Sheila Widnall

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Sheila Widnall
Wfm Widnall se1.jpg
18th United States Secretary of the Air Force
In office
August 6, 1993 – October 31, 1997
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byMerrill McPeak (Acting)
Succeeded byWhitten Peters
Personal details
Born
Sheila Marie Evans

(1938-07-13) July 13, 1938 (age 81)
Tacoma, Washington, United States
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)William Widnall
Children2
EducationMassachusetts Institute of Technology (SB, SM, ScD)
[1][2][3]

Sheila Marie Evans Widnall (born July 13, 1938) is an American aerospace researcher and Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She served as United States Secretary of the Air Force between 1993 and 1997, making her the first female Secretary of the Air Force and the first woman to lead an entire branch of the US military in the Department of Defense. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2003.[4]

Life and career[edit]

Widnall graduated from MIT with a SB in 1960, SM in 1961, and ScD in 1964, all in Aeronautics. She was appointed as the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1986 and joined the Engineering Systems Division, was Chair of the Faculty 1979–1981, and has served as MIT's Associate Provost from 1992–1993. In 1988 she was the President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

On July 4, 1993, in the wake of the Tailhook scandal, President Bill Clinton announced her nomination to be Secretary of the Air Force.[5] The Senate received her nomination July 22, 1993, and confirmed her two weeks later on August 5, 1993, 183 days after inauguration and 197 after the office became vacant.[6] She was the first woman to head a branch of the US military.[4] During her tenure she handled the Kelly Flinn scandal.[7] She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1985,[8] serving as vice-president from 1998 to 2005[9] and winning their Arthur M. Bueche Award in 2009.[10]

Widnall was a member of the board of investigation into the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

She currently works with the Lean Advancement Initiative. She married William Soule Widnall in June 1960. Her husband earned a doctorate degree from MIT in aerospace engineering and headed the MIT-Draper team that developed the Apollo GN&C system.[11] The couple has two grown children, William and Ann Marie.[12]

Research[edit]

Widnall's research has been focused on Fluid mechanics, in particular the aerodynamics of high-speed vehicles, helicopters, aircraft wakes, and turbulence. One of her most notable works is on the elliptical instability mechanism with Raymond Pierrehumbert.[13]

Awards and honors[edit]

1993 National Academy of Engineering Distinguished Service Award

1994 Princeton University - honorary degree - doctor of science

1994 Suffolk University - honorary degree

1994 Barnard College Medal of Distinction

1995 W. Stuart Symington Award - Air Force Association

1995 Boston USO Military Service Award

1995 Maxwell A. Kriendler Memorial Award - Air Force Association

1996 Durand Lectureship for Public Service - American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

1996 Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame

1996 New Englander of the Year - New England Council[14]

Professional memberships and associations[edit]

Past trustee, Aerospace Corp.

Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Past president and past chairperson, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences

Past trustee, Boston Museum of Science

Member, Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government

Past trustee, Carnegie Corp.

Past trustee, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc., Cambridge, Mass.

Member, International Academy of Astronautics

Member, National Academy of Engineering

National Academy of Sciences' Panel on Scientific Responsibility

Past member, Board of Visitors for the US Air Force Academy; board chairperson

(Current as of November 1996)[15]

Publications[edit]

"Wingsail With Adaptable Flexible Flap," Provisional Patent Application 2015. download

"Effects of Spanwise Flexibility on Lift and Rolling Moment of a Wingsail," (with H. Cornwell and P. Williams) 2015. download

"Augmentation of Power Output of Axisymmetric Ducted Wind Turbines by Porous Trailing Edge Disks"

https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/88109 2014

2009 Arthur M. Bueche Award Acceptance Remarks, Oct. 4, 2009. download (pdf 76K)

"Potential Flow Calculations of Axisymmetric Ducted Wind Turbines" 2009 download 1.5

“Lean Enterprise Value” with Murman et. al. Palgrave Press 2002

"AAAS Presidential Lecture: Voices from the Pipeline", 1988, American Association for the Advancement of Science September 1988 issue of Science, Vol 241, pp. 140-1745,© 1988 AAAS, download (268K)

"Digits of Pi", April 26, 2000, S.E. Regional NAE Meeting, download (56K)

"Some Free Surface Effects on Unsteady Hydrodynamic Loads and Hydroelasticity." (with H. Ashley and M. T. Landahl) Fourth Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics, B. L. Silverstein, Ed. (Office of Naval Research, Dept. of the Navy, Washington, D. C., 1962), pp. 527-549.

