Contact Us:

David Throckmorton
Vice President of Research

David Peake, Ph.D.
Vice President of Commercial Aeronautics

Carly Bosco
Director NASA Langley Programs

Peter McHugh
Director FAA Programs

Commercial Programs

NIA has established an unprecedented standard of collaboration between the aerospace industry and university teams of eminent academic researchers to augment research and technology thrusts in the commercial aircraft industry. Through these collaborations, we conduct research to support the development of the next generation of commercial aircraft that will set a new standard in environmental friendliness and fuel efficiency.

Areas of research include:

  • Laminar-Flow Technologies: to reduce the air turbulence over an aircraft in flight, thereby minimizing the drag and fuel burn.
  • Methods of incorporating wireless technologies within an airplane itself, to reduce sheer weight of miles of internal wiring and as a means of communications and navigation, as well as constant in-flight monitoring of aircraft status and structural integrity.
  • Fine-tuning nanomaterials to increase strength and reduce weight of the airframe; also to investigate how nanomaterials can make aircraft structures more resistant to damage while providing improved surface coatings on composite-material components

For more information about what NIA can do to support commercial aerospace programs, please contact:

Director: Dr. David Peake, Vice President, Commercial Aeronautics Programs

Contact: 757 325 6720 |


Doing Business with NIA

NIA offers its clients:

  • Excellence: Quality assurance is a standard of our work.
  • Experience: Our staff has proven expertise
  • Innovation: We deliver unique, leading edge solutions
  • Reliability: We deliver solutions on time and within budget
  • Award Winning Staff: Our team has received numerous awards from national and regional industry organizations


New Business Opportunities Business on Existing Agreements
David Throckmorton
Vice President of Research

Education and Outreach
Shelley Spears
Director of Outreach Development

Public Outreach
Harla Sherwood
Director of Communications and Partnerships

Carole McPhillips
Director of Contracts
carole.mcphillips@nianet.orgNASA Langley Programs  
Carly Bosco
Director of NASA Langley Programs

FAA Programs
Peter McHugh
Director, FAA Programs

Commercial Aeronautics
David Peake, Ph.D.
VP Commercial Aeronautics Program

Current Contracts
NIA-NASA Langley Business Relationships Cooperative Agreement:
– Period of performance through September 2012 with options to 2022
– Provides for
:- Cooperative and collaborative research
– Education and graduate student activities
– Promotion of aerospace science, outreach and engineering both regionally and nationallyIDIQ Task Order Contract:
– Period of performance through March 2018
– Provides for:
– Research and technology development
– Graduate and continuing education
– Workshops, short courses and seminars

Space Act Agreement:
– Period of performance through November 2015
– Allows for:
– NIA and its University members to utilize NASA Langley as paid subcontractor for third party work
– NIA and University use of NASA facilities for research supported by others

NIA-FAA Business Relationships Cooperative Agreement:
– Period of performance through August 2013 Other Transaction Agreement (OTA)- Period of performance through September 2013

FAA PROGRAMS NIA has established a robust research program in support of the FAA.  This program is conducted through three separate agreements:

Human Factors Research – We are currently in a follow-on “Other Transactions Agreement (OTA)” with the FAA to conduct leading-edge human factors research to support the FAA’s prime initiative, NextGen.  Within this agreement, NIA leads important tasks related to relevant human factors areas such as:

  • Maintenance induced maintenance support;
  • Technical operations symbology standard;
  • Air Traffic Control operational human performance assessment; and
  • FAA airport alarms and alerts standard.

Completed tasks include:

  • Aircrew, controllers, and maintenance personnel and      their environments;
  • Flight and ground operations (departure and arrival);
  • Maintenance and equipage;
  • Safety and training;
  • NextGen planning and road-mapping; and
  • Standards and administrative support.

NIA continues to lead an established team of leading-edge companies and subject matter experts (SMEs), who are highly skilled professionals in the fields of commercial, corporate, and general aviation.  This cadre of expertise enables the necessary research of changes in roles and responsibilities between pilots and controllers, as well as the allocation of functions between humans and automation.  NIA is providing essential research, studies, and solutions to help the FAA meet the developing requirements of NextGen, and the fundamental changes that will have profound effects in the cockpit and Air Traffic Control Centers, while benefiting the customers and stakeholders.

Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC) – This OTA was recently initiated and encompasses the issues of bringing and utilizing enhanced weather data in the cockpit from the aircrew’s perspective.  The product of this task will a Concept of Operations (ConOps) that will be a “living” document (a current assessment that will be open to future changes), rather than a traditional standard or regulation.  To accomplish this, the following tasks are currently being undertaken:

  • Diverse aspects of weather delivery, interpretation, and utilization by the aircrew
  • Assorted scenarios that address the varied phases of flight operation
  • Stakeholder adjudication

Wake Vortex Encounter Research – NIA is currently in the fifth year of the initial Cooperative Agreement with a follow-on agreement in development.  This agreement enables continued Wake Vortex Encounter research with the goals being to:

  • Conduct leading-edge research to accomplish broad FAA      objectives through stimulating or supporting the acquisition of knowledge      or understanding of the subject.
  • Support graduate student research projects including      tuition, stipend, and reasonable faculty advisor support.
  • Initiate alliances that include industry, or other      associate members, to concentrate research efforts on specific technical      barrier problems.

As the FAA deploys NextGen, explores wake vortex concerns, requires innovative research into challenging human factors problems, and addresses a variety of emerging technical issues, such as weather data and aircrew interface, NIA is solidly positioned to assist the FAA in meeting its future goals.



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