Press Release: Dr. David A. Peters is Awarded the 2008 AHS Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship

December 27, 2007
L. Kim Smith

Dr. David A. Peters is Awarded the 2008 AHS Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship

Alexandria, VA -- AHS Executive Director M. E. Rhett Flater announced today that Dr. David A. Peters has been selected to receive the Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship.  The Lecture will be delivered at the 64th AHS Annual Forum and Technology Display at the Palais des congres, Montréal, Canada on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 4:00 p.m.

The Lectureship is awarded to “an individual who reflects the highest ideals, goals and achievements in the field of helicopter and V/STOL aircraft engineering and development.”  In winning the award, Peters joins the ranks of previous distinguished Nikolsky recipients including Ken Rosen, Troy Gaffey, Richard M. Carlson, Howard C. Curtiss, Jr., Daniel P. Schrage, David Jenney, Evan Fradenburgh, Kenneth I. Grina, Robert R. Lynn, Rene Mouille, Alfred Gessow, Bartram Kelley, Robert Huston, Bruno Lovera and Barnes McCormick, Jr.

Dr. Peters was nominated based on his long and distinguished career that has exemplified the highest ideals, goals and achievements in the field of helicopter and V/STOL aircraft engineering and development. He is currently the McDonnell Douglas Professor of Engineering at Washington University as well as the Director, Washington University Center for Computational Mechanics.  He is also the Associate Director of the Georgia Tech Center of Excellence for Rotorcraft Technology.  Dr. Peters has been working in the helicopter rotor dynamics and aerodynamics field for more than 30 years.  In addition, he has educated many students these past 30 years and these individuals are now working in key positions in government, industry and in universities.  

Some of his research results have become standard for industry use in analysis and in research and design.  Some of these key areas include:  Dynamic Inflow Theory, Flap-Lag Stability, Floquet Theory, Periodic Shooting, Dynamic Wake Modeling, and Generalized Harmonic Balance Method.  He has two patents – “Helicopter Rotor with Improved Stability” with Ormiston, Bousman and Hodges and “High Efficiency Heat Fan” with Shawcross and Hinesly.

Dr. Peter’s received his B.S. and M.S. in Applied Mechanics from Washington University, St. Louis and then went on to complete his Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University.  While pursuing his doctoral degree he was also an Associate Engineer at McDonnell Douglas Aeronautics as well as a Research Scientist at the Army Air Mobility R&D Laboratory at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA.  He then became a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Washington University, St. Louis in 1975 and then the Chairman of Mechanical Engineering in 1982.  After that he then moved onto Georgia Institute of Technology where he became the Professor of Aerospace Engineering in 1985 and he continues his association through today.

AHS International and its Awards Committee made Dr. Peters an AHS Technical Fellow in 2003 and he is a Lifetime member of the Society.  He has held many positions on the AHS Board of Directors including Regional Vice President as well as Director-at-Large.  Dr. Peters is also a member of other professional societies including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers where he has also received the distinction of Fellow and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics has also bestowed a Fellow award to Dr. Peters.

Dr. Peter’s lecture will be featured in an upcoming edition of the Journal of the American Helicopter Society and he will be honored at FORUM 64 with the presentation of a certificate and a medallion.  His lecture is titled, “How Dynamic Inflow Survives in the Competitive World of Rotorcraft Aerodynamics.”

AHS International -- The Vertical Flight Society is a professional technical organization, which promotes vertical flight technologies and their applications around the world.

AHS International, 217 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-2538; (703) 684-6777;
Fax (703) 739-9279; e-mail:; Web Site: 

Past award recipients