Robert Frederick, Ph.D.

frederick 1x2Professor
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


  Technology Hall/OKT S226
  (256) 824-7200
  (256) 824-7205  
  Personal Webpage




  Aerospace Engineering, Purdue University
  Engineering, Purdue University
  Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University


Dr. Frederick is currently a Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Interim Director of the UAHuntsville Propulsion Research Center. He has overseen over 6.0 million dollars externally funded research in solid propellant combustion, combustion stability of liquid injectors, hybrid fuel combustion, thermal stability of hydrocarbon fuels, and characterization of rocket plume emissions.  His research has experimentally revealed important combustion phenomena in the area of solid, liquid, and hybrid propellants. He pioneered an international, team-based design laboratory that integrates students and industry mentors from engineering, Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, and business disciplines. Dr. Frederick is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and member of the American Society of Engineering Educators. He has served as the national chairman of the AIAA Hybrid Rocket Technical Committee and the U.S. Representative for the Air Force and Navy to a NATO Advisory Group on solid propellant burning rate measurements. Dr. Frederick received his Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University in 1988.  His professional experience includes positions at Allison Turbine Engines, the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory, and Sverdrup Technology, AEDC Group.  In 1991, he joined the UAH Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Research Expertise

  • Combustion Instability in Liquid Rockets
  • Solid Propellant Burning Rate Measurements
  • Thermal Stability of Fuels
  • Controllable Solid Propellants

Honors & Awards

  • Associate Fellow, presented by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics October 1, 1999.
  • UAH Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, for “superior teaching as recognized by your faculty colleagues and by your students past and present,” awarded by The University of Alabama in Huntsville, April 10, 1997.
  • UAH Outstanding Professor of the Year for the College of Engineering, “for your generosity in enlightening the minds of UAH’s student body,” awarded by UAH Student Government Association, April 14, 1998.

Recent Publications

Frederick, R.A., Jr., Whitehead, J., Knox, R., and Moser, M.D., “Regression Rates Study of Mixed Hybrid Propellants,” AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 175–180, 2006.

Brown, S.P and Frederick, R.A., Jr., “Laboratory-Scale Thermal Stability Experiments on RP-1 and RP-2,” AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power, Vol. No. 2, pp. 206-212, 2008.

Cavitt, R., Frederick, R.A., Jr.., and Bazarov, V.G., “Laboratory-Scale Survey of Pentad Injector Stability Characteristics,” AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power, Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 534-540, 2008.

Frederick, R.A. Jr., Slegers, N., and Hahn, P., “Predictive Guidance of a Hit-to-Kill Tactical Interceptor,” IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 2008.Vol.17, No. 4, pp. 745-755.

Whitehead, J.J. and Fredrick, R.A., Jr., “Predicting Hybrid Propellant Regression Rate Using Response Surfaces,” AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2009, pp. 815-818.

Byrd, R., and Frederick, R.A., Jr. “Instability Characteristics of a Gaseous-Oxygen/Methane Pentad Injector,” AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power, Vol. 26, No. 4, 2010, pp. 698-695.