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John Schmisseur

John Schmisseur

John Schmisseur

Executive Director


Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering
B. H. Goethert Professor
University of Tennessee Space Institute
411 B. H. Goethert Parkway, MS-03
Tullahoma, TN 37388-9700

Phone: (931) 393-7274
Mobile: (571) 723-5515

Curriculum Vitae



  • B.S. Aerospace Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 1990
  • M.S. Aerospace Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 1992
    Thesis: “An Experimental Study of Fluctuating Wall Pressures in a Highly Swept, Sharp Fin-Induced, Mach 5 Shock Wave/Turbulent Boundary Layer Interaction”; advisor: D.S. Dolling
  • Ph.D., Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University, 1997
    Dissertation: “Receptivity of the Boundary Layer on a Mach-4 Elliptic Cone to Laser-Generated Localized Freestream Perturbations”; advisor: S.P. Schneider
  • Department of Defense Acquisition Professional Development Program
    • Level III Certified in Science and Technology Management, 2012

Air Force Experience (1991-2014)

  • 2013-2014: Chief of the Energy, Power & Propulsion Sciences Division – Responsible for division strategic direction, fiscal performance, personnel development and management, and coordination with other agencies.
  • 2001-2014: Program Manager, Air Force Office of Scientific Research – Responsible for the strategic direction, development, execution and communication of Air Force basic research in high-speed aerodynamics and the related scientific disciplines
    • Program Manager for Aerothermodynamics and Turbulence:
    • Program Manager for Flow Control and Aeroelasticity: 2005,
    • Program Manager for Test and Evaluation: 2006-2007, 2008
  • 1998-2001: Research Aerospace Engineer, Computational Sciences Branch, Air Vehicles Directorate. Numerical simulation of viscous hypersonic flows.
  • 1997-1998: Research Aerospace Engineer, Experimental Operations and Diagnostics Branch, Air Vehicles Directorate. Experimental investigation of supersonic viscous flows.
  • 1993-1997: Doctoral Student at Purdue University, supported by USAF Palace Knight Program. Conducted experimental investigation of supersonic boundary-layer transition and developed optical perturbation technique for high-speed wind tunnels.
  • 1992-1993: Aerospace Engineer, Optical Diagnostics Group, Air Vehicles Directorate. Developed and applied optical diagnostic methods for hypersonic flows.
  • 1991-1992; Masters degree candidate at The University of Texas at Austin, supported by USAF Palace Knight Program. Conducted experimental investigation of shock wave/turbulent boundary layer interactions.

Professional Service

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Fellow)

  • 2013-Present, Deputy Director, Aerospace Sciences Group
  • 2006 – 2014, Member of AIAA Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee
    • Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee Chair 2011-2013
    • Flow Control Subcommittee Chair 2009-2011
    • Secretary/Treasurer, 2008-2009
    • Fluid Mechanics Chair, AIAA 46th Aerospace Sciences Meeting,
      Reno, NV
  • 2005-2006, Member of AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Technical Committee
  • 2006 – Chair, AIAA 37th Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference,
    San Francisco, CA
  • Reviewer for Journal of Propulsion and Power, AIAA Journal

NATO Research & Technology Organization (RTO)

  • 2012- present, Member of AVT 205, Assessment of Predictive Capabilities for Aerothermodynamic Heating of Hypersonic Systems
  • 2005 – 2009, Directed Task Group AVT-136, Assessment of Aerothermodynamic Flight Prediction Tools through Ground and Flight Experimentation
  • 1998 – 2002, Topic Organizer for WG 10, Technologies for Propelled Hypersonic Flight

National Space and Missile Materials Symposium

  • Steering Committee member, 2008-2014

Editorial Board – Journal of Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 2013-Present

  • Chair of Independent Panel for 2011 Review of NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Program
  • Member of Independent Panel for Review of NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Program – 2009, 2013
  • Member of Independent Panel for 2013 Review of NASA GRC Computational Fluid Dynamics Capabilities
  • Member of Assessment Team for Boundary Layer Transition Prediction Methods for Shuttle Return to Flight

ABET Aerospace Program Evaluator – 2013

Honors and Awards
  • 2013 Elected AFRL Fellow: The highest honor awarded within AFRL with a selection rate limited to 0.2% of the Professional Technical Staff
  • 2012 Elected Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • 2012 Air Force Civilian Achievement Award
  • 2008 Air Force Science and Engineering Award in Research Management
    For exemplary leadership in directing the efforts of more than sixty leading experts from the Air Force, NASA and Dept of Energy in creating a multi-agency national strategic vision for advancement of hypersonic science and technology
  • 1991 Selected for Air Force Palace Knight program

Publications and Communications

Refereed Articles

  • Schmisseur, J.D. and Dolling, D.S., “Fluctuating Wall Pressures Near Separation in Highly Swept Turbulent Interactions”, AIAA Journal, Vol. 32, June 1994, pp. 1151-1157.
  • Schmisseur, J.D. and Maurice, M.S., “Laser Velocimetry Seed-Particle Behavior in Shear Layers at Mach 12”, J. Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 185-187.
  • Ladoon, Dale W., Schneider, Steven P. and Schmisseur, John D., “Resonance in a Forward-Facing Cavity at Mach 4 Using Controlled Perturbations”, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 35, No. 5, 1998.
  • Schmisseur, J.D., Collicott, Steven H. and Schneider, Steven P., “Laser-Generated Localized Freestream Perturbations in Supersonic and Hypersonic Flows”, AIAA Journal, Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 666-671, April, 2000.
  • Schmisseur, J.D. and Gaitonde, D.V., “Numerical Simulation of Strong Crossing Shock-Wave/Turbulent Boundary-Layer Interactions”, AIAA Journal, Vol.39 no.9 (1742-1749), 2001
  • Schmisseur, J.D., Schneider, S.P. and Collicott, S.H., “Supersonic boundary-layer response to optically generated freestream disturbances “, Experiments in Fluids, Volume 33, Number 2, August, 2002
  • Schmisseur, J.D. and Gaitonde, D.V, “Numerical Simulation of Mach Reflections in Steady Flows”, Shock Waves, Vol. 21, No. 6, p. 499-509, 2011
  • Schmisseur, J.D., “Introduction: Assessment of Aerothermodynamic Flight Prediction Tools through Ground and Flight Experimentation”, Journal of Progress in Aerospace Sciences, Vol. 48-49, p. 2-7, Jan-Feb 2012.
    • Guest Editor of this edition of JPAS

International Symposia

  • Schmisseur, J.D., Schneider, S.P., Salyer, T.R. and Collicott, S.H., “A Repeatable Laser-Generated Localized Perturbation for Application to Fluid Mechanics”, Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on Applications of Laser Techniques to Fluid Mechanics. Lisbon, Portugal. 8-11 July 1996.
  • Zheltovodov, AA., Maksimov, A.I., Schulein, E., Gaitonde, Datta V. and Schmisseur, J.D., “Verification of Crossing-Shock-Wave/Boundary Layer Interaction Computations with the k-ε Turbulence Model”, Proceedings of the International Conference on the Methods of Aerophysical Research (ICMAR) 2000, part 1, Novosibirsk, Russia, pp. 231-241.
  • Schmisseur, J.D. and Gaitonde, D.V., “Numerical Simulation of Mach Reflection in Steady Flow”, proceedings of the 23rd International Symposium on Shock Waves, Arlington, TX, July 2001

