Alumni, colleagues celebrate Hilton’s 90th birthday

2016-10-26

Speakers at the Hilton Symposium from left: Sung Yi, Craig Merrett, Harry Hilton, N. Sri Namachivaya, Rani Sullivan, Philippe Geubelle, Earl Dowell, and George Leiseutre
Speakers at the Hilton Symposium from left: Sung Yi, Craig Merrett, Harry Hilton, N. Sri Namachivaya, Rani Sullivan, Philippe Geubelle, Earl Dowell, and George Leiseutre
Several of Emeritus Prof. Harry H. Hilton’s colleagues and former students in Aerospace Engineering at Illinois celebrated his 90th birthday during a seminar in his honor Friday.

Prof. N. Sri Namachivaya, having worked with Hilton since Namachivaya started as a young AE faculty member in 1986, served as the celebration’s moderator, pointing out the legacy the venerated emeritus professor has established in his 67 years at the University of Illinois.

Presenting technical talks at the afternoon symposium were these AE alumni and colleagues of Hilton:

  • Alumnus Earl H. Dowell, National Academy of Engineering member, William Holland Hall Professor, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University –Energy Harvesting from Limit Cycle Oscillations of a Flexible Structure in Fluid Flow
  • Alumnus Sung Yi, Chair of Mechanical and Material Engineering, Portland State University – Reliability of Embedded Active and Passive Devices
  • Rani Sullivan, Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Mississippi State University – Distributed Optical Sensing for Structural Health Monitoring of Composite Structures
  • George Lesieutre, Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Penn State University – Creep Buckling of Viscoelastic Beams Modeled using Anelastic Displacement Fields
  • Alumnus Craig Merrett, Assistant Professor of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering, Clarkson University – Bigger Than a Bread Box: Analytical Methods in Viscoelasticity

Bob Liebeck and Harry Hilton
Bob Liebeck and Harry Hilton
Harry Hilton with Carmen and Alex Kosmala
Harry Hilton with Carmen and Alex Kosmala
Also speaking at a dinner held in Hilton’s honor in the evening were AE alumni and National Academy of Engineering member Robert Liebeck, Senior Fellow at The Boeing Company, Adjunct Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, and Professor of the Practice at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Alex Kosmala, Senior Vice President Energy and Construction at LB Foster. 

Having started at the University of Illinois in 1949 while working to earn his PhD in theoretical and applied mechanics, Hilton was promoted to professor in 1957 and served as department head from 1974 to 1985. He served the College of Engineering as an assistant dean during the 1989 and 1990 summers. He has been a consultant for MacDonnell Corp., Hughes and Aerojet.

Hilton became is an internationally recognized authority in viscoelasticity and aero-viscoelasticity. He has published over 300 papers in archival journals or conference proceedings.

Retiring from Illinois in 1990, Hilton has remained active in research, graduate teaching, and public and professional service.

See more photos from the celebration on AE's Facebook Page.