Faculty Advisor

Wilkes, John M.


The AIAA OM project is an attempt to investigate the magnitude and consequences of the organizational memory problem in aerospace. By uncovering promising projects that were left in the oral tradition, we hope to shed light in the issue of how to transfer the experience of the 26% of people retiring in the next few years to those entering the field. The results of the project are that about 20% of our sample of 93 had a story that they wanted to tell. Nearly all of them declined to do so because it involved proprietary or classified information. Only 5% felt at liberty to speak to an AIAA student group about promising leads for the future. This team offers recommendations to the AIAA about how to mitigate the problems we faced in gathering this information.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2011

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies