Deal, Leo, Merret and Whalen Selected for AE Alumni Awards


Aerospace Engineering alumni Stanley A. Deal, BS 86, and Donald J. Leo, BS 90, are winners of the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Awards. Jason M. Merret, BS 99, MS 01, PhD 04, and Edward A. Whalen, BS 01, MS 03, PhD 07, are winners of the 2014 Outstanding Recent Alumni Awards.

The alumni were honored during the AE Awards Banquet on April 22, 2014.

Stanley A. Deal

Stanley A. Deal with Department Head Philippe Geubelle
Stanley A. Deal with Department Head Philippe Geubelle
Deal is senior vice president for Commercial Aviation Services at Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Everett, Washington. In this role, he leads Boeing’s commercial airplane customer support and after-market products and services.

The organization provides customer support for airlines around the world and consists of five services businesses as well as several subsidiary companies, including Aviall, CDG and Jeppesen. Deal was named to this position in March 2014. More than 11,000 employees worldwide provide a wide range of services and 24/7 support, including material management, airplane conversions, upgrades and repairs, navigation and planning solutions, operational efficiency systems and flight and maintenance training. These capabilities are part of a comprehensive portfolio of services, support and solutions collectively known as the Boeing Edge.

Most recently, Deal was vice president and general manager of Supply Chain Management and Operations for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Appointed to this position in August 2011, he was responsible for the overall leadership of Commercial Airplanes Supplier Management, Fabrication, Propulsion Systems and Quality.

Prior to that, Deal was vice president and general manager of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Supplier Management organization. Named to this position in January 2010, he was responsible for the overall strategy, contracting, daily management and development of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes supply chain for all commercial airplane programs.

Deal served as vice president of Asia Pacific Sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, a position he assumed in November 2006. In that position, Deal was responsible for sales in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, Vietnam, Hawaii and other Pacific Island markets.

Deal also has served as vice president of Sales and Marketing Operations, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and, previously, helped launch Connexion by Boeing, in which he served as vice president of Global Network Sales. He led sales activities in the commercial airlines and executive services aviation markets worldwide.

Deal joined Boeing in 1986 and held various leadership positions within Boeing, including leading integrated product teams for propulsion systems and structures on the 717 program and serving as Japan Airlines program manager on the MD-11 program.

In addition to his Boeing career, Deal served as vice president and general manager for Fairchild Aerospace, for which he was responsible for many commercial airliner programs, including managing the supply chain and strategy. Under his leadership, Fairchild successfully developed and introduced a new airliner program and oversaw the certification and market introduction of the 328 jet aircraft.

In addition to his AE degree, Deal holds a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University.

Donald J. Leo

Donald J. Leo with Prof. Larry Bergman
Donald J. Leo with Prof. Larry Bergman
Leo has been Dean of the University of Georgia at Athens (UGA) College of Engineering since July 1, 2013. The College was established in April 2012 to meet a need for more Georgia-trained engineers. The College was formed by merging the University’s two engineering academic units, the Faculty of Engineering and the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, into a single engineering academic unit.

Previously, Leo was a professor of mechanical engineering and vice president and executive director of the National Capital Region operations of Virginia Tech. There he served as associate dean for research and graduate studies at the Virginia Tech College of Engineering. Leo successfully grew the research enterprise at Virginia Tech while creating partnerships with government and industry, underscoring the institution’s land-grant mission of service to the state.

As vice president and executive director of the National Capital Region operations of Virginia Tech, Leo integrated and coordinated the activities of Virginia Tech in the greater Washington, D.C., area. From 2007-2011, he served as associate dean for research and graduate studies for the Virginia Tech College of Engineering, which has approximately 8,000 students. As associate dean, he led Virginia Tech in its collaboration with the University of Virginia and the government of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the founding of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

From 2005-2007 and in conjunction with his position at Virginia Tech, Leo served as a program manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a unit of the Department of Defense, For DARPA he created programs in the field of biologically inspired materials and systems and managed a portfolio of approximately $50 million in interdisciplinary research.

Leo joined the faculty of Virginia Tech in 1998. His research focuses on smart materials, and he has served as principal investigator on 50 research grants and contracts with approximately $12 million in extramural funding. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 research publications and recently founded the Biomolecular Materials and Systems Laboratory, which explores how biological materials and signaling processes can be used to develop engineering devices.

Leo wrote the textbook, Engineering Analysis of Smart Material Systems (John Wiley and Sons, 2007), which is used at the senior undergraduate and graduate level at several colleges and universities. He created a course on active materials and smart structures that is based on his textbook and continues to be taught at Virginia Tech.

Leo is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a recipient of the Virginia Tech Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and in 2004 was named AE at Illinois Outstanding Recent Alumnus.

In addition to his AE at Illinois degree, he earned a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Buffalo. He earned his bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jason M. Merret

Department Head Philippe Geubelle with Jason M. Merret and Jason's father, James Merret, Jr.
Department Head Philippe Geubelle with Jason M. Merret and Jason's father, James Merret, Jr.
As a technical specialist for Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. in Savannah, Georgia, since 2004, Merret conducts preliminary analysis of future subsonic and supersonic business aircraft configurations, performs analysis including estimation and integration of aerodynamics, weights, stability and control, and propulsion into a basic multi-disciplinary optimization program, and assists in a number of wind tunnel planning and testing activities in subsonic, transonic, and supersonic wind tunnels.

Upon joining the Preliminary Design group at Gulfstream in August 2004. Merret began working on the team tasked with the initial design of the G650. In 2006 he transitioned off of the G650 project and joined the Supersonic Technology group. During this time he participated in numerous wind tunnel tests ranging from acoustics to propulsion design and integration. It was during one of these tests in 2010-2011 when he received a NASA group achievement award for the testing of a Large-Scale Low-boom inlet.

In 2011 and 2012 Merret returned to the G650 project as a performance data analyst during the company and certification flight testing in Roswell, New Mexico. Merret continued with the G650 project though certification and also coordinated drag testing on the G650 in conjunction with the flight test organization at Gulfstream.

Throughout his professional career Merret has been an active member of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). As a member of the local Savannah section he served as treasurer, vice chair, and chair. In addition, Merret joined the AIAA Aircraft design TC as an associate member in 2008 and became a full member in 2012.

Merret also teaches aerospace classes as an Adjunct Faculty member of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

As a student, Merret worked with Emeritus Prof. Michael B. Bragg on high angle of attack reentry vehicle aerodynamics and Smart Icing Systems research in the area of flight mechanics and atmospheric disturbances for commuter aircraft. He also was a project leader for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Design/Build/Fly Team in building a remote control unmanned aerial vehicle for the AIAA design contest.

Edward A. Whalen

From right, Department Head Philippe Geubelle with Edward A. Whalen; Edward's father, Edward Whalen; and the younger Edward's wife, Kelly Whalen
From right, Department Head Philippe Geubelle with Edward A. Whalen; Edward's father, Edward Whalen; and the younger Edward's wife, Kelly Whalen
Whalen is an Aerodynamics Engineer for Boeing Research & Technology in St. Louis, Missouri.
He joined the Flight Sciences Technology organization in Boeing in January 2008, becoming the focal for Active Flow Control applications supporting Boeing Commercial Airplanes that focus on AFC for high lift systems and a vertical tail. The latter project evolved from a Boeing internal R&D effort into a major Boeing-NASA collaborative effort with Whalen as Boeing Project Manager. The project involved four Boeing organizations (Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Boeing Defense Systems, Boeing Test & Evaluation, and Boeing Research and Technology) and a number of university suppliers. This work led to the successful demonstration of AFC on a full-scale 757 vertical tail in the NASA Ames 40’ by 80’ NFAC wind tunnel in October-November 2013. The accomplishments of this project recently were reported in Aviation Week.

Whalen also served as Program Manager and Capture Team Lead for a NASA SMAAART proposal to design a flight test AFC system for a 757 vertical tail as part of the 2014 ecoDemonstrator program. This contract is valued at approximately $3 million and was awarded in September. A follow-on contract is expected in October and will have a value around $12 million.

In 2011 Whalen became the manager for the Flight Sciences Technology project on Active Flow Control actuator development. He was awarded two patents for developments he made in AFC actuators. Also that year, he was selected for the Boeing “Engineering Career Partnership” program as an “Early Career Future Leader.” He was one of only 100 engineers selected to the program Boeing-wide.

Boeing has selected Whalen to represent the company on the AIAA Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee. In that role, he proposed a student scholarship for short courses (continuing education) that the FDCT and the AIAA approved, and he is working to implement the scholarship process in 2014. He will also act as Deputy Chair for the 7th AIAA Flow Control conference, which will be at the new AIAA AVIATION 2014 conference in Atlanta.

Whalen also was selected to represent Boeing on a panel discussing “industry perspectives on preparing a new generation of engineers” at the 2013 ASME International Design and Engineering Technical Conference in Portland, Oregon.