Conference Papers and Technical Reports

  • Schmisseur, J.D., and Dolling, D. S., Unsteady separation in sharp fin-induced shock wave/turbulent boundary layer interaction at Mach 5, AIAA-1992-748, Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 30th, Reno, NV, Jan 6-9, 1992
  • Smith, L., Tyler, C. and Schmisseur, J., “Advanced Diagnostics Research for High Speed Aerodynamic Testing,” SAE Technical Paper 922007, 1992, doi:10.4271/922007
  • Schmisseur, John D., An Experimental Study of Fluctuating Wall Pressures in a Highly Swept, Sharp Fin-Induced, Mach 5 Shock Wave/Turbulent Boundary Layer Interactions, WL-TR-93-3058, January 1993, Wright Laboratory Technical Report
  • Schmisseur, J. D. and Maurice, M. S., An investigation of laser velocimetry particle behavior within flow structures at Mach 12, AIAA-1994-668, Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 32nd, Reno, NV, Jan 10-13, 1994
  • Smith, Linda G., Maurice, Mark S., Tyler, Charles, Schmisseur, John D. and Seibert, George L., Developments in Laser-Based Diagnostics for Wind Tunnels in the Aeromechanics Division: 1987-1992, WL-TR-94-3054, May 1994, Wright Laboratory Technical Report
  • Schmisseur, J. D., Young, J. O. and Schneider, S. P., Purdue Univ., Measurements of boundary-layer transition on the flat sidewall of a rectangular Mach 4 quiet-flow nozzle, AIAA-1996-852, Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 34th, Reno, NV, Jan. 15-18, 1996
  • Schneider, Steven P., Collicott, Steven H., Schmisseur, J. D., Ladoon, Dale, Randall, Laura A., Munro, Scott E., and Salyer, T. R., Laminar-turbulent transition research in the Purdue Mach-4 Quiet-Flow Ludwieg Tube, AIAA-1996-2191
    Advanced Measurement and Ground Testing Technology Conference, 19th, New Orleans, LA, June 17-20, 1996
  • Ladoon, D. W., Schmisseur, J. D., and Schneider, S. P., Purdue Univ., Laser-induced resonance in a forward-facing cavity at Mach 4, AIAA-1997-339 Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 35th, Reno, NV, Jan. 6-9, 1997
  • Schmisseur, J. D., Schneider, Steven P. and Collicott, Steven H., Receptivity of the Mach-4 boundary layer on an elliptic cone to laser-generated localized freestream perturbations
    AIAA-1998-532, Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 36th, Reno, NV, Jan. 12-15, 1998
  • Schmisseur, J. D., Collicott, Steven H., and Schneider, Steven P., Laser-generated localized freestream perturbations in supersonic/hypersonic flows, AIAA-1998-2495
    Advanced Measurement and Ground Testing Technology Conference, 20th, Albuquerque, NM, June 15-18, 1998
  • Schmisseur, J. D., Schneider, Steven P., and Collicott, Steven H., Response of the Mach-4 boundary layer on an elliptic cone to laser-generated freestream perturbations , AIAA-1999-410, Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 37th, Reno, NV, Jan. 11-14, 1999
  • Buck, Gregory A., Kimmel, Roger L., and Schmisseur, John D., Characterization of acoustic sources for hypersonic receptivity research, AIAA-1999-3708
    AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference, 30th, Norfolk, VA, June 28-July 1, 1999
  • Schmisseur, J. D., Poggie, J., and Kimmel, R. L., Acoustic source for compressible flow receptivity experiments, AIAA-2000-285, Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 38th, Reno, NV, Jan. 10-13, 2000
  • Kimmel, Roger L., Poggie, Jonathan, and Schmisseur, John D., Effect of pressure gradients on axisymmetric hypersonic boundary layer stability, AIAA-2000-538
    Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 38th, Reno, NV, Jan. 10-13, 2000
  • Schmisseur, J. D. and Gaitonde, Datta V., Numerical investigation of new topologies in strong crossing shock-wave/turbulent boundary-layer interactions, AIAA-2000-931
    Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 38th, Reno, NV, Jan. 10-13, 2000
  • Schmisseur, J. D., Gaitonde, Datta V., and Zheltovodov, Alexander A., Exploration of 3-D shock turbulent boundary layer interactions through combined experimental/computational analysis, AIAA-2000-2378, AIAA Aerodynamic Measurement Technology and Ground Testing Conference, 21st, Denver, CO, June 19-22, 2000
  • Schmisseur, J. D. and Gaitonde, Datta V., Numerical simulation of Mach reflection in steady flows, AIAA-2001-741, Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 39th, Reno, NV, Jan. 8-11, 2001
  • Walker, S. and Schmisseur, J. D., CFD validation of shock-shock interaction flow fields, AIAA-2002-436, AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 40th, Reno, NV, Jan. 14-17, 2002

Keynote Lectures

  • Keynote speaker at The (2012) Annual Conference on Materials, Composites, and Structures, Cocoa Beach, FL
  • US national report on Science and Technology at the 2011 AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, San Francisco, CA
  • Plenary lecture on basic science in aerothermodynamics at the 7th European Aerothermodynamics Symposium – 2011, Brugge, Belgium
  • Invited speaker and panel member, 2010 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, Boulder, CO
  • Panel member for 2009 AIAA New Horizons Forum basic research session
  • Plenary speaker at 2008 AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference
  • Approximately 75 additional invited conference, workshop, and academic seminar presentations

