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Ernest J. "Jim" Cross, Jr., has been appointed acting chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering. He succeeds Dr. Oktay Baysal, who was appointed interim dean of the College of Engineering and Technology.

Cross joined Old Dominion University in 1984 as dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, a position he held until 1997. As Old Dominion's manager of special projects and a former dean, he played a key role in transferring the operation of the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel to Old Dominion. He has served as LFST manager since 1998 and will continue in that capacity during his service as aerospace acting chair.

"Jim brings a wealth of experience from the points of views of academics, administration, and the Enterprise Centers," said Baysal. "Not only the department, but also the college, will benefit immensely from this experience."

A Korean War veteran and former fighter pilot, Cross received his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas in 1968. His research interests include experimental aerodynamics, wind tunnel and flight testing, applied aerodynamics, and aircraft and surface vehicles.

Before joining Old Dominion, Cross served as professor and head of the aerospace engineering department at Texas A&M University and as professor and director of the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory at Mississippi State University.

Cross is the recipient of NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal, the agency's highest non-employee recognition awarded to individuals whose accomplishments have substantially contributed to the NASA mission.

This article was posted on: September 20, 2002

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