Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.

MSE Seminar: Hypersonics -- The Challenge of Taming the Hostile Aerothermal Environment

Friday, September 13, 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Nedderman Hall 106

Add to Calendar

David Hunn, Ph.D.

Director of Technology and Innovation
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control 


hypersonic vehicleOne of the technological challenges of developing and demonstrating a vehicle designed for hypersonic flight (speeds > Mach 5) is the requirement to sustain high aerodynamic efficiencies in an extraordinarily hostile flight environment. These desired aerodynamic efficiencies dictate vehicle architectures with high lift-to-drag ratios that lead to wing leading edge designs that are sharp, with the desire of no shape change (ablation or erosion) through the flight envelope. At hypersonic speeds, the bow shock at these sharp features produces temperatures in excess of 2000°C, heat fluxes of hundreds of Watts per square cm, and highly reactive dissociated gas species. Airframe temperatures behind the sharp leading edges are in excess of 1200°C and encounter relatively high aerodynamic and structural loads. This presentation discusses this challenge and some of the potential materials solutions that are needed for successful fielding and operation of this next class of high-performance flight vehicles.


David Hunn, Ph.D.David Hunn has been with Lockheed Martin for 39 years and as Director of Technology and Innovation is responsible for providing strategic technology management and coordination of technology and investments across Missiles and Fire Control. Previous to this role, Hunn was a Lockheed Martin Senior Fellow (the top technical position within Lockheed Martin Corporation which is a distinction limited to 0.15% of the technical population) and technical director in the areas of advanced materials, survivability and vehicle subsystems. His prior roles at Missiles and Fire Control include Chief Engineer for the ground vehicles line of business, Chief Scientist of MFC, and Director, Mechanical Engineering. 

Hunn has specific expertise in the development and engineering of vehicle survivability systems (advanced armor, blast mitigation approaches, and signature reduction), advanced composite materials, hypersonics, missile system design, and energetics/lethality approaches. He earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from UTA. He has won many awards, including MFC Inventor of the Year and LM Corporate Innovator of the Year, and has 28 patents granted. He is a registered professional engineer in Texas.


Return to Upcoming Events