Erdle Chair

phil erdle ardi foundation


The Philip J. Erdle Chair in Engineering Science was fully endowed during academic year 2001-2002 by gifts to ARDI from Carolyn Knies Erdle and the International Education Foundation to honor Dr. Philip Erdle (Brig Gen, USAF, Retired), a Permanent Professor Emeritus and former Vice Dean of the USAFA faculty, as well as a founding member of ARDI. Dr. Erdle has been named an honorary member of the USAFA Association of Graduates and is a recipient of the Superintendent’s Award for Distinguished Service to the United States Air Force and the Air Force Academy. Income from the endowment is used to provide a Distinguished Visiting Professor in one of the several departments of the Engineering Division.


Dr. Fred T. Gilliam

Dr. Fred T. Gilliam earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1969, his Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1974, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1983. He was commissioned through the AFROTC program at the University of Tennessee and served 23 years in the Air Force, retiring in 1993 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Dr. Gilliam began his professional career with the McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California. Upon entering active duty in the Air Force, Dr. Gilliam served as an Aircraft Performance Engineer for the Aeronautical Systems Division at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton Ohio.

After completing his Master’s degree at AFIT, Dr. Gilliam was selected as a faculty member in the Department of Aeronautics at the USAF Academy. He taught courses in aerodynamics, thermodynamics, laboratory methods, and aircraft design. After earning his Ph.D., he became the Chief of Reentry Systems Testing at the Arnold Engineering Development Center, Arnold AFS, Tennessee.

Returning to the Air Force Academy in 1984, Dr. Gilliam became the Director of Research and, subsequently, Deputy Head of the Department of Aeronautics. In addition to teaching and department administration, Dr. Gilliam conducted research in unsteady aerodynamics and served on a national committee dedicated to advancing aircraft design education and practice.

In 1988, Dr. Gilliam became the Chief Scientist of the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development in London, England where he led a team of scientists and engineers in developing cooperative efforts between the U.S. Air Force and the European R&D community. Dr. Gilliam returned to the Air Force Academy in 1991 where he was Director of the Aeronautics Curriculum until his retirement from the Air Force in 1993.

Following his retirement, Dr. Gilliam became the Associate Chairman of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas in Austin, and later, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Most recently, before his return to the Air Force Academy, Dr. Gilliam was the Founding Dean of the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. In this role he created three ABET-accredited engineering programs.


USAFA Engineering Division


- Dr. Erlind Royer


- Carolyn Knies Erdle
- International Education Foundation, Inc.