Dr. Chris Cotting to speak at Engineers Week Banquet

Dr. Chris Cotting

Dr. Chris Cotting

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. -- Dr. Chris Cotting, Flight Sciences Technical Expert for the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, will be the guest speaker at this year’s Engineers Week Banquet Feb. 23 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute cafeteria.

Cotting will speak on the topic “The Symbiotic Relationship of Ground Testing and Flight Testing” and discuss how modern flight testing utilizes a model validation approach to test planning and execution in order to predict, conduct testing and then validate the results. Ground test often follows these same principles.

He will focus on the similarities between ground and flight test, giving examples of how previous programs have leveraged ground testing to accelerate flight testing, and how ground testing can provide risk mitigation for flight testing. He will also discuss how flight test results can then be used to increase accuracy of ground tests, showing a symbiotic relationship between ground and flight testing.

Cotting is responsible for the entire Flight Sciences curriculum at the USAF TPS. During his tenure there he has completely re-written the Flying Qualities curriculum in order to modernize flight testing techniques and raise academic standards.

Cotting has also been responsible for bringing in several research projects to USAF TPS. These projects have involved teaming with academic, industry and government institutions, and providing quick and affordable access to flight test platforms such as the Calspan Learjet variable stability simulator and the NF-16D VISTA, or Variable In-flight Stability Test Aircraft.

He received the International Test and Evaluation Association 2015 Richard G. Cross Award for his significant contribution to education in the field of test and evaluation.

Cotting has worked for several small businesses and for the U.S. Air Force, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and the Lockheed Martin Skunkworks. He has also worked on several X-planes, including the X-33, the X-35B, the X-43A and the X-43C.

He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Mississippi State University and a doctorate degree in aerospace engineering from Virginia Tech.

The cost for the banquet is $30 per person. Tickets may be purchased by calling 454-6542, 454-6093 or 393-7300.