United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Russell Cummings

Professor of Aeronautics

Department of Aeronautics

Official photo of Dr. Cummings DFAN
Contact Information

(719) 333-9223




Prof. Cummings is Professor of Aeronautics and Managing Director of the DoD HPCMP Hypersonic Vehicle Simulation Institute at the US Air Force Academy. From 2015-2018 he was the Technical Director at AFOSR’s European Office of Aerospace Research & Development in London. Dr. Cummings is a graduate of the University of Southern California where he received his Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering, and also has earned B.S., B.A., and M.S. degrees from California Polytechnic State University. He currently serves as deputy editor of the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, and is an associate editor of the Journal of Aircraft and Aerospace Science and Technology. He is co-author of the Sixth Edition of Aerodynamics for Engineers and lead author for the Applied Computational Aerodynamics textbook. Dr. Cummings has previously worked at Hughes Aircraft Company, NASA Ames Research Center, and California Polytechnic State University. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Royal Aeronautical Society.


Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, University of Southern California, 1988

E.A.E., Aerospace Engineering, University of Southern California, 1982

M. Engr., Aeronautical Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, 1985

B.S., Aeronautical Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, 1977

B.A., Music, California Polytechnic State University, 1999

Professional Experience

Professor of Aeronautics, U.S. Air Force Academy (2004-present)

Managing Director, DoD HPCMP Hypersonic Vehicle Simulation Institute (2018-present)

Technical Director, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, European Office of Aerospace Research & Development (2015-2018)

Professor Emeritus, California Polytechnic State University (2004-present)

Professor, California Polytechnic State University (1986-2004)

Visiting Senior Scientist, The German Aerospace Center (DLR) (Summer of 2008)

Welliver Faculty Fellow, The Boeing Company (Summer of 2000)

Visiting Academic, Oxford University Computing Laboratory (1995, Summer of 1996, Summer of 1997)

National Research Council Research Associate, NASA Ames Research Center (1988-1990)

Member of the Technical Staff, Hughes Aircraft Company (1979-1986)

Honors & Awards

AIAA Pendray Aerospace Literature Award, 2020

NATO Applied Vehicle Technology Panel Excellence Award, 2019 and 2020

U.S. Air Force Exemplary Civilian Service Award, 2018

AIAA Fellow, 2016

Royal Aeronautical Society Fellow, 2016

AIAA Aerodynamics Award, 2015

AIAA International Cooperation Award, 2015

U.S. Air Force Exemplary Civilian Service Award, 2014

NATO Scientific Achievement Award, 2012

U.S. Air Force Academy Frank J. Seiler Research Award, 2009

U.S. Air Force Academy Award for Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Technology, 2009

AIAA Sustained Service Award, 2004

U.S. Air Force Science and Engineering Award, 2002

Boeing—A. D. Welliver Faculty Summer Fellow, 2000

Litton Excellence in Research and Development Award, 2000

TRW Excellence in Teaching Award, 1999

BFGoodrich Collegiate Inventors Program, Undergraduate Advisor Award, 1998

Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching and Applied Research Award, 1995

AIAA National Faculty Advisor Award, 1994

NASA Group Achievement Awards:

F-18 High-Angle-of-Attack Aerodynamics Team, 1990

High Angle of Attack Research Vehicle Flight Test Team, 1989

National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 1988-1990

Howard Hughes Doctoral Fellow, 1982-1986

Hughes Aircraft Company Engineering Fellow, 1979-1982

Outstanding Student in Aeronautical Engineering, Cal Poly, 1977

Research and Scholarly Interests

University education and research in computational aerodynamics and simulation of hypersonic vehicles and maneuvering aircraft. This requires the use of state-of-the-art supercomputers.

Specialties: Aerodynamics, Computational aerodynamics, CFD, Aerodynamic design



J.J. Bertin and R.M. Cummings. 2009. Aerodynamics for Engineers, 5th Ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

J.J. Bertin and R.M. Cummings. 2014. Aerodynamics for Engineers, 6th Ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

R.M. Cummings, W.H. Mason, S.A. Morton, and D.R. McDaniel. 2015. Applied Computational Aerodynamics: A Modern Engineering Approach, New York: Cambridge University Press.


M. Ghoreyshi, A.D.H. Kim, A. Jirásek, A.J. Lofthouse, R.M. Cummings. 2015. “Validation of CFD Simulations for X-31 Wind-Tunnel Models,” The Aeronautical Journal 119: 479-500.

M. Ghoreyshi, R. Korkis-Kanaan, A. Jirásek, R.M. Cummings, A.J. Lofthouse. 2016. “Simulation Validation of Static and Forced Motion Flow Physics of a Canard Configured TransCruiser,” Aerospace Science and Technology 48: 158-177.

M. Ghoreyshi, K. Ryszka, R.M. Cummings, and A.J. Lofthouse. 2016. “Vortical Flow Prediction of a Diamond Wing with Rounded Leading Edges,” Aerospace Science and Technology 57: 103-117.

M. Ghoreyshi, K. Bergeron, J. Seidel, A.J. Lofthouse, and R.M. Cummings. 2016. “Grid Quality and Resolution Effects on the Aerodynamic Modeling of Ram-Air Parachute Canopies,” Journal of Aircraft 53: 1087-1105

M Ghoreyshi, K. Bergeron, J. Seidel, A. Jirásek, A.J. Lofthouse, and R.M. Cummings. 2016. “Prediction of Aerodynamic Characteristics of Ram-Air Parachutes,” Journal of Aircraft 53: 1802-1820.

A.J. Lofthouse and R.M. Cummings. 2017. “Numerical Simulations of the F-16XL at Flight-Test Conditions Using Delayed Detached-Eddy Simulation,” Journal of Aircraft 54: 2077-2099.

R.M. Cummings, C.M. Liersch, A. Schütte, and K.C. Huber. 2018. “Aerodynamics and Conceptual Design Studies on an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle Configuration,” Journal of Aircraft 55: 454-474.

M. Ghoreyshi, M.E. Young, A.J. Lofthouse, A. Jirásek, and R.M. Cummings. 2018. “Numerical Simulation and Reduced Order Aerodynamic Modeling of a Generic Lambda Wing Configuration,” Journal of Aircraft 55: 549-570.

A. Jirásek, R.M. Cummings, A. Schütte, and K. Huber. 2018. “Extended Assessment of Stability and Control Prediction Methods for NATO Air Vehicles: Summary,” Journal of Aircraft 55: 623-637.

K.J. Badcock, G.N. Barakos, R.M. Cummings, M. Platzer, N. Qin, K. Sieverding, and  J. Wendt. 2018. “Bryan Richards: Contributions to Aerospace Engineering,” Progress in Aerospace Sciences 101: 1-12.

R.M. Cummings. 2019. “The DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program’s Hypersonic Vehicle Simulation Institute: Objectives, Projects, and Progress,” Journal of DoD Research & Engineering 2(3): 158-167.

R.K. Nangia, M. Ghoreyshi, M. van Rooij, and R.M. Cummings. 2019. “Aerodynamic Design Assessment and Comparisons of the MULDICON Concept,” Aerospace Science & Technology 93, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ast.2019.105321.