Two Selected as 2023 AEDC Fellows

Coffee County, Tenn. — The 2022 AEDC Fellows selection committee is proud to announce the selection of two new AEDC Fellows.

Martha Simmons has been selected as a Lifetime Achievement Fellow and Norman Smith as a Craft Fellow

They become the 116th and 117th AEDC Fellows since the program’s inception in 1989.

AEDC Fellows are selected for their disproportionately positive impact on the United States aerospace industry. While AEDC has a unique and powerful influence on Department of Defense (DoD) weapon systems, AEDC’s Fellows have a legacy of positive influence not only on DoD, but also sister organizations such as NASA, the Departments of Energy, Homeland Security and Transportation, as well as academia and the aerospace industry.

Martha Simmons

Martha Simmons

Martha Ann Simmons a retired Manager and subject matter expert with QuantiTech Inc. (Now Axient Corp.) AEDC Technology Group.

Through a 42-year distinguished career at AEDC, she made notable and valuable lifetime contributions to the nation’s aerospace capabilities in many areas relevant to the AEDC mission.

Simmons worked within and positively influenced all Sections of the AEDC Technology Branch: Instrumentation and Diagnostics, Modeling and Simulation, Facility Test Techniques and Foreign Technology.

Her technical leadership responsibilities included oversight for technology product development and transition, subject matter expert and principal investigator for projects related to chemical propulsion, exhaust plume phenomenology and radiative transfer, and, as Section Manager, provided technical guidance. to the Instrumentation and Diagnostics (I&D) section.

Simmons made major technical contributions through her early years representing AEDC on the Joint Army Navy NASA Air Force (JANNAF) Interagency Propulsion Committee for development of rocket and missile plume property and radiation signature simulation codes.

She built on the knowledge and experience gained from distinguished AEDC technical giants, Dr. Wheeler (Mac) McGregor, Dr. Chad Limbaugh and Dr. Robert Hiers (AEDC Fellows in 1990, 2009, 2012, respectively) becoming the lead for operation and maintenance of the multiple computer codes that provided AEDC the capability for prediction of flow-field related properties that were used to complement the vast AEDC signature measurement capabilities.

This capability eventually led to the establishment of the Advanced Missile Signature Center (AMSC) at AEDC. The AMSC is a national asset supporting DoD Programs with collection, analysis, modeling, archival and distribution services that includes target, threat and battlespace environment signatures for missiles and other vehicles.

In 2012, Simmons accepted the position of Manager of the Technology I&D Section, managing more than 20 engineers devoted to development of advanced diagnostics and their applications to the numerous National Research Facilities including AEDC, AFRL, NASA (Marshall, Glenn, Langley, Stennis, and Kennedy), AFRL and military contractor facilities (Pratt & Whitney, General Electric-Aircraft Engines, Honeywell, and Williams International).

Her staff was responsible for development and operations of the Propulsion Research Facility, an I&D Test Bed for evaluating and demonstrating advanced diagnostic techniques in actual full-scale turbine engine environments.

Norman L. Smith

Norman L. Smith

Norman L. Smith is an Aerospace Precision Machinist Leadman in the AEDC Model Shop since April 2003.

He directly facilitates cutting edge Research, Development, Test and Evaluation efforts and his technical knowledge and abilities place him at the top of the list of AEDC Model Shop precision machinists.

Smith has proven his high level of machinist skills and capabilities on multiple occasions over many years as evidenced by his daily involvement in machining close-tolerance parts to exact specifications in a safe and timely manner.

He is a “go to guy” where safety, timeliness, and precision are imperative in getting a part fabricated / repaired and returned to the test customer. His efforts are directly associated with ensuring test facilities are operational to support test operations. Smith has a “can do” attitude and he will complete any job given him on time and on budget. His unique combination of ability and positive attitude is exactly why Norman’s craftsmanship is seen in a majority of technically challenging, high-visibility, and schedule-driven jobs that enter the Model Shop.

Smith works closely with engineers and designers across AEDC to fabricate a multitude of highly complex parts including projectiles, three-piece balances, and stings. He has performed delicate machining operations to fabricate complex airframes, stores, and parts for large wind tunnels to include the: B-52, A-10, F-35, JDAM, JSOW, JASSM, AIM-9X, AIM-120, roll housings, wings, levels, and most recently blade adapters for our large compressor.

He also fabricated many test-related liners and complex nozzles for the Arc Heater facilities, force measurement equipment for turbine testing, and he played a key role on many other jobs in support of AEDC’s test facilities and processes supported by the Model Shop. It is highly probable that every facility at AEDC utilizes test articles and/or facility hardware fabricated by Norman Smith.

