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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Wilson Steps Down as Chair of UTA’s Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department; Chan Named Interim Chair

May 23, 2003

Professor Don Wilson is stepping down from his position as chair of the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department within The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Engineering. Wilson will return to full-time teaching and research.

Dr. Wen Chan, currently the associate chair, director of the mechanical engineering program and director of the Center for Composite Materials, will become interim chair of the department. The changes become effective July 31.

Dr. Wilson joined UTA in 1968 and has more than 40 years of experience in the fields of gas dynamics, high-speed aerodynamics and propulsion. Wilson directed the NASA/UTA Center for Hypersonic Research from 1993 until 1997, when he became chair of the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department. Dr. Wilson was responsible for the establishment of the Aerodynamics Research Center and directed the development of major aerodynamic and propulsion test facilities. He is presently leading UTA's pulse detonation engine research and development program. During his term as chair, enrollment in mechanical and aerospace engineering programs doubled.

Dr. Chan received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1979. He joined UTA in 1988 after gaining commercial experience at Bell Helicopter and Gates Learjet. His research interests are composite structure design, material behavior of composites, finite element analysis, damage tolerance and durability, fracture mechanics and fatigue analysis, and smart structures.