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UTSI Graduate Yoshiyuki Niwa Honored by Helicopter Society

Yoshiyuki Niwa, a graduate of The University of Tennessee Space Institute, has received the Technical Fellow Award by the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, the Vertical Flight Society.

Only four AHS members received the award this year during a May meeting in Phoenix, Ariz. It was given to Niwa “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the goals and objectives of the vertical flight industry.”

Niwa, retired from the Japanese Defense Agency, and en route to Oregon, stopped by the Institute recently to visit with John E. Caruthers, UT associate vice president and chief operating officer of UTSI, and K.C. Reddy, acting dean for academic affairs.

He then drove to Huntsville for a brief visit with James (Jimmy) Wu, his major professor while Niwa earned his master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering at UTSI in August 1978. Wu, now retired from UTSI, resides in Huntsville.

Niwa’s wife Yasuko accompanied him on his latest visit to the United States, and their daughter, Hiroko Niwa, now associated with Audi Japan, flew in to Nashville to join her parents and accompany them to Coffee County.

Wu has pleasant memories of when Niwa was his student – the last of four Japanese students who studied under him at the Institute.

“When Niwa came, he already had been exposed to some practical technical skills,” his professor said. “I remember well that when I mentioned some theoretical aspects of phenomena, he could directly connect it to some real applied case he had experienced. We had good times together when he was located directly across from my office, and we had many good discussions.”

After retiring, Niwa moved to Kuwana, outside Nagoya City, his wife’s home town. Their daughter now resides in their former house near Tokyo and rides the train to work in Audi’s After Sales Division.

“Hiroko speaks English fluently,” Wu said. “This is due to her growing- up years in Manchester where she attended school.” While in school, Wu said, Hiroko resided with August and his wife, the late Dorothy Dobert.

The professor was especially appreciative that the family visited him in Huntsville since they returned to Manchester the same day to have dinner with Mr. Dobert.

Wu said that after retiring, Niwa became “very active in the “Old Boys Soccer Team” – with members ranging in age from 40 to 84.” This team, he said, plays worldwide and last year played in the international competitions in Istanbul, Turkey.