"New Directions in Lifting Surface Theory." (with H. Ashley and M. T. Landahl) AIAA J. 3 (January 1965): 3-16.

"Generalized Aerodynamic Forces on an Oscillating Cylindrical Shell." (with E. Dowell) Quart. Appl. Math. 24 (April 1966): 1-17.

"Generalized Aerodynamic Forces on an Oscillating Cylindrical Shell: Subsonic and Supersonic Flow." (with E. Dowell) AIAA J. 4 (April 1966): 607-610.

"Unsteady Loads on Supercavitating Hydrofoils of Finite Span." J. Ship Res. 10 (June 1966): 107-118.

"Aerodynamic Forces on an Oscillating Cylindrical Duct with an Internal Flow." (with E. Dowell) J. Sound Vib. 6 (1967): 71-85.

"Dynamics on an Acoustic Probe for Measuring Pressure Fluctuations on a Hypersonic Reentry Vehicle." (with H. Heller) J. Acoustic Soc. Am. 44 (1968):

885-896.

"Correlation of Fluctuating Forces with Sound Radiation from Rigid Flow Spoilers." (with H. Heller), NASA CR-1340 (October 1968), presented at the 77th

Acoustical Society of America Meeting, Philadelphia, PA (April 1969); J. Acoustic Soc. Am. 47 (May 1970).

"A Numerical Method for the Calculation of Nonlinear Unsteady Lifting Potential Flow Problems." presented at the AIAA 7th Aerospace Sciences Meeting,

New York, NY (January 1969). AIAA J. 7 No. 10 (October 1969) (with H. Djojodihardjo).

"A Correlation of Vortex Noise Data from Helicopter Main Rotors." J. Aircraft 6 No. 3 (1969).

"Optimum Lift-Drag Ratio for a Ram Wing Tube Vehicle." (with T. Barrows) AIAA J. 8 No. 3 (March 1970)

"An Analytic Solution for Two- and Three-Dimensional Wings in Ground Effect." (with T. Barrows) J. Fluid Mechanics (May 15, 1970).

"The Aerodynamics of Ram Wing Vehicles for Application to High Speed Ground Transportation." (with T. Barrows) AIAA paper 70-142; AIAA 8th

Aerospace Sciences Meeting (January 1970).

"Pressure Fluctuation Characteristics on Swept Wings Under Stall Conditions." (with H. Heller and D. Bliss) 79th Acoustical Society of America Meeting

(April 21-24, 1970).

"Incipient Stall Detection Through Unsteady Pressure Monitoring on Aircraft Wings." (with H. Heller) Journal of Aircraft 9 No. 2 (February 1972).

"Helicopter Noise Due to Blade/Vortex Interaction." J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 49 (May 1971).

"Theoretical and Experimental Study of the Stability of a Vortex Pair." (with D. Bliss and A. Zalay) Proceedings of the BSRL/AFOSR Aircraft Wake Turbulence Symposium (September 1970) Seattle, WA; Plenum Press (1971).

"Vortex Control." (with M. Landahl) Proceedings of the BSRL/AFOSR Aircraft Wake Turbulence Symposium (September 1970) Seattle, WA; Plenum Press

(1971).

"Slender-Body Analysis of the Motion and Stability of Vortex Filaments Containing an Axial Flow." (with D. Bliss) J. Fluid Mechanics 50 Pt. 2 (November

1971).

"Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Helicopter Noise Due to Blade-Vortex Interaction." (with Sing Chu and Albert Lee) Proceedings of the ARO Helicopter Noise Symposium, Durham, NC (September 1971).

"Fluctuating Forces on Rotating Airfoils and their Relationships to Radiated Sound." (with H. Heller) 82nd Meeting of Acoustical Society of America (October 1971).

