VTSGC/VT NASA EPSCoR Leadership Change
- By Dawn Marie Densmore
After over 21 years of outstanding service, Dr. William Lakin, Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics in the Mathematics and Statistics Department, has stepped down as the Director of the Vermont Space Grant Consortium (VTSGC) and Vermont's NASA EPSCoR Program. Dr. Lakin (Bill) was one of 52 Directors in the National Council of Space Grant Directors and one of the Charter Directors of NASA Space Grant, the National College and Fellowship Program. He formed the VTSGC Affiliate Advisory Board and NASA EPSCoR Technical Advisory Committee in Vermont in collaboration with the Vermont EPSCoR Program. Dr. Lakin has been commended for his formation of the VTSGC Undergraduate Scholarship Program and two special scholarship programs, the VTSGC Native American Scholarships and the VTSGC BTC Aviation Technology Scholarships. During his leadership, he guided VTSGC to be considered a quality NASA Space Grant Capability Enhancement Consortium. Prior to his years as a Professor at UVM, Dr. Lakin was in the National Science Foundation Grant Department in Washington DC and at NASA Ames Research Center, where his team solved the first adhesion problem of the Space Shuttle Tiles and at NASA Langley Research Center, where his team solved the rotor wash for helicopters. His main research for NASA at UVM was in “Modeling the Role of Intracranial Pressure in the Development of Space Adaptation Syndrome” as Research Principle Investigator of the Intracranial Pressure Modeling Project and was nationally recognized among his peers and by NASA for his grant writing and administration abilities. Dr. Lakin was selected and served many years as a member the Vermont Academy of Science and Engineering and had international research collaborations.
“Bill's outstanding and dedicated leadership, which he selflessly provided even after his retirement, has been crucial to the many successes of the VTSCG and VT-NASA EPSCoR,” says Bernard “Chip” Cole, Interim Director of UVM’s College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) . “The institution and the state owe Bill a debt of gratitude for his tremendous service -- his legacy will always be one of great forward progress in scientific research in Vermont that has been supported by NASA.”
Dr. Darren Hitt Announced as Interim Director of VTSGC and NASA EPSCoR
Dr. Darren Hitt, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been appointed by NASA as Interim Director of the Vermont Space Grant Consortium (VTSGC)/ NASA EPSCoR, with a secondary faculty appointment in the Mathematics and Statistics Department. His confirmation as Director is expected when the NASA's official Space Grant Director transition period is complete. An Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) and a Senior Member of the American Astronautical Society, Professor Hitt comes to this position with enthusiasm and an established research record in aerospace engineering and related sciences. His research focus is in micro-scale fluid mechanics with applications to small satellite micro-propulsion systems. This work, in collaboration with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, has received past funding from NASA and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Among his teaching interests is a popular senior/graduate-level course in orbital mechanics that he regularly teaches at UVM.
“Darren's background and experience will be a great asset to the VTSGC as the program continues to flourish under his leadership,” says Bernard “Chip” Cole, Interim Dean UVM CEMS. “It is indeed a great pleasure to welcome Darren into this important role.”
The VTSGC and VT-NASA EPSCoR, funded by grants administered by NASA and mandated by the United States Congress, are extremely important programs for CEMS, UVM, and the State of Vermont, and they have supported valuable, cutting-edge scientific research and STEM education. Indeed, a great many UVM investigators and students have benefited from these programs over the years. More information on the VTSGC can be found at: