Erdle Chair

phil erdle ardi foundation


The Philip J. Erdle Chair in Engineering Science was fully endowed during academic year 2001-2002 by gifts to ARDI from Carolyn Knies Erdle and the International Education Foundation to honor Dr. Philip Erdle (Brig Gen, USAF, Retired), a Permanent Professor Emeritus and former Vice Dean of the USAFA faculty, as well as a founding member of ARDI. Dr. Erdle has been named an honorary member of the USAFA Association of Graduates and is a recipient of the Superintendent’s Award for Distinguished Service to the United States Air Force and the Air Force Academy. Income from the endowment is used to provide a Distinguished Visiting Professor in one of the several departments of the Engineering Division.


Dr. Sally J.F. Baron

Dr. Sally J.F. Baron is the current Coors Chair Distinguished Visiting Professor. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Engineering, with a focus on Organizational Behavior, from Stanford University in 2002; a Masters’ of Science in Engineering Management from Stanford University in 1991; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geology in 1981 from Lehigh University.

Dr. Baron began her career as an Imagery Analyst and Data Base Manager with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC). With these agencies, she analyzed real-time imagery, produced reports on derived intelligence in a time-critical environment, and was responsible for planning and executing training for the then-largest intelligence database.

She then transitioned to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) where, as the Classified Program Office Acquisition Business Manager, she was responsible for executing the final $300 million of a $5 billion imaging satellite contract.

While pursuing her PhD, she was actively involved on the Stanford University faculty as a Teaching and Research Assistant before becoming a Management Consultant. Her primary client was AGI, the world’s largest producer of satellite, orbitology, analytical, and visualization Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) software products. She served as the senior advisor to the Defense Commercial Vendors’ Coalition, assisting COTS companies in navigating the DoD procurement process. During this time, she was published several times and invited to present at national and international symposia.

Dr. Baron began her USAFA teaching career in 2004 as a volunteer for the FalconSat/FalconLaunch Review Committee. She continues to serve on that Committee and joined the Management Department as an Assistant Professor in 2009. She worked across academic departments on various Capstone activities, to include FalconSat and FalconLaunch, before moving in 2012 to the Astronautics Department as an Adjunct Professor.

Dr. Baron is widely published and often requested as a presenter. She is the recipient of multiple awards, to include the CIA’s Exceptional Performance Award, “for superior accomplishment and valuable service to the Central Intelligence Agency.” She also, in 2010, earned the Carl Janssen Award for Teaching Excellence from the USAFA Management Department.

Dr. Baron is a critical asset to USAFA possessing an extensive knowledge of the operation and unique mission. As the prestigious Coors Chair, she serves in an expanding role to include risk assessment, program management, cadet advisor, and core curriculum instructor.


USAFA Engineering Division


- Dr. Erlind Royer


- Carolyn Knies Erdle
- International Education Foundation, Inc.