Dr. Howard McMahon spent 26 years of his career as a professor and researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Having been born just a few weeks after Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic, he moved through the age of biplanes to the modern era of jets and rockets, working first as a researcher and followed by his years as a teaching professor. His retirement from education allowed him to focus his energy on the completion of this textbook in collaboration with Dr. Gary Flandro and former student Dr. Bob Roach. Though he did not live to see the benefits of this book for aerospace students, we, his wife and children, are happy and proud that his work will be recognized.
Dr. McMahon’s tenure at Georgia Tech occurred during a time of rapid change within the university. His work in the classroom and as a departmental colleague and leader helped to define the Aerospace Engineering department’s identity and solidify the school’s recognition for excellence and high standards. Dr. McMahon’s strengths were his attention to meticulous detail and understanding of people. He directed the undergraduate fluid dynamics laboratories and guided students through cooperative work – study programs, placing them in research and laboratory settings throughout the country.
Whether at the university or at home, Dr. McMahon’s office was an obvious destination for anyone who needed advice on how to handle a difficult problem. He blended a knowledge and love of people with an ability to always make the complex seem simple. He shared his talents with much energy and passion during his tenure at the university, having taught more than 4000 aerospace engineers. We know that through the gift of this textbook many more people will learn from his wisdom and insights. As family members, we were fortunate to have that experience throughout our own lives.
With loving memory,
The McMahon Family June 2011