Faculty member selected as National Academy of Inventors fellow

Hunn, Distinguished Alumnus honoree, says UTA teaches ‘importance of critical thinking’

Thursday, Dec 10, 2020 • Herb Booth : Contact


David Hunn

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has selected an adjunct professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE) and alumnus from The University of Texas at Arlington as a fellow.

David Hunn becomes the latest of 19 NAI fellows from UT Arlington.

He was formerly the director of technology and innovation and senior fellow/technical director at Lockheed Martin. A 1992 doctoral graduate of UTA, Hunn also earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in MAE from the University. In 2012, UTA honored him at its annual Distinguished Alumni Gala.

“UTA taught me the importance of critical thinking and applying it to solve complex problems,” Hunn said. “It also taught me the power of diversity and provided fundamental leadership opportunities that I have used throughout my career. There was no better way to learn the practical application of engineering concepts, which I have applied over the past 40 years.”

Hunn used his UT Arlington educational foundation in acquiring 36 patents covering a variety of advanced structures and materials topics, as well as advanced system engineering topics important to the fields of hypersonics, flight vehicles and airborne sensors.

In 2009 he was selected as Inventor of the Year by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

“A large portion of the inventions are in the field of soldier survivability, covering advances in advanced armor and vehicle protection that significantly improve protection of our warfighters in hostile environments,” Hunn said.

Teik Lim, UT Arlington interim president, said UTA students continue to benefit from Hunn’s dedication to his alma mater.

“Dr. Hunn received a first-class engineering education at UTA, and he continues to make the University proud as both an alumnus and an educator,” Lim said. “He has enjoyed a distinguished career in the field of soldier survivability and remains generous in sharing his knowledge and expertise with students in the College of Engineering.”

Hunn was a member of UTA’s Formula SAE teams in 1984 and 1985, helping design and build some of the University’s first formula-style racing cars and ultimately winning a national championship. He now teaches graduate courses in solid mechanics, automotive engineering and the Mechanical Engineering Capstone Project.

Bob Woods, UT Arlington professor in MAE, worked with Hunn as the Formula SAE adviser.

“We had tremendous early success in the program mainly because of students like David Hunn,” Woods said. “I’m elated that David’s career is being recognized by NAI. He imparts what he has learned in that career in the UTA classroom, benefiting students as they prepare to start their careers.”

The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Election to NAI fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors.

The 2020 NAI fellow class represents 115 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes worldwide. The new members collectively hold over 4,700 issued U.S. patents.