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Lieutenant Colonel Cory A. Cooper

Department Head, Permanent Professor

Department of Engineering Mechanics

Bio of Cory Cooper
Contact Information

(719) 333-6266

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Bio

Lieutenant Colonel Cooper is the Head of the Department of Engineering Mechanics, United States Air Force Academy. He commands the department with final responsibility for curriculum, personnel, research, budget, long-range planning, faculty development, and cadet instruction. The Department of Engineering Mechanics helps produce the finest Air Force officers in the world who live Air Force core values and understand engineering. He supervises 50+ Air Force officers, NCOs, civilians and support contractors offering 27 college-level courses annually to educate over 2000+ cadets in engineering. He also manages the Academy’s largest research center, the $35M Center for Aircraft Structural Life Extension (CAStLE), patronized by a number of DoD, Air Force, agency, and industrial aircraft program offices seeking aircraft structural integrity and life extension capabilities.

Lt Col Cooper graduated with distinction from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a degree in mechanical engineering in June of 2000. During his first tour as a mechanical systems engineer at the KC-135 system program office, he was deployed to Oman as an aircraft battle damage repair engineer on the B-1B deployed fleet. In 2005, he completed his master’s degree on the DoD systems architecture of micro/mini aerial vehicles at the Air Force Institute of Technology. Following AFIT, he was the chief of operations and assistant professor of systems engineering at the US Air Force Academy. He led the newest and second largest engineering major at the Academy through curriculum development, course directing, advising, budget, personnel, research and other critical duties. He was selected to pursue his doctorate overseas at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, where he completed his degree in the knowledge-based engineering design of aircraft wings using fiber metal laminate technology. Following earning his doctorate in 2011, he was the Deputy Director for F-35 Lightning II Airworthiness, ensuring safe flight certification for the nation’s newest and most complex multi-role, multi-Service, and multi-national fighter aircraft development program. He also deployed as a Joint Combat Assessment Team member to Afghanistan, delivering damage-based threat system analysis to aviation task force commanders and informing aircraft survivability development processes. Prior to his current assignment, Lt Col Cooper was the Director of the Systems Engineering Program, Senior Military Faculty, and Associate Professor of Systems Engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado. He led a 12 member faculty team supporting over 250 cadets in an ABET accredited engineering major. Each year, he led the instruction of over 80 senior cadets from the largest engineering major in an enterprise of over 30 engineering capstones across nine academic departments.

Education

2000 Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

2001 Aerospace Basic Course, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL

2005 Master of Science degree in systems engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Dayton, OH

2006 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL

2010 Air Command and Staff College by correspondence w/ equivalency credit, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL

2011 Doctorate of Philosophy in systems engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

2016 Air War College by correspondence, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL

Professional Experience

Aug 2000 – Jul 2002, Mechanical Systems Engineer, C/KC-135 System Program Office, Tinker, AFB, OK

Mar 2002 – May 2002, Aircraft Battle Damage Repair Engineer, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Oman

Jul 2002 – Aug 2003, Co-lead Aircraft Battle Damage Repair Engineering team, Tinker AFB, OK

Aug 2003 – Mar 2005, Student, Air Force Institute of Technology, Dayton, OH

Mar 2005 – Mar 2006, Instructor & Chief Academic Advisor, Dept of Engineering Mechanics, USAFA, CO

Mar 2006 – Jan 2008, Instructor & Chief of Operations, Systems Engineering, Dept of Aeronautics, USAFA, CO

Jan 2008 – Aug 2008, Assistant Prof & Chief of Ops, Systems Engineering, Dept of Aeronautics, USAFA, CO

Aug 2008 – Sep 2011, PhD Researcher, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands (AFIT-sponsored)

Oct 2011 – Aug 2012, SDD Airworthiness Execution Lead, Joint Strike Fighter Program Office, Arlington, VA

Sep 2012 – Jun 2014, Deputy Director, Airworthiness, F-35 Lightning II Program Office, Arlington, VA

Sep 2013 – Apr 2014, Joint Combat Assessment Team Lead, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Afghanistan

Jun 2014 – Jun 2015, Division Chief & Assistant Professor, Dept of Engineering Mechanics, USAFA, CO

Jun 2015 – May 2018, Director, Systems Engineering Program, Dept of Engineering Mechanics, USAFA, CO

May 2018 – Present, Head, Department of Engineering Mechanics, U.S. Air Force Academy, CO

Honors & Awards

Bronze Star Medal

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster

Robert F. McDermott Award for Research Excellence: Technology Transfer Award, United States Air Force Academy, CO. 2016

Outstanding Academy Educator, Department of Engineering Mechanics, United States Air Force Academy, CO. 2016

Top Systems Engineering Instructor of the Year, Systems Engineering Program, United States Air Force Academy, CO. 2016

Outstanding Graduate (top 1% of graduates) Senior Developmental Education (SDE), Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL, by correspondence. 2016

Martinson Award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Research and Teaching Award, United States Air Force Academy, CO. 2015

DARPA Innovation Award –Advisor to first place team in two sponsored research cadet capstone competitions: “Fast Rope Improvement Project,” AFRL and DARPA sponsors, 2016.

