Alumnus chosen to lead Ohio Aerospace Institute


A decades-long career in the field of aerospace has led to the appointment of Dr. John M. Sankovic as president and CEO of the Ohio Aerospace Institute by its board of trustees. The UA alumnus earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering here, in 1990 and 1991 respectively.

As a nonprofit organization, OAI works to enhance the aerospace competitiveness of its corporate, federal agency, nonprofit and university members through research and technology development, workforce preparedness and engagement with networks for innovation.

Sankovic joins OAI after a 31-year career at NASA, where he most recently served as center chief technologist and director of the Office of Technology Incubation and Innovation. Over the course of his NASA career, Sankovic was recognized for his contributions many times. He received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal as well as six Agency Honor Group Achievement Awards and an R&D100 technology innovation award.

In addition to his UA degrees, Sankovic earned an MBA at Cleveland State University and master’s and doctorate degrees in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. He is a registered professional engineer in Ohio, with distinction by the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers for highest achievement on both licensure examinations.

Sankovic, who also holds three U.S. patents, has made time to share his knowledge by teaching university courses over the past 15 years. He also is the author, or co-author, of more than 70 technical publications on topics ranging from space propulsion and power to fluid mechanics and biomedical sciences.

In his new role, Sankovic says he will prioritize developing multi-university partnerships, driving research from university laboratories to Ohio’s industrial aerospace manufacturers and fostering novel collaborations between governments, industries and private organizations.

“As a native Ohioan, I’m excited to build on Ohio’s rich history as the birthplace of aviation and the home of so many astronauts,” said Sankovic. “I truly believe that by building partnerships across the deep resources within the state, Ohio can lead the effort of ensuring U.S. economic competitiveness of the aerospace sector.”

Dr. John Sankovic

Dr. John Sankovic