Prof. Kathleen Howell will be this year's graduate commencement speaker

The award-winning distinguished professor will deliver the keynote address at the university’s spring commencement ceremony for master’s and doctoral students.

Portrait of Kathleen Howell

Kathleen Howell, an award-winning AAE faculty member and Purdue’s Hsu Lo Distinguished Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, will deliver the keynote address at the university’s spring commencement ceremony for master’s and doctor of philosophy students at 7 p.m. May 14 in Elliott Hall of Music.

The selection continues Purdue’s commencement tradition in which the president speaks at all undergraduate ceremonies and invites an esteemed Purdue faculty member to address students during the graduate degrees ceremony. 

“Professor Kathleen Howell has attained the pinnacle of excellence in her research and teaching, and her impact to graduate students has been long-standing and outstanding,” said Mung Chiang, Purdue University president. “We are looking forward to her spring 2023 graduate commencement address.”

Read more about Howell in AAE faculty profile series: Kathleen Howell

Howell joined the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics as a faculty member in 1982. With research specializations in orbit mechanics, spacecraft dynamics and control, and trajectory optimization, Howell has contributed to the success of multiple NASA space missions, including Genesis, Artemis and Cassini. Her work has received national and international acclaim through honors like the American Astronautical Society Dirk Brouwer Award, which recognizes significant contributions to spaceflight mechanics and astrodynamics, and the International Astronautical Federation’s Distinguished Service Award.

In 2002, Howell was named one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Science” by Discover magazine. She is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Science. Howell has served on multiple NASA advisory councils and is a fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Astronautical Society. She is a 2019 winner of the Morrill Award, Purdue’s highest faculty honor, and has received several teaching accolades, including the Charles B. Murphy Award, Purdue’s highest undergraduate teaching honor. 

The ceremony for master’s and doctoral candidates is one of nine that will be held at the Elliott Hall of Music on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus May 12-14. Find out more on the spring commencement ceremonies website.

Publish date: March 16, 2023