Flying High and Committed to Causes

When Brian Knaup goes to work, he reaches for the sky. In June, he became developmental test flight dynamics leader for the U.S. Air Force's KC-46 aerial refueling and transport aircraft. "I lead the planning effort for testing to begin in the summer of 2014, when the first aircraft rolls onto the flightline," he says.
   Knaup has been flying high ever since earning his mechanical engineering degree in 2004.
   "I commissioned into the Air Force and was stationed at Edwards Air Force Base," he recalls. "I was the lead subsystems engineer for F-22 flight tests. In 2007, I transitioned from the active duty Air Force to government civilian, but stayed in the same position. In 2007 and 2008, I was the lead engineer for F-22 icy runway testing in Alaska."
   His work included developing innovative new test processes, and making presentations throughout the world with
another test pilot about their processes. As he moved into program management, Knaup picked up an Indiana University MBA and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from UCLA.
   "Rose-Hulman provided me with the technical background to do the work I'm currently doing, but it takes more than just knowing the right equations to use then doing engineering analysis," Knaup says. "The teaching engrained a problem-solving process that effectively finds solutions for all problems."
   He has no doubt that the excellent educational experience will continue to be the standard on campus. "Maybe just as important is for Rose-Hulman to increase its outreach into high schools, to get more kids interested in science, math, and engineering, and pursuing careers in those areas."
   Knaup developed strong timemanagement skills at Rose-Hulman that
Profile 10he says "have
really been
essential in both
work and the
other aspects of
my life." That
includes time
spent with wife
Beverly (Kocher), a 2004 mechanical
engineering alumna and former Air Force test pilot, and their two daughters.
   These days the couple dedicates much of its time volunteering and doing fundraising for the Lupus Foundation of America and the Walk for Lupus Now. "Bev was diagnosed with systemic lupuserythematosus in 2007, and over the last five years, she has led Team Knaup raise more than $50,000," he says proudly. "The team and Bev have been in the top three in fundraising in the Los Angeles area each of the last three years."