photo of john schmisseur

John D. Schmisseur

H.H. Arnold Chair and Goethert Professor, The University of Tennessee Space Institute

B.S. ASE 1990, The University of Texas at Austin
M.S. ASE 1992, The University of Texas at Austin
Ph.D. AAE 1997, Purdue University

John D. Schmisseur joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2014 as the H.H. Arnold Chair and Goethert Professor.

Schmisseur earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in aerospace engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and his Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University.

Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Tennessee, Schmisseur had a 23-year career with the Air Force Research Laboratory, where his final position was the Chief of the Energy, Power & Propulsion Sciences Division and Program Manager for Aerothermodynamics within the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). During his tenure at AFOSR, Schmisseur initiated and led the national foundational research plan for hypersonics that guided the investments of the DoD, NASA and national laboratories. He also championed the transition of basic research capabilities that have advanced flagship national hypersonics technology programs and transformed test and evaluation capabilities. In this role, he envisioned and initiated the HIFiRE program which unified the efforts of AFRL, NASA and the Australian DSTO to advance fundamental hypersonic science and technology via flight research. His responsibilities with AFOSR included coordination with other federal agencies and partner countries, leading to his establishment of a partnership with NASA to support more than 20 universities through three National Hypersonic Science Centers, leadership of a NATO Research & Technology Organization study involving contributions from six countries, and service on a number of review boards for agencies including NASA, ONR, and the NNSA.

Since his arrival at UTSI, Schmisseur’s research group HORIZON has grown to include 15-17 faculty, staff and students, with total external research awards exceeding $15M since 2015. The group operates the Tennessee Aerothermodynamics Laboratory (TALon) which includes two of the largest supersonic wind tunnels in academia, 24”x24” Mach 4 and 15”x15” Mach 7 Ludwieg Tubes, cornerstones of the University of Tennessee strategy for applied research and the transition of emerging technologies to the nearby Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Center and the aerospace industry in Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley.

Schmisseur was honored in 2015 as the Outstanding Senior Professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, received the 2019 UTK Office of Research and Engagement Award for the Largest New Research Portfolio and the 2020 B. Ray Thompson Endowed Excellence in Research Award given by his department.

He is a Fellow of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and received the honor of Outstanding Aerospace Engineer from the Purdue School of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2014).

Schmisseur lives in Tullahoma, Tennessee with his wife Brooke and son J.D. His faith and family come before his career and he enjoys every moment he can get with his family, particularly mentoring J.D in his growth as a future engineer, baseball player and clay target shooter.