The “Out-of-the-Box” Instructing Award, Department of Engineering Mechanics, United States Air Force Academy, CO. Fall 2016 and Fall 2017

The “Salt and Pepper Award” for the Senior Instructor of the Semester, Department of Engineering Mechanics, United States Air Force Academy, CO. Spring 2017

Team Award, “Neurogroove Cadet Research,” Dean of Faculty, United States Air Force Academy, CO. 3rd Quarter 2016

“Best Design Research Poster” doctoral student poster (#1/13), Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER). 2009

Outstanding Contributor Peer Award, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, 2006

Jabara Award for Airmanship Nominee to OC-ALC, Tinker AFB, OK, 2002

FGOQ x2 (Department and Program Office levels)

CGOYx2 (Department and Program Office levels)

CGOQ/M x3 (Department and Group levels)

Distinguished Graduate (top 10% overall), U.S. Air Force Academy, CO. 2000

Research and Scholarly Interests

Capstone Engineering Design, Design Methodology, Systems Engineering, Design Optimization, Fiber Metal Laminates, Apiology

Publications

Journal Articles

Cooper, Cory A., Joseph M. Fulton, and Jeremy J. Homan. “A multi-spectrum framework for characterizing interdisciplinary capstone design experiences.” Procedia Computer Science 44 (2015): 699-707.

Invited Book Chapters

Daniel D. Jensen and Cory A. Cooper, (2018) “Enhancing Innovation: Methods, Cultural Aspects, Ideation Approaches, and Box Busters,” Adedeji Badiru and Anna Maloney (Eds.), Defense Innovation Handbook: Guidelines, Strategies, and Techniques, Taylor and Francis/CRC Press. 2018

Cooper, C.A., Homan, J.J., Tidball, B.E., (2018) “Integrating systems engineering students in capstones: a multi-spectrum characterization of interdisciplinary capstones.” In Madni, A.M.,
Boehm, B., Ghanem, R.G., Erwin, D., Wheaton, M.J. (Ed.), Disciplinary Convergence in Systems Engineering Research. Springer International Publishing.

K. Kays, A. Hoisington, J. Christ, D. Rhymer, D. Jensen, C. Cooper, (2017) “Risk-taking in Engineering Instruction (United States Air Force Academy),” Risk Taking in Higher Education; The Importance of Negotiating Intellectual Challenge in the College Classroom, eds. R. Kelty, and B. Bunten, Roman and Littlefield Publishing, Lanham, MD.
https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781475832488/Risk-Taking-in-Higher-Education-The-Importance-of-Negotiating-Intellectual-Challenge-in-the-College-Classroom

Patents Pending
Riley, S.*, Strunk, P.*, Flieger, B.*, Bray, M.*, Vaillencourt, A.*, Jang, C.*, Fritzsche, G.*, Tidwell, D.*, Szuch, N.*, Cooper, C., “Tip Resistant Harness with Quick Disconnect,” AFD-1588, Patent applied for with USPTO on Apr 27 2017. App. No. 15/498,518.

Szuch, N.*, Tidwell, D.*, Fritzsche, G.*, Jang, C.*, Flieger, B.*, Vaillencourt, A.*, Bray, M.*, Riley, S.*, Cooper, C. “Belay Descending Load Attachment with Pulley Brake,” AFD-1587, Patent applied for with USPTO on Apr 17 2017. App. No. 15/489,116.

Riley, S.*, Fritzsche, G.*, Jang, C.*, Flieger, B.*, Vaillencourt, A.*, Bray, M.*, Szuch, N.*, Tidwell, D.*, Cooper, C. “Push Locking Load Attachment Device,” AFD-1586, Patent applied for with USPTO on Apr 14 2017. App. No. 15/487,833.

Riley, S.*, Fritzsche, G.*, Jang, C.*, Flieger, B.*, Vaillencourt, A.*, Bray, M.*, Szuch, N.*, Tidwell, D.*, Strunk, P.*, Cooper, C. “Fast Rope Insertion System,” AFD-1586A, Patent applied for with USPTO on Apr 24 2017. App. No. 15/494,699.

Invention Disclosures

Stephens, H.*, Cunningham, S.*, Edwards, T.*, Lichtsinn, A.*, Mountain, A.*, Valencia, K.*, Anderson, M., Cooper, C. “Entrapment System for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems,” Air Force Material Command Patent Office (AFMCLO) invention disclosure form (AFMCLO 1279) completed, signed and submitted for formal review.

