Meet AAE's New Head - William Crossley

Crossley eager to help AAE


William A. Crossley didn't offer much advance notification.

He was attending The Boeing Company’s Everett, Washington, facility to present a final overview on a project completed by a group of aeronautics and astronautics faculty and their students in collaboration with Boeing and knew it’d be a short trip. So his plan was to essentially get in and out, without alerting any former students turned Boeing employees to his presence.

But before he left, Crossley and the Purdue team were scheduled for a VIP tour of the floor of the factory, one of the largest manufacturing buildings in the world, where Boeing produces thousands of airplanes.

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Crossley at a Glance


Michigan (BS); Arizona State (MS, Ph.D.)

Academic appointments:

Professor, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics (August 2009-present); Associate Professor, AAE (August 2001-July 2009); Assistant Professor, AAE (August 1995-July 2001); Director for Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility, and Sustainability (PEGASAS), FAA Center of Excellence for General Aviation (September 2012-present); Chair of Aerospace Systems area and Design committees

Industry experience:

McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems (August 1990-May 1995); Consultant for The Aerospace Corporation, FAAC Incorporated, Institute for Defense Analyses, and NextGen Aeronautics; Visiting scholar at The Boeing Company’s Phantom Works; Fellowship programs at Wright Laboratory/Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, NASA Langley Research Center, and The Boeing Company

Honors and Awards:

Purdue University Great Book of Teachers; College of Engineering A.A. Potter Award; AAE’s Elmer F. Bruhn Award (2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012); AAE’s W.A. Gustafson Award (1998, 1999, 2000); AAE’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award (2017); American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellow

William Crossley in Armstrong Hall with the Air Force plane template behind him

'Accomplished research leader, renowned educator'

William A. Crossley assumed the position of J. William Uhrig and Anastasia Vournas Head of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics on July 20, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. The position was renamed to the Uhrig & Vournas Head of Aeronautics and Astronautics on December 5, 2022.

Currently, Crossley is a professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics and director for Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS), the Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for General Aviation.

His teaching and research interests are in aerospace systems design analysis and optimization, with emphasis on problems that mix continuous and discrete variables, involve uncertainty, and have multiple objectives.

Under Crossley's leadership since 2013, PEGASAS has been awarded 32 projects and $19.1 million in FAA funds.

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