Sheila Widnall, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering
Systems. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge. She has served
as Associate Provost, MIT, and as Secretary of the Air Force. As Secretary of
the Air Force, Dr. Widnall was responsible for all affairs of the Department of
the Air Force. Dr. Widnall was also responsible for research and development and
other activities prescribed by the President or the Secretary of Defense.
Since returning to MIT, she has been active in the Lean Aerospace Initiative,
with special emphasis on the space and policy focus teams. Her research activities
in fluid dynamics have included the following: boundary layer stability, unsteady
hydrodynamic loads on fully wetted and supercavitating hydrofoils of finite span,
unsteady lifting-surface theory, unsteady air forces on oscillating cylinders
in subsonic and supersonic flow, unsteady leading-edge vortex separation from
slender delta wings, tip-vortex aerodynamics, helicopter noise, aerodynamics of
high-speed ground transportation vehicles, vortex stability, aircraft-wake studies,
turbulence, and transition.