UW News

September 5, 2014

News digest: Waas to lead aeronautics and astronautics; Climate science conference Sept. 9-10

Head shotAnthony Waas to lead aeronautics and astronautics
Anthony M. Waas, a University of Michigan professor of aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering, has been named the new chair of the University of Washington’s William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics. His term will begin in early 2015. He will also hold the Boeing-Egtvedt Chair.

Waas brings research expertise in composite structures and lightweight materials as well as a long history of working with Boeing, General Electric and the automotive industry. He has had research programs with Boeing since 2004 and served as a consultant on a team that studied issues related to the 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Waas is best known for his modeling tools in assessing compressive strength, damage tolerance and durability of aircraft composites. Finding ways to make structures lighter has been a central theme in his research. He also works with auto and aerospace industries in the use of textile composites, nanomaterial composites and 3-D printed structures.

At the UW, Waas said he hopes to build a department that’s known for its academic excellence and central focus on students. He aims to increase the department’s national ranking, grow its size and stature, and forge more significant relationships with industry. With the breadth of information-technology companies in the Puget Sound area, Waas also wants to create programs at the UW in computational aero-sciences and nano-satellites.

Waas has been a University of Michigan professor since 1988. He’s the Felix Pawlowski Collegiate Professor of Aerospace Engineering and of Mechanical Engineering. He earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology.

Climate science conference convenes on UW campus Sept. 9-10

The fifth annual Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference will take place Tuesday and Wednesday on the UW campus, in Kane and Meany halls. Gov. Jay Inslee will deliver a keynote address Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Last-minute tickets are available online for $175 or $150 for a single day. Those not attending can follow the conversation at #PNWCSC14.

The program includes more than 140 presenters from academia, government agencies and nonprofits. Topics include recent trends and long-term projections for Pacific Northwest climate, as well as future projections for landslides, flooding, extreme weather events and impacts for agriculture, fisheries, urban infrastructure, marine environments, snowpack and water supplies.

UW plenary speakers are  Amy Snover, director of the UW’s Climate Impacts Group, and Dennis Hartmann, a lead author on the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dozens of other UW researchers will present in oral and poster sessions.

More than 400 people are expected to attend. This year for the first time some 50 Native American students and staff will attend under a scholarship to encourage participation of Northwest tribes in regional discussions of climate change.

The conference is supported by the UW College of the Environment, the UW Climate Impacts Group, the Department of the Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center and other sponsoring agencies.