tory, which did research on the operations of the airline industry; for example, the laboratory undertook to determine optimum route structures and methodologies for setting airline ticket prices, although, at the time, both were set by government regulators. The laboratory and the work were unique in academia. Miller also conducted research on the aerodynamics and vibration of helicopter rotors and enthusiastically advocated the wider use of rotorcraft for short-haul transport.
In 1978, after a decade as department head, he returned to teaching, focusing on the development, with a colleague, James W. Mar, of a new academic organization, the MIT Space Systems Laboratory, which would introduce new generations of MIT students to the creative methodologies of design and the development of new artifacts for the exploration of space. At the time, such work was considered the exclusive province of mature professionals in large professional organizations. Miller and Mar made it possible for students in their early years, as undergraduates, to participate in such work. A key factor in their success was Miller’s enthusiasm and confidence in students’ abilities and his willingness to use his professional connections with highly placed people in government and the space industry on the students’ behalf. This laboratory has continued to evolve and still fulfills the role Miller envisioned for it.
In his professional work and his teaching, Miller always emphasized the engineering of complete systems for aeronautical and space activities. He always focused on the most important questions, rather than those that admitted of elegant research approaches. At the same time, Miller believed that every engineer, especially professors, should also be an expert in at least one specific discipline (e.g., aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, control, etc.). He espoused the engineering of complete systems to show the interrelation of aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, control, etc., in the design of aerospace vehicles, emphasizing that a design, even if created by the world’s best aerodynamicist, would not fulfill its function if the aerodynamics did not mesh with other components of the system.
Miller’s holistic approach led to a revolutionary change in the undergraduate curriculum of the Department of Aeronau-