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Ernest J. "Jim" Cross Jr., manager of Old Dominion University's Full-Scale Wind Tunnel, received the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the agency's highest non-employee medal, at an awards ceremony at NASA Headquarters June 15.

NASA awards the Distinguished Public Service Medal to individuals whose distinguished accomplishments have substantially contributed to the NASA mission.

In a nomination letter, Jeremiah F. Creedon, director of Langley Research Center, wrote, "Throughout his long and distinguished career, Dr. Ernest James (Jim) Cross has contributed immensely to the nation's aerospace industry, to higher education and to the mission and goals of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration." Additionally, Creedon stated, "During his 12-year tenure as dean of engineering at ODU, Dr. Cross initiated and carried out NASA Langley's largest research support program, with both research faculty and graduate students engaging in NASA research 'on-site' and at the ODU campus."

Cross has served as manager of the wind tunnel since its acquisition by the university in 1996. As Old Dominion's manager of special projects and former dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, Cross played a key role in transferring the operation of the tunnel to Old Dominion. Additionally, he has played important roles in the university's relationship with Jefferson Lab and the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center.

Cross joined Old Dominion in 1984 as dean of the College of Engineering and Technology and became director of special projects after stepping down from the position at the end of the fall 1996 semester.

This article was posted on: June 20, 2000

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