The College of Engineering and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) is very pleased to announce that Professor Francis Wessling was elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. ASME Fellows are recognized for outstanding engineering achievements as described by senior members of the Society.
Dr. Wessling received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1968. His experience includes serving as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the The University of New Mexico, and as Senior Program Analyst and Consultant in industry. At UAH, he has twice served as MAE Department Chair, and his research career has spanned a number of areas including solar energy research and education, materials in microgravity and the development of research-grade sounding rockets. Dr. Wessling served as the Associate Director and Chief Engineer of the Consortium for Materials Development in Space, a UAH research center from 1985 – 1999. His leadership was instrumental in bringing $50,000,000 to UAH to support materials research in microgravity. Through his work, we better understand the advantages and challenges of materials handling and growth in microgravity environments. Some of this work was done using small rockets carrying research payloads. Dr. Wessling is a pioneer in this practice as the rockets he flew out of UAHuntsville gained the first commercial launch license in the United States. His space-related research also includes a cosmic ray experiment on shuttle flight STS-42 in 1994 and the training of Senator John Glenn for STS-95 in 1998. Dr. Wessling is the ABET Coordinator for the BSME degree program and the advisor of our extremely active Space Hardware Club.