"Stability of a Helical Vortex Filament." J. Fluid Mechanics 54 (1972): 641.

"On the Stability of Vortex Rings." (with J. P. Sullivan) Proc. Roy. Soc. London A332 (1972): 335-353.

"Experimental Studies of Rotational Noise in Forward Flight." (with P. Bauer and A. Lee) AHS Symposium, Philadelphia, PA (September 1972).

"Wind Tunnel Studies of Rotational Noise in Forward Flight." Presented to the Acoustical Society of America Meeting, Miami, FL (November 1972).

"A Study of Vortex Rings Using Laser-Doppler Velocimeter." (with J. P. Sullivan and S. Ezekiel) AIAA Paper No. 73-105, AIAA Journal 11 No. 10 (October 1973): 1384.

"Aircraft Wake Dissipation by Sinusoidal Instability and Vortex Breakdown." (with A. Bilanin) AIAA Paper No. 73-107.

"Self-Induced Motion and Stability of Concentrated Vortex Filaments." (with D. Bliss) XI Biennial Symposium on Advanced Problems in Fluid Mechanics, Sopot-Kamienny Potok/Poland (September 1973), Archives of Mechanics 26 No. 3, Warszawa, (1974): 459-478; also presented at Euromech Colloquim 41, Norwich, England (September 1973). See Riley, N., J. Fluid Mechanics 62 (1974): 33.

"Predictions of Unsteady Airloads for Oblique Blade-Gust Interaction in Compressible Flow." (with S. Chu) AIAA Journal 12 No. 9 (September 1974): 1228-1235.

"The Instability of Short Waves on a Vortex Ring." (with D. Bliss and C. Y. Tsai) J. Fluid Mechanics 66 Part 1 (1974): 35-47.

"The Structure and Dynamics of Vortex Filaments." Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics 7 (January 1975): 141-165.

"Lifting-Surface Theory for a Semi-Infinite Wing in Oblique Gust." (with S. Chu). AIAA Journal 12 (December 1974): 1672-1678.

"The Stability of Short Waves on a Straight Vortex Filament in a Weak Externally Imposed Strain Field." (with C. Y. Tsai). J. Fluid Mechanics 73 Pt. 4 (1976): 721-733.

"A Study of Helicopter Rotor Rotational Noise." (with A. Lee and W. L. Harris). AIAA Journal of Aircraft 14 No. 11 (November 1977).

"The Instability of the Thin Vortex Ring of Constant Vorticity." (with C. Y. Tsai). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Soc. London 287 No. 1344 (October 1977): 273-305.

"An Interaction Mechanism Between Large and Small Scales for Wind-Generated Water Waves." (with M. T. Landahl and L. Hultgren). Proc. of the Twelfth Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics, Washington, D. C. (June 5-9 1978).

"An Examination of Group-Velocity Criterion for Breakdown of Vortex Flow in A Divergent Duct." (with C. Y. Tsai). Physics of Fluids 23 No. 5 (1980): 864-870.

"Unified Aerodynamic-Acoustic Theory for a Thin Rectangular Wing Encountering A Gust." (with R. Martinez) AIAA Journal 18 No. 6 (June 1980).

"The Effect of Tip-Vortex Structure on Helicopter Noise Due to Blade/Vortex Interaction." (with T. Wolf). AIAA Journal of Aircraft (1980).

"The Structure of Organized Vortices in a Free Shear Layer." (with R. Pierre-Humbert). J. Fluid Mechanics 102 (1981): 301.

"The Two- and Three-Dimensional Instabilities of a Spatially Periodic Shear Layer." (with R. Pierrehumbert). J. of Fluid Mechanics 114 (1982): 59-82.

"Unsteady Lifting-Line Theory with Applications." (with A. Ahmadi). AIAA Paper 82-0354, presented at AIAA 20th Aerospace Sciences Conference; Orlando, FL (January 11-14, 1982).

"The Interaction Between Long and Short Wind-Generated Waves." (with M. Landahl and J. A. Smith). Proceedings of the Symposium on Wave Dynamics and Radio Probing of the Ocean Surface, Miami, FL (May 1981).

