Coleman Donaldson, a distinguished practitioner and government adviser in aeronautical engineering, died peacefully Aug. 7, 2009. He was 86.

Donaldson received a bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1942. Over the next decade he served in the Army Air Corps and worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. In 1957, he received a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering from Princeton. He was the founder and president of Aeronautical Research Associates of Princeton Inc. from 1954 to 1986, when the company was sold.  

The Robert H. Goddard Visiting Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Princeton during the 1970-1971 year, Donaldson was a member of the advisory council of the department of aerospace and mechanical sciences from 1973 to 1978 (and chair from 1975 to 1978). He was the general editor of Princeton’s 12-volume series on high-speed aerodynamics and jet propulsion.

He received the Dryden Research Lecture Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1971, and the Meritorious Public Service Award from the chief of Naval research in 1990. NASA was among several U.S. agencies that he advised. He was a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

He is survived by Barbara, his wife of 64 years; five children; and eight grandchildren.

Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.

Graduate Class of 1957