Elected in 1970
“For contributions to the field of aeroelastic structures and unsteady aerodynamics, aiding in the solution of problems in vibration and gust loading.”
BY BRIAN J. CANTWELL AND GEORGE S. SPRINGER
HOLT ASHLEY, professor emeritus of aeronautics and astronautics and of mechanical engineering at Stanford University, whose methods changed the design of structures from wings to wind turbines, died on May 9, 2006, at the age of 83.
His contributions were diverse and multidisciplinary. While he is known for his pioneering research and books in the field of aeroelasticity—the combination of aerodynamics and structures—he wrote classic textbooks in aerodynamics and aircraft engineering as well.
Professor Ashley served on committees and advisory boards of NACA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the predecessor of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; NASA itself; the Air Force; the Navy; and the National Research Council as well as of the aerospace industry. From his work on the NACA subcommittee on vibration and flutter to a review of space-shuttle tile safety, Holt Ashley applied fundamental approaches to a wide area of practical engineering problems.
Professor Ashley was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1970.