"Predictions of Low-Frequency Sound from the Mod-1 Wind Turbine." (with R. Martinez and W. L. Harris). Solar Energy Journal 104 (1982): 124-130.

"A Flow Visualization Study of Transition in Plane Poiseuille Flow." (with Dale R. Carlson and Martin F. Peeters). J. of Fluid Mechanics 121 (1982): 487-505.

"An Aeroacoustic Model for High-Speed, Unsteady Blade Vortex Interaction." (with R. Martinez) AIAA Journal 9 (1983): 1225-1231.

"Aerodynamic Theory for a Wing with Side Edge Passing Subsonically Through a Gust." (with R. Martinez) AIAA Journal 21, 6 (1983): 808-815.

"Energetics and Optimum Motion of Oscillating Lifting Surfaces." (with A. Ahmadi) AIAA Paper 83-1710, presented at AIAA 16th Fluid and Plasma Dynamics Conference, Danvers, MA (July 12-14, 1983).

"Application of Unsteady Aerodynamics to Large-Eddy Breakup Devices in a Turbulent Flow." (with P. Balakumar) Physics of Fluids., vol. 29, June 1986 p. 1779-1787

"Growth of Turbulent Spots in Plane Poiseuille Flow." Presented at the International Symposium on Turbulence and Chaotic Phenomena in Fluids; Kyoto, Japan IUTAM; (September 1983); Proceedings; T. Tatsumi, Editor; Elsevier Science Publishing; North Holland, Amsterdam (1985).

"Unsteady Lifting-Line Theory with Applications," (with A. R. Ahmadi), AIAA paper No. 82-0354, presented at AIAA 20th Aerospace Sciences Conference, Orlando, FL (1982).

"Unsteady Lifting-line Theory as a Singular Perturbation Problem," (with A. R. Ahmadi) J. Fluid Mech., vol. 153, pp. 59-81, (1985).

"Energetics and Optimum Motion of Oscillating Lifting Surfaces of Finite Span," (with A. R. Ahmadi), J. Fluid Mech., vol. 162, pp. 261-282, (1986).

"Energetics of Oscillating Lifting Surfaces Using Integral Conservation Laws." (with A. Ahmadi) AIAA Paper 87-0193, presented at AIAA 25th Aerospace Sciences Meeting; Reno, Nevada (January 12-15, 1987).

"Energetics of Oscillating Lifting Surfaces Using Integral Conservation Laws," (with A. R. Ahmadi), AIAA Paper No. 87-0193, presented at AIAA 25th Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, NV, (1987).

"Review of Three-Dimensional Vortex Dynamics: Implications for the Computation of Separated and Turbulent Flows." Studies of Vortex Dominated Flows, pp. 16-32. Edited by M. Y. Hussaini and M. D. Salas. New York: Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., 1987.

"Calculations of axisymmetric vortex sheet roll-up using a panel and a filament model" (with Kantelis, J.P. ), National Specialists' Meeting on Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics, Arlington, TX, Feb. 25-27, 1987, Proceedings, American Helicopter Society, 1987

"Voices From The Pipeline" AAAS Presidential Lecture. Science 241: (4874) 1740-1745 Sep. 30, 1988.

"Wave Patterns in Plane Poiseuille Flow Created by Concentrated Disturbances", (with F. Li), J. Fluid Mech., vol. 208, pp. 639-656, (1989).

"Reform Of The Aeronautics And Astronautics Curriculum At MIT" With Crawley, EF; Greitzer, EM; Widnall, SE; Hall, S; Mcmanus, H; Hansman, JR; Shea, JF; Landahl, M., AIAA, Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 31st, Reno, NV, Jan. 11-14, 1993. 16 p.

