Bell chief technologist gets prestigious lectureship
November 2, 2015 By Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter has announced that Tom L. Wood, Bell Helicopter’s chief technologist, has been awarded the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International’s 2016 Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship.
The annual Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship is given to an individual who reflects the highest ideals, goals and achievements in the field of helicopter and V/STOL aircraft engineering and development. Wood’s Nikolsky Lecture will be widely disseminated and accompanied by an archival technical article to document and preserve his seminal work.
“Tom Wood’s enduring contributions to advancing vertical flight make him the perfect choice for the honourary lectureship,” said Dr. Cathy Kilmain, Bell Helicopter’s EVP of engineering. “His endless dedication and incredible insights have advanced the capabilities of many programs at Bell Helicopter and across the rotorcraft industry in general. Allowing Tom to share his perspective and experience with the technical community will ensure that Tom’s expansive knowledge will continue to contribute for generations to come.”
Wood has had an extensive 50 year career a Bell Helicopter where he has been a key figure in many major development programs, has contributed numerous and significant innovations to the field and has mentored at least two generations of rotary wing engineers. In his current position, Wood advises the executive leadership team on technical issues, oversees the senior technical fellow organization and the company’s research and innovation group. All his efforts are closely linked to Bell Helicopter’s military and commercial product line.
“I am truly honoured to be recognized and look forward to presenting the 36th Annual AHS Nikolsky Lecture,” said Wood. “Looking back on my half-century at Bell Helicopter, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to provide my view on some of technologies that have transformed the world of vertical flight.”
Wood’s technical involvement in programmatic roles includes a recent position as technical director for the Bell-Boeing JMR Configuration Trade Analysis contract with the U.S. Army. Additionally, in 2012 he was appointed as a member of the Aeronautics Committee of the NASA Advisory Council and was reappointed in 2014.
Among his awards are the AHS’s Howard Hughes Award in 1984, Paul E. Haueter Award in 2005, AHS Technical Fellow Award in 2010, Dr. Alexander Klemin Award in 2011, and AHS Honorary Fellow Award in 2015. Additionally, he has published an award-winning study on the loss of tail rotor effectiveness.
Previous Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship awardees include Bart Kelley, Alfred Gessow, Bob Loewy, Ken Grina, Troy Gaffey, Dave Peters, Ken Rosen and Wayne Johnson.
Wood will be presented the award the 72nd Annual Forum & Technology Display in West Palm Beach, Florida on May 17, 2016. At the event, he will also present his lecture for the first time.