Old Dominion University alumnus John Lin is in good company.
Lin received NASA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, placing him in the ranks of past winners like Neil Armstrong, John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin.
Lin, a senior research engineer in the flow physics and control branch at NASA Langley Research Center, considers the award the "highlight of his career and a great recognition of his achievements and contributions in aeronautics."
"I am very pleased that I am able to grab some of the glory for the first 'A' in NASA," Lin said.
Lin, a 42-year NASA employee, started his career as an intern through ODU's student co-op program.
After graduating with his B.S. in mechanical engineering, Lin became a permanent civil servant in 1980.
While working at NASA Langley full-time, he decided to pursue advanced degrees part-time through ODU. Lin earned master's and Ph.D degrees in 1985 and 1992, respectively.
"I was able to leverage my research works at NASA for both my master's thesis and dissertation, which was a great incentive for me," Lin said.
Lin led research in technology development relating to fluid dynamics and/or aerodynamics to improve aircraft performance.
Lin has authored or co-authored more than 120 technical publications and presentations to advance the fields of fluid dynamics and aerodynamics.
Lin's advice to students?
"If possible, try to get an internship during the summer while you are still a student," he said. "The internship can enhance the learning experience, build up the resume, provide networking opportunities and offer financial benefits."