New Chief Scientist Steps In

Dr. Werner Dahm, a University of Michigan professor of aerospace engineering, became the chief scientist of the Air Force yesterday, replacing Dr. Mark Lewis who had served in that role since 2004. Dahm returns to the Air Force after having worked as a research engineer at the Arnold Engineering Development Center on the grounds of Arnold AFB, Tenn., from 1979 to 1981. The Ann Arbor News reported last month that Dahm is taking a leave of absence from U-M, where he has taught and researched for the past 23 years in areas related primarily to fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, and propulsion. As chief scientist, he will be the principal science and technology adviser to the Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff. “The Air Force is facing some tremendous challenges and helping bring the science and technology perspective into some of the pending decisions is an enormous opportunity and is very important,” he said. “Another thing I want to do is to help bring the Air Force research and development community and its operational community closer together.” This, for example, will help the operational community “become more aware of what science and technology can potentially do for them,” Dahm said. An Air Force spokeswoman told the Daily Report yesterday that Lewis has returned to the University of Maryland at College Park where he taught prior to his appointment as chief scientist. However, he remains engaged with the service as a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and a “special government employee” supporting the Secretary and Chief, she said. (Includes Arnold report by Janae’ Daniels)