Eugene E. Covert papers
Scope and Contents
The collection documents the activities of Eugene E. Covert between the years of 1975 and 1995.
Materials include: correspondence as well as research and administrative files.
- 1975 - 1995
- Covert, Eugene E. (Person)
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Eugene E. Covert, 1926-2015, was a professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the AeroAstro department. He specialized in unsteady aerodynamics, heat transfer, and magnetic suspension in wind tunnel balance systems. (1) Covert received his BS in 1946 and MS in 1948 from the University of Minnesota. He then moved to Cambridge, MA and received his ScD in aeronautical engineering from MIT in 1958. (2) He worked at the MIT Naval Supersonic Laboratory through the 1950s. He became an associate professor in the MIT AeroAstro department in 1963 and a full professor in 1968. (3) Covert became head of the department in 1986 (4) and stepped down in 1990 to focus on his work as Director of the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel in 1989. (5) He continued to teach as a professor emeritus until his passing. Besides academics, Covert was active in student interactions. He was a Faculty Advisor for the Office of Minority Education beginning in 1975. (6)
Covert was heavily involved in work outside MIT as a member of both military and research organizations. He served for a year as the Chief Scientist (the civilian equivalent of a 3 star commander) for the United States Air Force in 1972-73. He served as the Vice Chairman of the US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board in 1977 (7) and Chairman from 1982-1986. (8) Covert was a long time advisor of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its predecessor the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). He was a member of the NASA Advisory Council for multiple years. (9) He was also a member of the Presidential Commission formed by President Ronald Reagan charged with investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, serving as the council’s aeronautics expert. (10)
Covert was a member of many societies including the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the Royal Aeronautical Society, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He won a multitude of awards, such as the AGARD (NATO Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development) Von Karman Medal, the AIAA Ground Testing Award, the NASA Public Service Award, and the U.S. Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal. (11) His most cited achievement was his receiving of the Daniel Guggenheim Medal in 2005, the highest honor in aeronautical research. (12)
1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center Oral History Project Biographical Data Sheet for Eugene Edzards Covert. Accessed July 13, 2020. https://historycollection.jsc.nasa.gov/JSCHistoryPortal/history/oral_histories/CovertEE/EEC_BIO.pdf.
2. University of Minnesota. “Eugene E. Covert | University Awards and Honors.” Accessed July 13, 2020. http://uawards.umn.edu/recipients-outstanding-achievement-award/eugene-e-covert.
3. MIT News. “Former AeroAstro Head and Air Force Chief Scientist Eugene Covert Dies at 88.” Accessed July 13, 2020. http://news.mit.edu/2015/former-aeroastro-head-air-force-chief-scientist-eugene-covert-dies-0120.
4. Office of the President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Report of the President 1985-1986,” 1986. http://dome.mit.edu/handle/1721.3/62220.
5. Office of the President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Reports to the President 1989-90,” 1990. http://dome.mit.edu/handle/1721.3/59069.
6. Office of the President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Report of the President and the Chancellor Issue 1975-1976,” 1976. http://dome.mit.edu/handle/1721.3/59057.
7. Office of the President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Report of the President and the Chancellor 1977-78,” 1978. http://dome.mit.edu/handle/1721.3/59059.
8. Guggenheim Medal Recipient Biography for Eugene Covert; https://www.aiaa.org/docs/default-source/uploadedfiles/aiaa-foundation/medalist-for-2005.pdf?sfvrsn=e38fe9c9_2.
9. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Advisory Council (NAC). “Eugene E. Covert Biography.” Accessed July 13, 2020. https://www.nasa.gov/offices/nac/members/covert-bio.html.
10. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) “Report of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident.” Accessed July 13, 2020. https://history.nasa.gov/rogersrep/genindex.htm.
11. NASA Johnson Space Center Oral History Project Biographical Data Sheet for Eugene Edzards Covert; https://historycollection.jsc.nasa.gov/JSCHistoryPortal/history/oral_histories/CovertEE/EEC_BIO.pdf.
12. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). “Daniel Guggenheim Medal, Medalist for 2005.” Accessed July 13, 2020. https://www.aiaa.org/docs/default-source/uploadedfiles/aiaa-foundation/medalist-for-2005.pdf?sfvrsn=e38fe9c9_2.
45 Cubic Feet (45 record cartons)
Language of Materials
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Processing Information note
Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.
- Covert, Eugene E.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- Faculty Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Covert, Eugene E. (Person)
- Preliminary Inventory to the Papers of Eugene E. Covert
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2020 July 13: Biographical note by Ashlynn August added.
- 2021 August 6: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements.
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