Former AE Chair Bob Loewy endows new lecture series

Former AE Chair Bob Loewy endows new lecture series
Atlanta, GA

Dr. Robert Loewy is making a huge impact on the School of Aerospace Engineering.

Dr. Robert G. Loewy and his wife Lila S. Loewy have established a lectureship in rotorcraft technology at the School of Aerospace Engineering. The couple are seen here in April of 2014 when the School unveiled the former GT-AE chair's formal portrait.

Even in retirement, Dr. Robert Loewy is making a huge impact on the School of Aerospace Engineering. In December, the former GT-AE chair and professor made a generous gift that established the Lila S. and Robert G. Loewy Ph.D. Lectureship in Rotorcraft Technology.

The series will enable GT-AE to bring the top thinkers, innovators, and industry stakeholders to the Atlanta campus to explore the future of rotorcraft technology in a public forum. The inaugural lecture will be held in March, 2015.

“I’ve been impressed for a long time with the utility of rotorcraft technology,” said Loewy, a onetime president (and board chairman) of the American Helicopter Society (AHS) who also served as the GT-AE chair from 1993 until 2008.

“If you think about how rotorcraft are used – in the military, in emergency rescues, in transportation – you can see that they are very important to society. But at the same time, most young people are not aware of how complex the technology is.”

Current AE Chair, W.R.T. Oakes Professor Vigor Yang applauded his predecessor’s generosity and vision.

“The foundation of our School’s greatness derives in no small part from the commitment of great minds, like Bob Loewy,” said Yang.

“He was tireless in his leadership of our School when he was here, and he continues to guide our legacy to new heights now. We are humbled and very grateful for his generosity.”

This photo of the Loewy's was taken in 2001 during Robert Loewy's tenure as AE school chair.

Loewy said the time was right for the establishment of an endowed rotorcraft lectureship. New generations of engineers need to identify and meet the challenge of this highly complex field, he said, but they won’t do it if it’s not promoted by a credible source, like Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering.

“Rotorcraft technology is often said to be 40 years behind that of fixed-wing, by experts in both fields, but that can change,” he said.

“Georgia Tech has had the first and largest and only continually funded Rotorcraft Center of Excellence in the country. It is continually rewarded with new contracts, because it has been aggressively pursuing cutting-edge research. I think there’s a greater potential interest there than at any other U.S. university.”

But cut-and-dried practicality is not the only reason behind Loewy’s generosity. 
“Georgia Tech and the School of Aerospace Engineering are close to my heart,” he said.

“I spent a lot of years working with the faculty and administration there, and I am convinced that it is the right place to make a commitment.”

In addition to the Loewy Lecture series, future faculty, students and staff will be reminded of the previous chair's commitment to AE via the Loewy Library, a popular study space that was established in 2011 largely through alumni gifts to the School.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Robert G. Loewy earned his bachelor’s degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, his masters at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech, he established an extensive career in the aerospace industry with Lockheed-Martin, Calspan and Boeing Helicopters. At the University of Rochester, he served as professor, director of the Space Science Center, and dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he was vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, then institute professor and the founder and director of their Rotorcraft Technology Center. He has served as a consultant to government and industry, as the chief scientist of the US Air Force, and, subsequently as chairman of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, NASA’s Aeronautics Advisory Committee and the FAA Engineering Advisory Board. Among his many professional honors are the Lawrence Sperry Award and both the Guggenheim and Spirit of St. Louis medals.

Interested in contributing to GT-AE? Contact AE development director, Farah Kashlan