Sandia aerospace engineer to head national institute

By Michael J. Baker

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Basil Hassan portrait
Basil Hassan

Members of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics elected Basil Hassan, a senior manager and engineering program deputy, as the group’s next president.

In May, Basil will begin a yearlong stint as president-elect of the institute that represents more than 30,000 individual and 95 corporate members from the aeronautics and space community. He will begin serving a two-year term as president in May 2020.

Basil is a fellow in AIAA and has been an active member for more than 35 years, filling various leadership roles, including serving on the institute’s board. He received the 2008 AIAA Sustained Service Award.

Basil joined Sandia in 1993 after receiving his doctorate in aerospace engineering from North Carolina State University. As an aerosciences staff member, he researched aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics of high-speed flight vehicles, drag reduction for ground transportation vehicles and high-velocity oxygen fuel thermal sprays.

Beginning in 2002, he has held various management positions, during which he has overseen all aspects of engineering sciences research, development and applications work for a variety of national security programs. In 2003, he supported NASA in determining the cause of the space shuttle Columbia accident, and was part of the team to support the shutdown of the Deepwater Horizon oil well after the spill in 2010.