Specialist Meeting and Workshop Organization

  • AFOSR/NASA/Sandia Ablation Workshops (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
  • AFOSR/Air Mobility Command Symposium – Innovative Aerodynamics: Potential Solutions for Improving Mobility Efficiency (2010)
  • AFOSR/DoD Joint Technology Office for Hypersonics/ AIAA HyTASP PC – Emerging Capabilities for the Design and Analysis of High-Speed/Hypersonic Systems (2012)
  • Annual program review for AFOSR Principal Investigators (2001-2011)
  • Annual format varies from 20 speaker single program review with
    50-75 attendees to multi-agency/multi-portfolio reviews with 100+
    presentations and 300+ attendees
  • Numerous specialist workshops for the development of research strategy and initiatives

Leadership and Notable Accomplishments

  • Created and secured national leadership support for the joint Air Force Research Laboratory/ Australian Defense Science and Technology Organization HIFiRE program – Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation
    • $60M program is the largest scientific collaboration between the Air
      Force and Australia
    • HIFiRE is considered one of the marquee national hypersonic
      programs and is unique in its goal to provide hypersonic flight data
      on basic scientific phenomena
    • HIFiRE has received the 2012 International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences von Kármán Award for International Cooperation
  • Envisioned and led approximately 60 subject matter experts from multiple agencies in the definition of the National Hypersonic Foundational Research Plan
    • The plan unifies the scientific objectives of the DoD, NASA and DoE in the scientific disciplines essential for hypersonic technologies
    • The plan has been adopted by the DoD Joint Technology Office for Hypersonics as the national basic research plan for hypersonics
  • Collaborated with NASA senior leadership to establish joint support for three National Hypersonic Science Centers which addressing priority scientific gaps in the areas of aerothermodynamics, high-temperature materials and structures, and propulsion
    • The centers represent a joint investment of $30M in new funding over five years
    • The centers support research in over 20 academic institutions
  • Organized the Hypersonic Academic Research Partnership which coordinates over $20M in annual funding from five federal and international organizations invested in 11 major academic research centers
  • Active contributor to the NATO Research & Technology Organization, most recently coordinating the scientific contributions of five countries as the leader of a Task Group on the extension of ground test and computational simulations to flight research
  • Organized transfer of NASA M6 Quiet Tunnel to Texas A&M
  • By request, organizer of efforts to utilize leading-edge scientific tools to identify sources and mitigation of critical aerodynamic issues for the Falcon HTV-2 and X-51 programs
  • Member of the AFRL Steering Committee for the development of Micro Air Vehicles

Management Experience

  • Responsible for the development and management of well over $100M in Air Force sponsored research during the past decade
  • In 2008 managed three portfolios simultaneously with a total annual investment of over $20M in approximately 135 projects supporting over 250 researchers
  • Teamed with Air Force Research Laboratory Chief Scientist Corp to develop laboratory wide Discovery Challenge Thrusts (basic research initiatives) that address Air Force Flagship technology development objectives (Focused Long-Term Challenges)
  • Partnered with senior technical leadership in the Test and Evaluation community to define a process for ensuring basic research investments addressed technical priorities identified by the T&E community at an AF corporate level
  • Proactive in helping academic research community navigate ITAR restrictions

Advising and Researcher Development

  • Featured speaker at the 2010 and 2011 American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics Young Investigator Luncheon
  • Developed and taught an AFRL workshop on intramural proposal development attended by over 300 scientists and engineers from eight of the ten AFRL Research Directorates
  • Active in the recruitment and selection of new Program Managers within AFOSR
  • Developed with AFRL leadership an innovative initiative to identify and support potential future research leaders within the Air Force Research Laboratory
  • Frequent advisor for young investigators who have expressed an interest in performing research sponsored by the DoD on the development of their research proposals and academic research programs
  • Mentor of eight new AFOSR program managers and one DARPA program manager on the development, management and presentation of their portfolios
  • Increased the number of women Principal Investigators supported by portfolio by 500%
  • Frequent author of letters of endorsement for awards, tenure and endowed chair positions for researchers within academia
  • Advisor to DARPA, Office of Naval Research and NASA on development of science and technology programs