BU Photonics Center Director to Be Honored by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Contact: Ann Deveney, 617/353-2240 | firstname.lastname@example.org
(Boston) — The Photonics Center at Boston University announced today that its director, Dr. Donald C. Fraser, was elected Honorary Fellow of The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Fraser and co-recipients Michael Griffin, the NASA administrator, and Alan Mulally, the president of Boeing Commercial Airplane Company, are to be honored at the annual AIAA Fellows Dinner on Monday, April 24, 2006. Fraser also will be recognized at the Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala on Tuesday, April 25, 2006. Both events will be held in conjunction with “Inside Aerospace,” a prestigious industry event held in Washington, D.C.
The honor, which has been accorded Fraser by his professional colleagues, is the highest accolade that can be bestowed by AIAA and its Board of Directors. AIAA Honorary Fellows are persons of distinction who have made notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences, or technology of aeronautics or astronautics. The honor is presented to exceptional individuals who embody the highest standards possible in the aeronautics and astronautics field and are recognized as individuals of eminence with long and contributory careers. Honorary Fellows have included: Orville Wright, co-inventor of the airplane; Neil A. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, and Robert L. Crippen, the first space shuttle pilot.
Fraser has contributed to a number of significant aeronautics or astronautics achievements over his career, including: the development of the Apollo flight control system, which guided all the U.S. moon landing missions, the space shuttle control system, all U.S. ballistic missile guidance systems and the world’s first all digital fly-by-wire control system. Today, such systems are used in all commercial airplanes. In addition, Fraser is the founder and former editor-in-chief of the AIAA publication Journal of Guidance Control & Dynamics.
The AIAA elects one Honorary Fellow per ten thousand members annually. They are chosen from those already accorded the rank of Fellow. Fraser is the only AIAA Honorary Fellow in residence at Boston University and is only one of four Boston University faculty members, including President Robert A. Brown Ph.D., who are members of the National Academy of Engineering.
Fraser has had a distinguished career managing the development of high technology enterprises, both in the private and public sectors. Before joining Boston University, Fraser served in the Bush administration as the Principal Deputy under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition. Appointed by President Bush in this Senate-confirmed position, he was the number two acquisition official and was responsible for managing the acquisition process — setting policy and executing programs — for the Department of Defense. Fraser was responsible for an annual budget of approximately $100 billion, involving more than 12 million procurement actions annually, several hundred thousand people, and six Department of Defense agencies.
Prior to his government service, Fraser spent almost 30 years at the Draper Laboratory in positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in his role as executive vice president and chief operating officer. The Laboratory designed and developed the nation’s most advanced guidance and control systems including the Trident and MX guidance systems, and the Apollo guidance, navigation, and control system. Early in his career at Draper, Fraser led the Apollo control system design team. He also served for many years on the faculty of MIT.
About The Photonics Center at Boston University
Based in Boston, the Photonics Center at Boston University identifies and develops technologies based on the practical application of light. The Photonics Center hosts a Business Accelerator that enables emerging photonics technology companies to grow from idea to commercialization with greater speed and success. The Center provides an entrepreneurial environment that includes 20 laboratories, workspace for up to 12 start-up companies, and access to a range of equipment worth in excess of $40 million. To date the Photonics Center has started and/or accelerated 18 companies that have raised more than $225 million in outside venture capital and seed financing. For further information, please visit the Web site http://www.bu.edu/photonics/.