Nicole Key appointed to NASA Advisory Council

Nicole Key, professor of mechanical engineering, has been appointed to the NASA Advisory Council, as part of the Aeronautics Committee.

The Aeronautics Committee advises the NASA Administrator through the NASA Advisory Council on strategic plans, programs, policies and other matters pertinent to the Agency's responsibilities for aeronautics research and development. Its advice spans basic research and technology applicable to all areas of aviation that are under the purview of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. These areas include but are not limited to commercial air transportation, advanced air vehicles, aviation safety, and air transportation system technology research, development, and demonstration. Key will be serving a two-year term.

In addition to being a full professor of mechanical engineering, Dr. Key serves as Associate Head for Graduate Studies in Mechanical Engineering.  She obtained her bachelor’s degree from the School of Aeronautics & Astronautics at Purdue in 2000 and her master’s from the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue in 2002.  She then spent a year in Brussels completing the Diploma Course at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics working on turbine tip flows. She returned to Purdue and completed her PhD in 2007 focusing on vane clocking effects in a multistage compressor.  She joined the faculty of mechanical engineering at Purdue in the fall of 2007.  Prof. Key’s experimental research focuses on understanding the underlying flow physics associated with primary and secondary flow phenomena in axial and radial compressors to enable more efficient, robust designs.  Her research has been sponsored by NASA, ONR, Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, Siemens, Pratt & Whitney, GE, and the GUIde Consortium. She was the recipient of the 2014 International Gas Turbine Institute’s (IGTI) Dilip Ballal Early Career Award and named a University Faculty Scholar in 2019.  She led the ASME Gas Turbine Segment Leadership Team in 2019-2020 and served on the Segment Leadership Team from 2017-2021. She has been an Associate Editor for the ASME Journal of Turbomachinery and AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power.  She is an ASME Fellow and AIAA Associate Fellow.

She joins fellow Purdue grad Darin DiTommaso (BSAAE '88), who is vice chair of the Aeronautics Committee.