Smith is a key leader at the Model Shop. He can operate virtually every machine in the shop and has supported a broad spectrum of work throughout many years at AEDC. He is frequently sought out by engineers and other craftsmen for advice on the best method to manufacture or machine a product.

Norman’s unique skills, capabilities and personality at times cause him to be pulled in many directions, from mentoring fellow precision machinists, to providing input on new machines to support the work of the shop. He is also a subject matter expert on tooling and machining processes and which we should implement.

He assists planner / schedulers with estimating machining hours to complete work coming to the shop. Norman provides a steady stream of innovative ideas to accomplish demanding work requirements in a very busy shop. It is impossible to articulate the positive impact Norman’s experience and ethics have has on AEDC in general, but it can be stated that his calm demeanor, unique abilities, and positive attitude make him invaluable to the Model Shop, AEDC, and to the United States of America.

The AEDC Fellows Program

Established in 1989, the AEDC Fellows program recognizes AEDC personnel who have made substantial and exceptionally distinguished technical contributions to the nation’s aerospace ground testing capability at AEDC which includes AEDC facilities at Arnold AFB and all AEDC remote operating locations nation-wide. Since the inception of the Fellows program, a total of 117 individuals (Technical Fellows, Craft Fellows, Lifetime Achievement Fellows and Honorary Fellows) have been inducted as AEDC Fellows. Due to changed government rules and regulations in 2016 on awards to non-government employees ACC assumed responsibility for continuing the AEDC Fellows program.

AEDC Technical Fellow

AEDC Technical Fellow nominations may be submitted by any present or former AEDC government or operating contractor/subcontractor employee. All current or retired military, civilian and operating contractor and subcontractor personnel assigned or previously assigned to AEDC can be considered candidates for selection as an AEDC Technical Fellow. Candidates qualified for consideration as an AEDC Fellow must personally have made exceptional sustained, notable and valuable contributions in aerospace ground testing at AEDC.

AEDC Craftsmen Fellow

AEDC Craftsmen Fellow nominations may also be submitted in the same manner as the AEDC Fellow nominations. All current or retired military, civilian and operating contractor/subcontractor personnel assigned, or previously assigned, to AEDC can be considered candidates for selection as an AEDC Craftsmen Fellow. The Craftsmen Fellow category recognizes exceptional craftsmen who possess the ability to identify customer requirements and respond with sustained technical innovations, working effectively and efficiently as part of technical teams and have dedicated their careers to the success of AEDC’s mission. They must have personally made notable and valuable lifetime contributions to AEDC in any area relevant to the AEDC mission.

AEDC Lifetime Achievement Fellow

AEDC Lifetime Achievement Fellow nominations may be submitted by any present or former AEDC government or operating contractor/subcontractor employee. AEDC Lifetime Achievement Fellows are reserved for exceptional candidates and are not necessarily selected each year. All current or retired military, civilian and operating contractor/ subcontractor personnel assigned or previously assigned to AEDC can be considered candidates for selection as an AEDC Lifetime Achievement Fellow. Candidates qualified for consideration as an AEDC Lifetime Achievement Fellow must personally have made notable and valuable lifetime contributions to AEDC in any area relevant to the AEDC mission.

AEDC Honorary Fellow

Only AEDC Fellows may submit a nomination for an AEDC Honorary Fellow.AEDC Honorary Fellows are reserved for exceptional candidates and are not necessarily selected each year. Candidates qualified for consideration as an AEDC Honorary Fellow must have made sustained, notable, valuable and significant contributions to AEDC. These eminent individuals need not have worked at Arnold AFB or any of AEDC’s remote operating locations. 

Annual Banquet

Newly selected AEDC Fellows are honored annually on or about June 25, the birthday of General of the Air Force Henry “Hap” Arnold for whom AEDC is named and the anniversary of the dedication of AEDC by President Harry S Truman in 1951.

This years AEDC Fellows will be pinned as a Fellow at AEDC Fellows Day on June 23rd. They will formally be inducted as an AEDC Fellow at the annual Arnold Community Council Banquet on November 16th.

For more information contact the Chairman of the ACC AEDC Fellows Committee AEDC Fellow retired Major General Mike Wiedemer at (931) 308-1923 or

Find out all of the information you need to make a Nomination

Need Help with the Nomination Process?

Nominations must be submitted in written form with supporting materials to arrive by May 3rd, 2024. Submission details are included in the Nomination Form packet.

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