A prominent expert in the field of aviation with more than four decades of experience, Ralph Dace Kimberlin, Ph.D., has enjoyed a robust career as a test flight pilot and professor. Dr. Kimberlin completed his undergraduate education at the United States Naval Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science in 1963. While in pursuit of a master’s degree in aerospace at The University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI), Dr. Kimberlin simultaneously served as chief of flight and aerodynamics for Piper Aircraft, a position he held from 1974 to 1978. He subsequently joined UTSI as a professor and chairman of the aviations systems program, dedicating nearly 30 years to the university before departing in 2005. Since 2006, Dr. Kimberlin has shared his expertise with the next wave of air travel enthusiasts by serving as an aeronautics professor at the Florida Institute of Technology. Furthermore, he offers his services as a consultant and stays current in aviation technologies as a test pilot. Additionally, Dr. Kimberlin holds a Ph.D. in engineering, aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the Technical University of Aachen in Germany, which he earned in 1991.
Since entering the academic arena as an educator, Dr. Kimberlin has helped 10 of his students become astronauts. Notably, Scott Kelly, a renowned and retired astronaut, was one of his students. A former officer in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Kimberlin has exercised his passion for his profession through his affiliation with SAE, EEA and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). In 2002, he authored, “Flight Testing of Fixed-Wing Aircraft,” as part of the AIAA Education Series. In the coming years, Dr. Kimberlin aspires to publish a second edition of his book.
Dr. Kimberlin has always attributed much of his success to his unyielding love for what he does. Recognized for his hard work, dedication and significant contributions to his field, he was elected a Fellow of the Society for Experimental Test Pilots.
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