Principal scientist at AFRL earns engineering fellow honor

Dr. Carl Tilmann, principal scientist with the Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate, Aerospace Vehicles Division, has been named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Designation as an ASME fellow recognizes "exceptional engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession." The title of fellow has been awarded to only about 2 percent of more than 130,000 ASME members, according to the organization's website,

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A world leader in aerospace vehicle technologies, Tilmann has directly contributed to the development of aerodynamic simulations and experiments, advanced air vehicle concepts, aerodynamic flow control and aero-structural interactions.

His early work in flow-control helped to develop and demonstrate many concepts to improve aerodynamic performance of military and commercial aircraft. He has managed a number of technology development programs for the Air Force and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which have culminated in large-scale wind tunnel demonstrations at government and industry facilities.

In Tilmann’s current capacity, he serves as the principal scientific advisor for an organization of more than 250 government, military and onsite-contractor researchers executing the $120 million-per-year portfolio in aerospace vehicle technology.

With Tilmann in this role, the Aerospace Vehicles Division has made several significant research advances that contribute to the effectiveness of the Air Force, including many ground and flight demonstrations.

As an activist for the engineering profession, Tilmann is a local and regional leader in promoting the future of the engineering profession to future engineers through his activism in K-12 STEM and university outreach. He has organized and led dozens of STEM activities at regional festivals, local schools and science fairs.

“I am ecstatic to see Dr. Tilmann receive this well-deserved award,” said Col. Tim West, acting director of the Aerospace Systems Directorate. “Both personally and professionally, Carl personifies the outstanding engineering achievements the ASME Fellows program was established to recognize. We’re fortunate to have him on the AFRL team.”

Tilmann holds a doctorate degree from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the George Washington University, Joint Institute for the Advancement of Flight Sciences, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia and a bachelor’s degree from Trine University (formerly Tri-State University), Angola, Indiana.

He has published seven journal articles, multiple U.S. Air Force technical reports, more than 40 conference papers and a book chapter.

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