Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

the series. In 1963–1964, Martin served as the AIAA’s first vice president for publications. He continued to be very active on the Publications Committee as an honored emeritus member.

He always gave high priority to ARS and AIAA. Any author in his Progress Series will testify to the difficult standards he set. He found the first disclosure in the form of an AIAA preprint satisfying and would often engage the next challenge without offering his preprints for journal publications. Since the aerospace profession will never have a more effective champion of its refereed publications, this is a contradiction. Readers of his papers never have to hunt for the significance of his results, figures, and tables; he taught two generations how to highlight results.

Professor Summerfield, the rather formal leader of a laboratory, became the congenial guest when he visited a staff member’s home. He could be expected to bring something to amuse his guest’s children—for example, a trick way to fold a dollar bill.

Martin relished taking combustion and propulsion research into new and topical areas. He thrived on the intellectual challenge of convincing others how spinoffs of his research facilitated addressing other problems. Examples of this include jet engine noise, coal gasification, oil fires, smoldering of construction, and upholstery foams. His involvement with the National Academy of Engineering, government panels, and industry consulting were constant sources of new relevant research. In 1977 the AIAA Wyld Award commended his wide-ranging contributions to rocket propulsion.

The Princeton community debate over the Vietnam War referred to the Defense Department’s funding of some of Martin’s research. Threats to march on his laboratory to confiscate files were met with cordial invitations to tour all aspects of the laboratory. Martin loved to talk about his research, particularly the physics of the phenomena. The groups there to question his activities left with the knowledge that the research was being done in a “fish bowl” for all to judge.

Martin satisfied his entrepreneurial zeal by forming

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement