Nikolas A. (BSE Aero ’68, MSE ’69, MSE ’75, PhD ’76) and Denise A. Bletsos have recently endowed a gift to establish the Nikolas A. and Denise A. Bletsos Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will provide need- based scholarship support to undergraduate students in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. This gift qualifies for the Bicentennial Opportunity Matching Initiative.
With an interest in airplanes and space flight, Dr. Bletsos immigrated to the U.S. in pursuit of these passions. In industry, he first worked on the Space Shuttle for Rockwell International, and later, as employee of The Aerospace Corporation, in El Segundo, CA, specializing in the areas of launch vehicles and upper stages, including new designs of shuttle-type vehicles. As director of the Guidance Analysis Department, he served as an advisor to the U.S. government on the military side of the space program. A proud alumnus and ardent supporter of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Dr. Bletsos served on the Department’s Industrial Advisory Committee for many years, and was the 2005 recipient of the College’s Merit Award for the Department.
His wife, Denise A. Bletsos, contributed to both NASA and DOD space programs, while employed by Rockwell International (later Boeing). She was in charge of Strategic Planning in support of Space Shuttle, Satellite Systems, and Space Communications projects, spanning a broad spectrum of space related civilian and military activities. She holds a BA Honors degree from the UK, as well as an MS from the University of California, Irvine.