gas turbines. Examples of his research contributions include the development of the Galerkin method that is routinely used by the propulsion community to predict the stability of propulsion systems, the development of the impedance tube technique for measuring the driving and damping of combustion instabilities, and the measurements of rocket nozzles acoustic losses that is used by industry to predict the stability of rocket motors. In recognition of his contributions, Georgia Tech’s combustion laboratory was named after Dr. Zinn in 2006. Dr. Zinn is also a member of the NAE and has won all of the AIAA major combustion/propulsion awards. He earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from New York University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering and mechanical science from Princeton University. Dr. Zinn also served on the NRC Committee on Air Force/Department of Defense Aerospace Propulsion.


JOHN F. WENDT, Study Director, joined the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) as a part-time, off-site senior program officer in 2002. He has served on proposal evaluations for the AFOSR and the State of Ohio and has participated in NASA-sponsored studies associated with the Exploration Technology Development Program, NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts, and NASA’s laboratory facilities. Prior to joining the ASEB, Dr. Wendt was director of the von Karman Institute (VKI) for Fluid Dynamics, a NATO-affiliated international postgraduate and research establishment near Brussels, Belgium. He joined the VKI in 1964 and was head of the Aeronautics/ Aerospace Department and dean of the faculty prior to becoming director. His research interests were rarefied gas dynamics, transonics, high-angle-of-attack aerodynamics and hypersonic reentry, including major inputs to the European Hermes space shuttle program. Dr. Wendt has consulted for USAF, NATO, and the European Space Agency. He is a fellow of AIAA. Dr. Wendt holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and astronautical sciences from Northwestern University.

CATHERINE A. GRUBER is an editor with the Space Studies Board (SSB) and ASEB. She joined the SSB as a senior program assistant in 1995. Ms. Gruber first came to the NRC in 1988 as a senior secretary for the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board and has also worked as an outreach assistant for the National Academy of Sciences-Smithsonian Institution’s National Science Resources Center. She was a research assistant (chemist) in the National Institute of Mental Health’s Laboratory of Cell Biology for 2 years. She has a B.A. in natural science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

AMANDA R. THIBAULT, a research associate, joined the ASEB in 2011. Ms. Thibault is a graduate of Creighton University, where she earned her B.S. in atmospheric science in 2008. From there she went on to Texas Tech University where she studied lightning trends in tornadic and non-tornadic supercell thunderstorms and worked as a teaching and research assistant. She participated in the VORTEX 2 field project from 2009 to 2010 and graduated with an M.S. in atmospheric science from Texas Tech University in 2010. She is a member of the American Meteorological Society.

TERRI BAKER joined the SSB in 2009 as a senior program assistant, having worked previously at the National Academies’ Center for Education. She has held numerous managerial, administrative, and coordinative positions, in which she focused on improving productivity and organization. Mrs. Baker is working on her B.A. in business management.

RODNEY HOWARD joined the SSB as a senior project assistant in 2002. Before joining SSB, most of his vocational life was spent in the health profession—as a pharmacy technologist at Doctor’s Hospital in Lanham, Maryland, and as an interim center administrator at the Concentra Medical Center in Jessup, Maryland. During that time, he participated in a number of Quality Circle Initiatives which were designed to improve relations between management and staff. Mr. Howard obtained his B.A. in communications from the University of Baltimore County in 1983.

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