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von Karman Symposium

International Academy of Astronautics
Theodore von Karman Symposium
Celebrating von Karman, Aerospace Pioneer
June 21, 2013
Pasadena, USA


von KarmanA one-day symposium will be held at Caltech on June 21, 2013 to commemorate the life and accomplishments of Dr. Theodore von Kármán. The symposium will honor the 50th anniversary of Dr. von Kármán's death on May 6, 1963. Dr. von Kármán was a key figure in aerodynamics and his work on supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization was groundbreaking. Being a true visionary with many international contacts, he founded or helped to found many institutions, notably the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and was the first Director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, California Institute of Technology (GALCIT).

This event is sponsored by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in association with the International Academy of Astronautics and GALCIT. The symposium will consist of presentations by invited speakers. In addition, you are cordially invited to submit abstracts for a 30 minute presentation or a poster, which will be presented on the day of the symposium. Submissions should be emailed by May 15, 2013 to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Lees-Kubota Lecture Hall, 101 Guggenheim, Caltech

Moderator: Blaine Baggett, Director for Communication and Education, JPL
9:00     Opening Remarks
Charles Elachi, Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

9:30     A Paradoxical Life, Pursued at the Right Time: Theodore von Karman, 1881-1963
Michael H. Gorn, Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

10:15     Morning Break

10:30     Theodore von Karman and the IAA
Jean-Michel Contant, IAA General Secretary, Paris

11:15     Theodore von Karman, the First Space Entrepreneur
Brian E. Sweeney, Esq., Vice President, Legal, Aerojet-General Corporation

12:00     Tour of GALCIT's von Karman Archives

12:30     Luncheon

1:30     Theodore von Karman and Caltech in the History of American Rocketry
Erik Conway, JPL Historian, Pasadena

2:15     von Karman at GALCIT
Graduate Aerospace Laboratories presentation

3:00     Afternoon Break

3:15     Knee High in July: The Growth of Karman's Seed Corn...
Dik Daso, University of South Carolina

4:00     Roundtable with Presenters & Share your von Karman stories

4:30     Closing Remarks
Otfrid Liepack, IAA, Pasadena

Reception to follow in the Guggenheim Lobby


Registration Fee $75; cost includes luncheon and closing reception.

Please register by sending an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ; include your First and Last Name as you would like it on your badge, your email address, Institute or Affiliation, address, and telephone number.
Please use the symposium registration form.

Please pay by check made out to: vKS at Caltech

Please mail to:
vKS at Caltech
Attention Dimity Nelson
Mail Code 105-50
Pasadena, CA 91125-0050

For more detailed information, please visit the conference website at

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