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Coverstone Named AIAA Fellow


Written by Susan Mumm

Aerospace Engineering at Illinois Prof. Victoria L. Coverstone has been named a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Coverstone, who also is Associate Dean for Graduate and Professional Programs for the College of Engineering at Illinois, was one of 26 Fellows in AIAA’s 2013 class, representing one new Fellow per 1,000 AIAA members. With her latest honor, she joins AE faculty members Michael B. Bragg, David L. Carroll, Harry Hilton, John E. Prussing and Wayne C. Solomon as AIAA Fellows.

Aerospace Engineering at Illinois Prof. Victoria L. Coverstone
Aerospace Engineering at Illinois Prof. Victoria L. Coverstone
Aerospace Engineering at Illinois Prof. Victoria L. Coverstone

In addition to her teaching and research support and accomplishments, Coverstone’s position as Associate Dean, co-founder of a company (CU Aerospace), testimony before Congressional committees, and chairmanship of the Council of Institutions for the University Space Research Association contributed to her being named a Fellow, according to Prussing.

She earned all her degrees from AE at Illinois: a bachelor’s in 1985, a master’s in 1986, and a PhD in 1992, after which she became an assistant professor in the Department. Coverstone’s research activities are dynamics, control, and design of aerospace systems. Specific applications are the design and control of spacecraft and the design of optimal spacecraft trajectories. She has established a close working relationship with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) researchers and continues to work with NASA on large space projects. She was recently named a Visiting Investigators Partner at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to provide guidance for mass margin allocation and management of the space launch system.

In her position as Associate Dean, Coverstone leads the Office of Engineering Graduate and Professional Programs. The office oversees graduate education programs in the college, including online courses and extramural programs, diversity programs for graduate students, professional degree programs, and other issues affecting the 2,700 graduate students in the College of Engineering.

Among honors, Coverstone has been recognized frequently for her teaching skills, including an Honorable Mention in the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2001) and the College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award (2001), and for her advising abilities, including advising six first-place teams in the national Undergraduate Team Space Design Competition (1994-95, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2007-08). Coverstone also was recognized in 2008 with the NASA Space Act Award for technical innovation of the “Ultra-Large Solar Sail Technology.”