The François-Xavier Bagnoud Flight Vehicle Institute focuses on the analysis and design of flight vehicles in an educational setting. We support faculty and students in their study of airplanes, helicopters, rockets, satellites, and interplanetary missions. We work to promote humanitarian and sustainable applications of aerospace technology. We also engage in outreach to help get a new generation excited about the study of flight.

ABOUT FXB FLIGHT Vehicle Institute

A generous gift from the FXB Foundation and Countess Albina Duboisrouvray facilitated the formation of the FXB Flight Vehicle Institute. The FXB Flight Vehicle Institute supports undergraduate and graduate education in Aerospace Engineering, as well as outreach programs whose goal is to get a new, younger, more diverse population engaged in study of  airplanes, helicopters, rockets, satellites, and interplanetary missions. It also supports projects centered on improving the human condition through targeted application of aerospace vehicles and engineering.



Arthur F. Thurnau Professor

FXB Flight Vehicle Institute Director FXB Liaison

Anthony Waas

Felix Pawlowski Collegiate Professor

Anouck Girard

Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering

Undergraduate Program Chair

Ilya Kolmanovsky

Pierre T. Kabamba Collegiate Professor of Aerospace Engineering

Acting Graduate Program Chair


The story of FXB started in 1986, when Albina du Boisrouvray’s only son François-Xavier, a rescue pilot, was killed in a tragic helicopter accident when he was just 24. This life-changing loss prompted Albina to walk away from a successful career as a film producer and dedicate her life to champion the cause of the tens of millions of vulnerable women and children left in the wake of the devastating AIDS. In 1989, Albina gave away most of what she had to found the FXB Foundation and the FXB Association (FXB International) in honor of François-Xavier. 

To honor his death, François’ parents, Countess Albina du Boisrouvray and Bruno Bagnoud, and his close friends from Michigan founded the François-Xavier Bagnoud Foundation. The organization’s efforts have helped thousands in the years since its inception. In addition to extensive work abroad, the FXB Foundation also generously donated to the funding for the current home of the Aerospace Engineering department, the François-Xavier Bagnoud Building, as well as the adjacent Wave Field sculpture by artist Maya Lin.


FXB is an international development organization with over 30 years of experience in breaking the cycle of poverty. Its mission is to provide people living in extreme poverty with the tools and support to become self-sufficient. 18 million adults and children have benefited from our programmes for economic and community development, infrastructure rehabilitation, access to water and sanitation, education, prevention and awareness-raising. FXB programs integrate most of the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

"I wanted to keep François’ passion alive by promoting the things that fascinated him, and by rescuing orphans and people around the world from extreme poverty.

Countess Albina du Boisrouvray