get these robots to crawl amidst rubble and through or around pipes,” said Dr. Choset. Click here to read the article


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