Bradt Lecture

Dr. Robert C. Winn, an expert in aviation and engineering, will give a talk entitled “The Anatomy of an In-Flight Breakup” as part of the Richard C. Bradt Lecture Series in The University of Alabama College of Engineering.

He will speak 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday August 31 in room 1092 of Shelby Hall with a reception following in the SERC Mezzanine.

The Richard C. Bradt Lecture Series is an annual lecture honoring Dr. Richard C. Bradt, professor emeritus at UA, and is sponsored by Engineering Systems Incorporated. The series was founded by Dr. Michael E. Stevenson, a former graduate student of Bradt’s and president and CEO of ESI. Stevenson gave the inaugural presentation two years ago.


A number of in-flight breakups occur every year. An example of an in-flight breakup in which the experts disagreed as to the root cause will be discussed in detail. The discussion will include analysis of the aircraft wreckage, fundamental airplane fluid dynamics, trajectory analyses, failure analysis, Air Traffic Control issues, and airplane performance. The presentation is supported with videos, demonstrations, and high-definition animations.


Winn is a mechanical/aeronautical engineer, the chairman of the board, a principal of the Firm, and director of Aviation for Engineering Systems Inc. He has been a consulting engineer since he retired in 1991 from the U.S. Air Force after a 22-year career. He has been with ESI since 1994.

Winn was an instructor pilot in four different Air Force aircraft and served as chief scientist of the USAF European Office of Aerospace Research and Development in London, England. He spent over 15 years teaching Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering at the USAF Academy and Colorado Technical University. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Winn taught; directed research; published over 70 technical papers, technical reports and articles; and has given numerous presentations on a wide variety of technical and education issues.