ARPA Board Members Elected as Foreign Members of National Academy of Sciences

Two members from the ARPA Institute Board of Directors, Hagop Panossian and Dr. Gagik Melikyan, have been elected as Foreign Members of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, the ARPA Institute announced this week.

Dr. Hagop Panossian is a Technical Fellow at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a division of United Technologies, and specializes in control systems, structures and vibration suppression, as well as Health Management and Diagnostics of engine systems. He is also an adjunct professor at California State University, Northridge. He has over 30 years of experience in control & modeling of rocket engines, large space structures and actuation systems, failure detection, stochastic systems, vibration damping and optimal and adaptive control and has two patents. Dr. Panossian was selected as a Fulbright Exchange Scientist in 1987 and spent one semester in the former Soviet Union, specifically Armenia.

He has published more than 75 articles in the fields of control systems, modeling and control of dynamic systems, vibration suppression, and failure detection in numerous technical journals and conference proceedings. He is also the co-author of two books published by Academic Press. He is the inventor of “Non-Obstructive Particle Damping” (NOPD), a novel passive vibration damping technique, as well as several failure detection techniques and has received two patents. He has designed the control system for the SRS 2200, the Aerospike engine, the most advanced rocket engine ever built and tested, and has worked on the Space Shuttle Main Engine, the National Aerospace Plane, the International Space Station and in other NASA and Air Force programs.

Dr. Panossian is recipient of the prestigious Engineer of the Year award, as well as the President’s award from Rocketdyne. He has also earned the Distinguished Engineer Award from the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering (IAE).

He is also a Fellow of the IAE, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronatics and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He has founded two professional and charitable organizations in Los Angeles, the Armenian Engineers & Scientists of America (1983) and the ARPA Institute (1992). He has served as president of the former for two years and serves as president of the latter since its founding.

As president of AESA in 1987-88, he traveled to Armenia and has established the initial communication and cooperation with the Academy of Sciences of Armenia, through his meetings with the former president of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia and great astrophysicist, academician Victor Ambartsoumian. As president of ARPA he has worked extensively with the Government of Armenia, as a member of the Economic & Industrial Advisory Board, as well as with various Ministries of the Republic of Armenia. He continues to work with the current Government of Armenia through various Ministries, the universities and the Academy of Sciences. Through ARPA, he has made significant contributions towards the modernization of the blood services system of Armenia and the education of the youth about the health risks of smoking, substance abuse and other problematic health issues. ARPA also organizes the annual “Invention Competition” for university students in Armenia, as well as monthly lectures on various topics of interest to Armenia’s and Armenia, in Los Angeles. He also helps organize conferences and seminars directed towards the enhancement of environmental and scientific achievemen’s in the RA.

Dr. Panossian is a graduate of the Armenian Evangelical School of Anjar, Lebanon, has received his B.S. in Mathematics from the American University of Beirut, his M.S. in applied mathematics from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and his Ph.D. from the University of California in Los Angeles in Control Systems Engineering. He has taught math and sciences for 5 years in the C. Gulbenkian College in Anjar.

Dr. Gagik Melikyan is a Professor of Chemistry in the California State University Northridge (CSUN) teaching undergraduate and graduate courses and carrying out studies at the interface of organic, organometallic, computational, and medicinal chemistry. His fundamental research is devoted to the development of novel radical methods in organic chemistry that are enabled by the transition metal complexes, such as cobalt and molybdenum. The synthetic approaches are then used in design and assembling of a new generation of aromatase inhibitors, perspective therapeutic means for breast cancer treatment. Melikyan’s scientific contributions culminated in 71 papers in the frontline journals, including 7 reviews and book chapters, 3 patents and 51 presentations at the national and international conferences. While at CSUN, he discovered two new reactions in cobalt-alkyne series (1997; 2003) that have both fundamental and practical significance. He is one of the most cited authors in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CSUN. Melikyan’s current standing in the field was recently recognized by the university through awarding him the most prestigious 2008 Outstanding Faculty Award. His research and public activities attracted media attention both in the Unites States and Armenia (Norman Transcript, SCOPE, Chemical and Engineering News, Novoye Vremya, Northridge Magazine, @CSUN, Armenian Reporter). Over the last decade, Melikyan was active in the local Armenian professional organizations and also provided the significant assistance to the scientific and educational institutions in Armenia. He consulted the National Academy of Sciences in Armenia on reorganization program.

Professor Melikyan is a native of Armenia who received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Yerevan State University (Yerevan; 1973), a Ph.D. degree from Institute of Elementorganic Compounds, National Academy of Sciences (Moscow; 1977), and a D.Sc. (Doctor of Sciences) degree from Institute of Organic Chemistry, National Academy of Sciences (Yerevan; 1990).

ARPA Institute has been working in Armenia and the Los Angeles area since its inception in 1992. The “Sarko Tilkian Blood Services Center” in the Erebuni hospital serves the blood related medical needs of Yerevan and its surroundings and is used as a training hub for all the blood bankers in the region. ARPA with Global Healing International established a second modern blood services center in Giumry. The “Health Education and Lifestyle Project” (HELP) program teaches 7th and 8th graders about the risks of smoking, alcohol and substance abuse, fatty diets, unprotected sex and related transmitted diseases, as well as the health benefits of exercise, balanced diets and positive attitudes. For the past 10 years this course has been taught in numerous schools in Armenia and Karabagh and over 17,000 students have benefited from it.


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