At the 24th Annual Aerospace Engineering Awards Banquet on April 6, John Valasek was recognized as the 2017-18 inductee into the KU Aerospace Engineering Honor Roll.
After receiving his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering at California State Polytechnic University, Valasek earned both his M.S., in 1990, and Ph.D., in 1995, in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Kansas. He has been actively conducting flight mechanics and controls research of manned and unmanned air vehicles in both industry and academia for 32 years, previously as a flight control engineer for the Northrop Corporation, Aircraft Division. He is a professor and director of the Vehicles & Control Laboratory in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, and his research is currently focused on bridging the gap between traditional computer science topics and aerospace engineering topics.
Valasek is a patent holder and leading developer of flight control systems for autonomous air refueling of unmanned air vehicles, and in 2017, he was selected as a 2017 AIAA Fellow. He has also made contributions to the flight control of hypersonic air vehicles, planetary entry vehicles, morphing aircraft, and cockpit systems and displays for general aviation flight safety.