ASME to Honor Helen Reed with the Kate Gleason Award

Sept. 9, 2016

Helen Louise Reed

Helen Louise Reed, Ph.D., P.E., professor of aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University, will be recognized by ASME for her engineering accomplishments this November at the Society’s annual Honors Assembly in Phoenix, Ariz. Dr. Reed will receive the ASME Kate Gleason Award for lifetime achievement in the fundamental understanding and control of boundary layer transition for high-efficiency aerospace vehicles, and in pioneering small satellite design and implementation.

This year, the Honors Assembly — one of the highlights of the annual ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE) — will take place a day earlier than usual. The multi-media celebration of engineering innovation will be held on Sunday, Nov. 13 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the Phoenix Convention Center.

The Kate Gleason Award, which was established in 2011, recognizes female engineers who are either highly successful entrepreneurs in a field of engineering or who have had a lifetime of achievement in the engineering profession. The award pays tribute to the legacy of Kate Gleason, an accomplished engineer and businesswoman and the first woman to become a full member of ASME.

Reed, who is an ASME Fellow, is currently Regents Professor, Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence and holder of the Edward “Pete” Aldridge ’60 Professorship at Texas A&M. Reed has nearly 40 years of experience in physics-based understanding of the receptivity, stability and transition of boundary layers as they relate to high-altitude long-endurance unmanned vehicles, transports, and hypersonic trans-atmospheric vehicles. An established expert in the areas of hypersonics, energy efficient aircraft and small satellite design, Reed became a member of the Texas A&M faculty in 2004, and served as head of the aerospace engineering department for four years before returning full-time to teaching and research. Before joining Texas A&M, Reed held positions at Arizona State University, Tohuku University in Japan, Stanford University, Sandia National Laboratories and the NASA Langley Research Center.

Reed has held a number of volunteer positions during her more than 30 years as a Society member, including chair and member of the Applied Mechanics Division’s (AMD) Fluid Mechanics Technical Committee, chair and vice chair of the division’s Junior Awards Committee; and ASME’s AMD liaison on the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ (AIAA) Technical Committee on Fluid Dynamics. She has also received numerous honors during her distinguished career, including the J. Leland “Lee” Atwood Award from AIAA and the American Society for Engineering Education in 2007; a Presidential Young Investigator Award and a Faculty Award for Women in Science and Engineering from the National Science Foundation in 1991 and 1984, respectively; and an Outstanding Achievement Award in 1978 from the NASA Langley Research Center. She has also been the recipient of a number of distinguished teaching awards from Texas A&M and Arizona State.

A registered professional engineer in the state of Texas, Reed received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Goucher College in Baltimore, Md., in 1977. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1980 and 1981, respectively.

The ASME Foundation is the proud supporter of the ASME Honors and Awards program through the management of award endowment funds set up by individuals, corporations or groups. For more information on the special events scheduled to take place at IMECE 2016, visit