Daniel J. Fink, aeronautics consultant

June 27, 2012

Daniel J. Fink, 85, an aeronautics and aerospace consultant who from 1983 to 1988 was chairman of the NASA Advisory Council, died June 1 at a hospice in Carlsbad, Calif.

He died of respiratory distress related to the effects of polio suffered as a child, said his wife, Tobie Fink.

From 1982 to 2005, Mr. Fink operated D.J. Fink Associates consulting in Potomac. He moved from Potomac to California in 2005 and continued to operate the business there.

As a consultant, he had served on several boards of directors and committees. These included the Orbital Sciences Corp., the Defense Intelligence Agency Scientific Advisory Board, the Army Scientific Advisory Panel and the Defense Science Board.

He was a former president of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Daniel Julien Fink was born in Union City, N.J. In 1948, he graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also received a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering in 1949.

He was an aeronautical engineer in the Boston area before moving to Washington in 1963 to work in the secretary of defense office. He was deputy director of defense research and engineering when he left in 1967 to join General Electric. He worked for GE in Pennsylvania and Connecticut until 1982, when he returned to this area and formed his own consulting business.

His awards included the Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Defense Department and the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Tobie Weiss Fink of Carlsbad; three children, Kenneth Fink and Betsy Lupetin, both of West Hartford, Conn., and Karen Perlmutter of Rockville; and six grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes

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