At their conference in Melbourne this year, the International Committee on Composite Materials appointed Dr. Tony Waas as World Fellow and Life member. The ICCM is a non-governmental engineering organization that promotes research and interest in the field of composite materials. The designation of World Fellow is given at the biennial conference to a few individuals for:
“(i) an outstanding contribution to the field of composite materials through research and/or industrial development, (ii) international recognition and contribution to the work of ICCM, (iii) other contributions to the field, e.g., through education, contributions to other major conference series, development of standards/design codes, editorial work etc. “
Dr. Waas’s research career has a heavy focus on composite materials and their application to aerospace technologies. From 1988 to 2014, he served as the head of the Composite Structures Laboratory at the University of Michigan. He has developed computational models for both textile and ceramic composite structures and explored the mechanics of biological and polymer composites. Outside of composites, Dr. Waas has research interests in robotic manufacturing, 3D printing, and data science applications in aerospace engineering.
As an educator, Dr. Waas began teaching at the University of Michigan Aerospace Department since 1988. His long list of classes taught includes AE518 which focuses on composite structures. In 2015 he joined the University of Washington as the Department Chair, during which time he received a number of best paper and researcher awards, including the AIAA-ASC James H. Starnes, Jr. Award, 2017, both for mentoring students and for contributions to the field of composite research.
In 2018, Dr. Waas returned to the University of Michigan as the Richard A. Auhll Department Chair of Aerospace Engineering. As Department Chair, Dr. Waas has led the department into the fields of autonomous vehicles, hypersonic flight, and space technologies. He has not lost interest in composites, however, and sees a role for strong lightweight composite materials in the aircraft and space vehicles of the future.