AIAA Meeting Includes Sentman Tribute
A tribute to Emeritus Prof. Lee H. Sentman III was held and attended by the late professor’s widow, Jan Sentman, and daughter, Jeanne Griswold, during the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerospace Sciences Meeting in January in Orlando.
David L. Carroll, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the aerospace tech company, CU Aerospace in Champaign, Illinois, and Wayne Solomon, former AE Department Head and CU Aerospace President, authored the Sentman tribute.
The presentation told of Sentman’s early connections with the University of Illinois. Both he and his father, Lee H. Sentman, Jr., were college athletes: the younger in fencing and the elder, in track and field. They were the first father-son pair to win the Big Ten conference Medal for Achievement in Academics and Athletics.
The audience was told of Sentman’s recreational passions: University of Illinois basketball, hunting and flying. Sentman died in March 2010 in a midair collision while flying an aircraft he had built.
The presenters also told about Sentman’s contributions to aerospace engineering, with research contributions in rarefied gas dynamics; chemical kinetics and chemical lasers; and experimental and theoretical laser physics.
Carroll said he was pleased to respond when members of the AIAA plasma, dynamics and technical committee asked him to put the tribute together. “(Lee) was a great man. He was my Ph.D. advisor, my mentor, my colleague, and my friend.” Sentman was also instrumental in encouraging Solomon to come to Illinois and serve as AE department head, Carroll said.
Lee H. Sentman, Jr. and Emeritus Prof. Lee H. Sentman III
Meanwhile, the endowed AE scholarship in Sentman’s honor has grown to about $45,000, and the first undergraduate award will be presented this April. While specific criteria for the selection process still need to be determined, Brett Clifton, AE Assistant Director of Advancement, said AE would be sure to “honor Lee’s passion and dedication to aerospace engineering.”