"Women In Engineering: Choices, Changes, And Contributions" Woodruff Lecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1993

"Energetics of Oscillating Lifting Surfaces Using Integral Conservation Laws," (with A. R. Ahmadi), J. Fluid Mech. vol. 266, pp. 347-370 1994

"Partnership & Progress: Science, Academia & Public Domain" 1st Knox Millsaps Memorial Lecture, Univ. Florida 1995

'Shaping Our Boundless Future'. Aviation Week & Space Technology v. 146 (Apr. 16 '97) p. 23-4 , 1997

"Global Engagement" with R. Foglemen, 1997 Aerospace International, vol. 24, no. 6, June 1997, p.12-18

Writings[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sheila E. Widnall." Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. 17 Vols. Gale Research, 1998. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC Document Number: K1631006966. Fee. Accessed 2008-10-31. Updated: 12/12/1998.
  2. ^ "Sheila Widnall." Notable Women Scientists. Gale Group, 2000. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC Document Number: K1668000457. Fee. Accessed 2008-10-31. Updated: 11/05/2000
  3. ^ "Sheila E. Widnall." Notable Scientists: From 1900 to the Present. Online. Gale Group, 2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC Document Number: K1619002898 Fee. Accessed 2008-10-31. Updated: 01/01/2001.
  4. ^ a b "Widnall, Sheila E." National Women’s Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  5. ^ Jehl, Douglas (1993-07-04). "M.I.T. Professor Is First Woman Chosen as Secretary of Air Force". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  6. ^ Palmer, Betsy (2005-03-23). 9/11 Commission Recommendations: The Senate Confirmation Process for Presidential Nominees (PDF). CRS Report for Congress. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ Stout, David (1997-05-24). "'Part of Me Has Died,' Pilot Says in Apology". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-31. Even as she asked in vain for an honorable discharge, First Lieut. Kelly J. Flinn said in a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force that having to leave the service was a punishment she would carry to her grave.
  8. ^ National Academy of Engineering. "The Honorable Sheila E. Widnall".
  9. ^ "National Academy of Engineering Presented Extraordinary Impact Awards". Aerospace America. 47 (10): B10. 2009.
  10. ^ "NAE announces award winners John Casani and Sheila Widnall". 1 October 2009.
  11. ^ Sheila Widnall introduces her husband William to give MIT lecture on Apollo (video)
  12. ^ Sheila E. Widnall Facts - biography
  13. ^ Pierrehumbert, Raymond; Widnall, Sheila (1982). "The Two-Dimensional and Three-Dimensional Instabilities of a Spatially Periodic Shear Layer". Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 114: 59–82. doi:10.1017/s0022112082000044.
  14. ^ "DR. SHEILA E. WIDNALL > U.S. Air Force > Biography Display". www.af.mil. Retrieved 2019-03-26. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  15. ^ "DR. SHEILA E. WIDNALL > U.S. Air Force > Biography Display". www.af.mil. Retrieved 2019-03-26. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

Further reading[edit]

  • "Widnall of MIT Is New President-elect Of AAAS." Physics Today (February 1986), p. 69.
  • Biography, "Dr. Sheila E. Widnall." Office of the Secretary of the Air Force/Public Affairs, November 1993.
  • Dr. Sheila E. Widnall, "<https://archive.is/20130221044842/http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio_print.asp?bioID=7582>", July 23, 1997.
  • Air Force Times, August 2, 1993, p. 4.
  • Sears, William R., "Sheila E. Widnall: President-Elect of AAAS," in Association Affairs, June 6, 1986, pp. 1119–1200.
  • Stone, Steve, "Air Force Secretary Salutes Female Aviators," in Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, October 10, 1993, p. B3.
  • "USAF Head Approved," in Aviation Week & Space Technology, August 9, 1993, p. 26.
  • Biography, Dr. Sheila E. Widnall, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force/Public Affairs, November 1993.
  • Ewing, Lee, Air Force Times, Panelists Laud Widnall, Approve Her Nomination, August 2, 1993, p. 4.
  • Stone, Steve, Aviation Week & Space Technology, USAF Head Approved, August 9, 1993, p. 26.
  • Stone, Steve, Physics Today, Widnall of MIT Is New President-elect Of AAAS, February 1986, p. 69.
  • Biography, Dr. Sheila E. Widnall, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force/Public Affairs, November 1993.
  • Nature Q&A with Sheila Widnall

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Merrill McPeak
Acting
Secretary of the Air Force
1993–1997
Succeeded by
Whitten Peters