February 16, 2007
Black History Month Colloquium Dr. Blankson's current research is in the area of hypersonic aerodynamics and propulsion including waverider missiles, weakly ionized plasma phenomena with application to drag reduction and turbomachinery-based MHD-Energy Bypass, and passive millimeter-wave imaging as applied to aviation safety problems. Dr. Blankson also works to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers, not only by personally spreading the wealth of his knowledge, but also by building educational programs. He helped establish research programs and curricula at Hampton and Johnson C. Smith Universities. Under the NASA Universities Center of Excellence Program in Hypersonics, he has been a technical monitor/management coordinator for the University of Maryland, University of Texas at Arlington, Syracuse University, and North Carolina A&T State. He has also chaired the advisory visiting committee for Penn State University's Department of Aerospace Engineering and at the North Carolina A&T NASA Center for Research Excellence.
Dr. Isaiah Blankson is a Senior Scientist/Technologist (ST) in the Research and Technology Directorate at the NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio. As part of his responsibilities, Dr. Blankson provides technical oversight and advanced program formulation in his areas of technical expertise. His degrees are all from MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The PhD. was awarded in 1973 for a thesis on the near-wake of a Mach 6.3 cone in hypersonic flow using magnetic model suspension. At MIT he was the recipient of the Luis de Florez Award, for excellence in engineering. He has also received several awards and honors including the NASA medal for Exceptional Service (2002), and two patents: Magnetohydrodynamic Power Extraction and Flow Conditioning in a Gas Turbine (2004, US Patent 6,696,774 B1) and Exoskeletal Gas Turbine Engine. (2002, US Patent 6,393,831 B1). He recently earned the prestigious 2006 Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Senior Executive. In addition, he received Science Spectrum's Scientist of the Year Award from Career Communications Group in 2005. Dr. Blankson is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA, a member of the AIAA Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee (2000 - present), and has served since 1998 as the US National Delegate to the NATO Research and Technology Organization's Working Group on Hypersonic Vehicle Technology (WG-010). Currently he is a Member of the Fluid Dynamics Panel, National Academies Review Panel for AFOSR: Hypersonics and Unsteady Flow. He is the author of many publications and conference papers. Dr. Blankson previously served as the developer and overall Program Manager of NASA's Generic Hypersonic R&D program (a $28M/yr program) at the NASA Headquarters Office of Aeronautics, Washington DC. Before coming to NASA, Dr. Blankson was an Aerospace Scientist at the General Electric Corporate Research Center (CRD), Engineering Systems Div., Schenectady, NY. There he conducted research on hypervelocity plasma-armature projectile launchers, gas-dynamic design of GE high power (megawatt) circuit breakers, and gas-dynamics of high-temperature coating of automobile halogen lamps in a batch reactor.