Charles M. (Mike) Fremaux is Chief Engineer for the Intelligent Flight Systems product line within the Research Directorate (RD) at NASA Langley Research Center, where he began conducting flight-dynamics related research in 1990. Following completion of his M.S. in mechanical engineering from LSU and a short stint as a civil service engineer with the U.S. Navy’s shipboard nuclear power program, Mr. Fremaux came to Langley in 1988 as a graduate student at The George Washington University Joint Institute for the Advancement of Flight Sciences (JIAFS), and did his thesis research on induced drag reduction in the former Flight Research Branch. In 1990, he accepted a position with Lockheed supporting the Flight Dynamics Branch in the area of aircraft spin research and dynamic modeling. During his time with Lockheed, Mr. Fremaux worked on research and development projects for NASA, DoD, and industry.
In 1996, Mr. Fremaux accepted a civil service position within the Flight Dynamics Branch, and developed in-house expertise for conducting rotary balance dynamic testing. He also continued to conduct spin and dynamic modeling research on projects such as early concepts for the earth-entry vehicle portion of the Mars Sample Return mission, NASA Blended Wing Body high alpha flight dynamics, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter spin testing, and X-43A Hyper-X Return to Flight project. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mr. Fremaux played a key role in planning and executing research in the NASA Aviation Safety Program aimed at reducing large transport loss-of-control accidents by improving aerodynamic modeling in piloted simulations through the use of experimentally-derived data at stall and post-stall dynamic conditions. In addition to his experimental work, Mr. Fremaux helped conceive, and co-led, the Computational Methods for Stability and Control (COMSAC) project that was aimed at improving stability and control prediction capability using CFD. More recently, he was a principal investigator for dynamic stability ground testing of the Orion Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle and Launch Abort Vehicle, OSIRIS REx asteroid sample return entry vehicle, upgrades to the F-18E/F, and a commercial supersonic configuration. During his career, Mr. Fremaux has authored or co-authored over thirty-five conference papers, technical reports, and journal articles.
In 2005, Mr. Fremaux served a seven-month detail assignment as executive assistant to the Langley Center Director, and in early 2006, he was selected as Assistant Head of the Flight Dynamics Branch. He was named Head of the Flight Dynamics Branch in June of 2008, and served a one-year detail as Associate Director of the Research Directorate in 2011-2012 where he led the Center transition to the new TEAMS 2 contract and co-led the Langley Facilities Studies Team. He is currently the Center lead for advocacy and development of the new Flight Dynamics Research Facility, and is the facility manager of the 20-Foot Vertical Spin Tunnel and the 12-Foot Low Speed Tunnel. In 2013, Mr. Fremaux was awarded the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for his contributions to Agency missions.