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New director aboard at Center for Aviation Studies

Blake Stringer headshot

The Ohio State University College of Engineering has named D. Blake Stringer as director of the Center for Aviation Studies. He begins to serve in his new role on August 1 and will assume full-time responsibilities in January 2024.

Stringer joins Ohio State from Kent State University in northeastern Ohio, where he served as assistant and tenured associate professor for the past 10 years. Prior to that, he retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel, serving 20 years as a leader in Army Aviation and the Army Research Laboratory.

“Ohio State is one of the few universities in the country that oversees a flight education program, a tower-controlled airport, a doctorate-granting aerospace engineering department and robust research partnerships with military agencies,” said College of Engineering Dean Ayanna Howard. “Blake’s unique combination of skills as a licensed pilot, a professor, an engineer and a veteran provides an exceptional fit for this vital center embedded in the college.”

Stringer’s leadership spans decades in academic, government research and aviation environments. At Kent State, he was the founding faculty member of aerospace engineering undergraduate and graduate degrees, the first engineering programs offered at the university.

He concluded his military service as the Army Research Laboratory’s vehicle propulsion division chief, directing the Army’s basic and applied research of engine and drive-system technologies, a position he held while stationed at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Other military leadership assignments include director of U.S. Army Europe’s Air Traffic Control Standardization Office, and commander and executive officer of several operational units supporting Army Aviation operations.

An experienced pilot in fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, Stringer holds both a commercial airman certificate and remote pilot certificate from the FAA. He has held academic appointments at the U.S. Military Academy, Kent State, and most recently as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Aeronautics at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado while on sabbatical.

“The State of Ohio has a rich tradition of innovation in aviation and has positioned itself to maintain its leadership in addressing current challenges and modernizing the industry. The Ohio State University’s Center for Aviation Studies plays a big part in that,” Stringer said. “I look forward to engaging with our stakeholders, including university leadership, academic and industry partners, and alumni, to create the conditions for ensuring that our students, faculty and staff enjoy an even stronger reputation for academic excellence, scholarship, career placement and professional fulfillment.”

His research interests include electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) aircraft propulsion scalability and thermal management, and uncrewed traffic management (UTM) with funded work from the Army Research Office, the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Ohio Federal Research Network. His total research collaborations as PI or co-PI exceed $6.5 million in external funding.

Stringer is the recipient of numerous military awards and decorations that include the Bronze Star and the Army’s Senior Aviator Badge. He has one combat tour in Iraq. 

He earned a doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia, a master of science in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. 

The Center for Aviation Studies is the university’s hub for aviation-related education, research and outreach. Aviation undergraduate degree programs span the College of Engineering as well as the Fisher College of Business and College of Arts and Sciences. The center supports Ohio State’s Federal Aviation Administration-certified Flight Education program, nine student organizations, research initiatives and outreach programming. Teaching staff have a combined 250+ years of industry experience, and all programs have received accreditation from the Aviation Accreditation Board International.

by the College of Engineering communications staff