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Stephen Corda Joins Space Institute as Chair of Aviation Systems Program

Stephen Corda, former flight researcher for the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, has assumed duties as Program Chair for the Aviation Systems and Flight Research Group at The University of Tennessee Space Institute.

“We are very pleased to welcome Corda to our Aviation Systems program faculty,” said John E. Caruthers, UT associate vice president and chief operating officer of UTSI. “He comes to us with excellent credentials for this position. We look forward to a new era of achievement and growth of the Aviation Systems program under his leadership.”

Caruthers thanked Peter Solies, Aviation Systems associate professor, for serving as interim Chair since Ralph Kimberlin retired last September.

Corda was at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California, for more than twelve years serving in various capacities including propulsion research engineer, project chief engineer for the SR-71 Blackbird and F-15B supersonic test bed, Chief of the Propulsion and Performance Branch, and as a project manager for the NASA F-15B. During his tenure at Dryden, he flew as a NASA flight test engineer in the F/A-18, T-38, and F-15 aircraft.

Before joining NASA in 1990, Corda was a member of the senior professional staff in the Aeronautics Department of The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md., for two years. He conducted research and testing in hypersonic scramjet propulsion and hypersonic vehicle design. He began his flight test career conducting research with the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Mad

In 2001, Corda left NASA to become a master instructor in the Performance Branch at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards where he taught courses in aeronautical engineering and flight test techniques. As a U.S. Air Force civilian flight test engineer, he flew in the F-16, T-38, and C-12 aircraft.

In 2003, Corda joined the faculty of the Aerospace Engineering Department at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. He taught courses to midshipmen in aerodynamics, aircraft design, wind tunnel testing, and flight test engineering. In 2004, he returned to NASA.

A graduate of McNamara High School, Forestville, Md., Corda earned three degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, including his Ph.D. in 1988. He also received an Aeronautics Diploma from the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Belgium where he conducted research on hypersonic waveriders in a Mach 15 gun tunnel.

Corda is an avid aerobatic pilot and holds FAA certificates as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, instrument instructor, multi-engine, seaplane and glider pilot, and airframe and power plant mechanic.