Texas A&M Sigma Gamma Tau President, Austin Probe, presented Dr. Helen Reed with the 2012 Thomas U. McElmurry Teaching Excellence Award at the AIAA Banquet on May 2, 2012. Decided by the 2012 May and December graduating seniors, the award cited Dr. Reed for "exemplifying dedication and commitment to developing students professionally and academically by displaying a desire for students to succeed, creatively presenting classroom material, and offering opportunities for mentorship and guidance outside the classroom in the Aerospace Engineering Department at Texas A&M University".
At Texas A&M, Dr. Reed is a Full Professor, having served as Department Head from 2004 to 2008. She is a co-PI on the “NASA/Air Force National Hypersonics Science Center in Laminar-Turbulent Transition” and directs the AggieSat Lab Satellite Program. Her students and she launched Texas A&M's 1st satellite, AggieSat2, on the NASA Space Shuttle STS-127 in July 2009. A partnership with NASA Johnson Space Center, AggieSat2 operated for 230 days from release to de-orbit into the Pacific Ocean. The integration and testing of AggieSat4 is being completed by her students, with delivery to NASA JSC in Fall 2012, launch on a SpaceX vehicle, and release from the International Space Station into orbit in 2013.
Dr. Reed is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She was the recipient of the 2007 J. Leland "Lee" Atwood Award from the American Society for Engineering Education Aerospace Division and AIAA - the award is bestowed annually upon an aerospace engineering educator in recognition of outstanding contributions to the profession. She was inducted into the Academy of Engineering Excellence and the College of Engineering “Committee of 100” at Virginia Tech, her alma mater.
In 2011, Dr. Reed was appointed to the National Research Council’s Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board. ASEB operates as the National Academies’ focus for “bringing knowledge and expertise of aerospace engineering community to bear on significant technical and policy questions about nationally important aeronautics and space programs”. She has also prior been selected for various NASA Headquarters Aeronautics Advisory Committees, Subcommittees, and Task Forces, the NASA Federal Laboratory Review Task Force of NASA Advisory Council, the NRC Aerodynamics Panel, and Associate Editor of “Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics"; and she was the 1st woman selected for the NATO/AGARD Fluid Dynamics Panel. For AIAA, she has served on several committees, including Fellows Selection, AIAA Journal Editor in Chief Selection, Chair of the Atwood Award, Chair of the Aerospace Department Chairs’ Association, and Academic Affairs. She has served on advisory boards for Aerospace programs at 4 universities, and on the Vision 2025 Executive Committee for Engineering Science & Mechanics at Virginia Tech.