Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Colloquium

April 19, 2017
April 19, 2017
Speaker: Richard Hill
                 Federal Aviation Administration
Title: Aircraft Accidents, Research Engineering and Development, and Regulatory Safety Improvements
Time: 3:30 p.m.

Abstract: This presentation will address three major, fire related, aircraft accidents (TWA 800, ValuJet, and Swiss Air). The investigation into each accident will be explored as well as the findings and recommendations. The research, engineering and development (RE&D) generated by each accident will be detailed and discussed. This will include research to determine the cause or understanding of the accident, as well as RE&D to develop improved safety standard to minimize the risk of a repeat accident. The concepts of risk reduction and cost/benefit will be discussed. The aim of the presentation is to demonstrate how engineering is used to make flying safer and save lives. 

Bio: Mr. Hill has a B.S. Mechanical Engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Masters in Aviation Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Mr. Hill is Program Manager, Fire Safety R&D, Federal Aviation Administration Technical Center with experience in all aspects of in-flight and post-crash aircraft fire protection, and passenger evacuation R&D. In over 48 years Mr. Hill’s major areas of oversight include: Halon Replacement, Fire & Burn-through Resistant Thermal Acoustic Insulation, Fuel Tank Explosion Protection, and Lithium Battery Fire Safety, regulatory changes in Cargo Compartment Fire Detection and Suppression, Fire resistant Flight Recorders,  Heat Resistant Evacuation Slides, Seat Fire Blocking Layers, Halon 1211 Hand-Held Extinguishers, Low Heat and Smoke Release Interior Panels, and Burn-through Resistant Cargo Liners in aircraft and the development and publication of the Aircraft Material Fire Test Handbook. Mr. Hill has authored more than 100 technical reports and papers and given more than 100’s of technical presentations at national and international conferences or meetings. Mr. Hill has investigated more than 50 aircraft accidents involving fire. Mr. Hill is the: Former Chairman, International Aircraft Materials Fire Test Working Group Former Chairman, International Aircraft Halon Replacement Working Group Present FAA R&D representative to the International Cabin Safety Technical Team. Mr. Hill has received numerous awards, including: National Society of Professional Engineers, Engineer of the Year of the FAA – 1986 Admiral Luis De Florez Flight Safety Award, Flight Safety Foundation – 1988. Space Technology Hall of Fame (Induction), US Space Foundation & NASA – 1996 for Development of Fire Resistant Aircraft Seats.The Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award, USEPA – 2008.  In addition to Mr. Hill’s 48 year with the FAA he was: guest lecturer NTSB Courses on aircraft accident investigation, adjunct instructor in Physics at Atlantic Community College in 1986, associate staff member at the Transportation Safety Institute, Oklahoma City, 1983 – 1994, adjunct instructor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Graduate School, 1986 – 1995 and, adjunct associate professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Graduate School, 1996 – 1998.

For additional information, please contact Professor Howon Lee at 848-445-2213 or at