Cunningham, S.*, Lichtsinn, A.*, Valencia, K.*, Stephens, H.*, Mountain, A.*, Edwards, T.*, Cooper, C. “Weight-Releasable and Controlled Descent System for Countering Small Unmanned Aerial Systems,” Air Force Material Command Patent Office (AFMCLO) invention disclosure form (AFMCLO 1279) completed, signed and submitted for formal review.

Mountain, A.*, Valencia, K.*, Stephens, H.*, Edwards, T.*, Cunningham, S.*, Lichtsinn, A.*, Cooper, C. “Physical Signal Defeat System for Aerial Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems,” Air Force Material Command Patent Office (AFMCLO) invention disclosure form (AFMCLO 1279) completed, signed and submitted for formal review.

Peer-Reviewed Conference Publications

Stuart Turner, Kalyn Tung, and Cory Cooper, “Transitioning to the New ABET Student Outcomes: Architecture Development for a Systems Engineering Degree Program,” Proceedings of the 2018 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition, Salt Lake City, UT, 24-27 June 2018.

Cory Cooper, Michael Anderson, Daniel Jensen and Kristin Wood, “Designettes in Capstone: Impact of Early Design Experiences in Capstone Education with Emphasis on Depth of Design Process Content,” Proceedings of the 2017 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition, Columbus, OH, 25-28 June 2017.

Cory Cooper, Jeremy Homan, and Brian Tidball, “Integrating systems engineering students in capstones; a multi-spectrum characterization of interdisciplinary capstones,” in Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER), Redondo Beach, CA, 23-25 Mar 2017.

Aaron R. Byerley, Cory Cooper, and Devin O'Dowd. “Teaching Risk Analysis for Use in an Aircraft Gas Turbine Engine Capstone Design Course”, in Proceedings of the 52nd AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, Propulsion and Energy Forum, (AIAA 2016-4528), http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/6.2016-4528

Cory A. Cooper, Michael Anderson, Joseph Fulton, Daniel Jensen, Kristin Wood., “Designettes in Capstone: Characterizing the Impact of Early Design Experiences on Students’ Capstone Education,” in Proceedings of the 123nd American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition, New Orleans, LA, June 26-29, 2016.

Cooper, Cory A., Joseph M. Fulton, Jeremy J. Homan, “Initial application of a multi-spectrum characterization framework for interdisciplinary capstone design experiences,” in Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER), Huntsville AL, March 22-24, 2016.

Cory A. Cooper, Michael Anderson, Chad Bruce, Sarah Galyon Dorman, Daniel Jensen, Kevin Otto, Kristin Wood., “Designettes in Capstone: Initial Design Experiences to Enhance Students’ Implementation of Design Methodology,” in Proceedings of the 122nd American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle, WA, June 14-17, 2015.

Chiciudean, Teodor-Gelu, Cory A. Cooper, “Design of an Integral Pre-processor for Wing-like Structures Multi-Model Generation and Analysis,” Proceedings of the 27th International Congress of the Aeronautical Sciences, Nice, France, 19-24 September 2010.

Cooper, Cory A., Rene Alderliesten, Gianfranco La Rocca, Michel van Tooren, Rinze Benedictus, “A Design Framework for Fibre Metal Laminate Aircraft Wings,” Proceedings of the 8th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research, Hoboken, NJ, Stevens Institute of Technology, 17-19 March 2010.

Cooper, Cory A., Rene Alderliesten, Gianfranco La Rocca, Rinze Benedictus, “In Search of a Knowledge Based Preliminary Design Method of Complex Aircraft Wings,” Proceedings of the 7th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research, Loughborough, UK, Loughborough University, 21-23 April 2009.

Other Scholarly Publications:

Sole author of over 38 classified combat damage/threat assessment technical reports (damage analyses, fragment analyses, threat trajectory analyses) while serving as a deployed Joint Combat Assessor in Afghanistan, Sep 2013 – Apr 2014.

Cooper, Cory A., Development of a Methodology to Support Design of Complex Aircraft Wings, Doctoral Dissertation, Technical University of Delft, 2011, http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:5bf6aec3-4662-4211-b1d2-145ca934ca41.

Cooper, Cory A., “Promovendium Propositions: Top Ten Tips for Doctoral Students to Try,” INSIGHT, Publication of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), Volume 13, Issue 2, July 2010.

Cooper, Cory A., “Adding to your Pedagogical Toolbox; Top Ten (+) Tools to Try,” The USAFA Educator, Volume 17, Issue 1, Summer 2008.
Cooper, Cory A., “Systems Engineering at the US Air Force Academy,” International Council on Systems Engineering Colorado Front Range Chapter Newsletter, Spring 2008.

Cooper, Cory A., Matthew L. Ewoldt, Steaven A. Meyer, Edward W. Talley, A Systems Architectural Model for Man-Packable/Operable Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Mini/Micro Aerial Vehicles, Master’s Thesis, Air Force Institute of Technology, 2005.