EAST HARTFORD, Conn., Dec. 6, 2010 – Dr. Michael Francis, Chief Advanced Programs and Senior Fellow at United Technologies Research Center, the central research organization of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), will present the Wright Brothers Lectureship in Aeronautics at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit to be held Jan. 4-7, 2011, at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Florida.
"Dr. Michael S. Francis has provided tremendous vision and leadership to the field of unmanned flight," said AIAA President Mark Lewis. "Through his work in the industry and at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Dr. Francis has helped transform our nation's war fighting abilities by greatly expanding the capabilities and combat readiness of America's unmanned aerial combat systems."
"In recognition of Dr. Francis' accomplishments in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles, I am delighted that he has been chosen to present the 2011 Wright Brothers Lecture in Aeronautics, honoring the pioneering spirit of Orville and Wilbur Wright," Dr. Lewis added.
"I am proud to accept this invitation and add my contribution to the legacy of presenters whom the AIAA has so honored," said Dr. Francis. "My life's work has been dedicated to advancing the research, development and pathways to implementation that are necessary to ensure the next generations of aerospace capabilities," he said. "This lectureship provides a unique opportunity and motivation for me and hopefully will serve as an inspiration to others involved in these pursuits."
His lecture, entitled "Unmanned Air Systems...Challenge and Opportunity," examines the emergence of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) within historical, technological and cultural perspectives. His presentation explores the influence these systems are having across the broader aerospace arena and how elements of autonomy and human interaction engage at the platform, system and mission levels.
Dr. Michael S. Francis is an expert in systems development and advanced aerospace technologies and has pioneered conceptualization, development and delivery of leading edge technology and advanced defense systems and capabilities to meet U.S. security challenges. He is an AIAA Fellow and has served as national chair for the Institute's Unmanned Systems Program Committee. He is a member of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and holds Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado.
United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) delivers the world's most advanced technologies, innovative thinking and disciplined research to the businesses of United Technologies -- industry leaders in aerospace propulsion, building infrastructure and services, heating and air conditioning, fire and security systems and power generation. Founded in 1929, UTRC is located in East Hartford, Connecticut, and operates research and development centers in Shanghai, China, and Cork, Ireland.
The Wright Brothers Lectureship commemorates the first powered flight and emphasizes significant advances in aeronautics by recognizing major leaders and contributors. The Lectureship has been presented since 1937 by many distinguished individuals, including Hugh Dryden, Theodore von Karman, C. Stark Draper, H. Julian Allen, Holt Ashley and Frank Marble.