October 2019

AIAA Foundation Making an Impact: Supporting the Next Generation’s Academic Careers

AIAA is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of AIAA undergraduate scholarships and graduate awards. The Institute has awarded more than 750 aerospace scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students during the past 20 years.

Undergraduate Scholarships and Graduate Awards for the 2019–2020 Academic Year

The AIAA Rocky Mountain Section presented a $500 scholarship to Andrew Meikle, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado.

The $10,000 Daedalus 88 Scholarship, endowed by current AIAA President John Langford, CEO and President, Aurora Flight Sciences, was presented to Ara Mahseredjian, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.

The $10,000 David and Catherine Thompson Space Technology Scholarship, named for and endowed by former AIAA President David Thompson, retired chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Orbital ATK, Dulles, Virginia, and his wife Catherine, was presented to Savannah Cofer, Rice University, Houston, Texas.

The Digital Avionics Technical Committee presented four scholarships of $2,000 each:

The Dr. Amy R. Pritchett Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to Kaelan Oldani, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Cary Spitzer Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to Hannah Lehman, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

The Ellis F. Hitt Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to Spencer McDonald, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Dr. James Rankin Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to Ryan Kelly, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Air Breathing Propulsion Technical Committee’s $1,000 Gordon C. Oates Air Breathing Propulsion Graduate Award was presented to Veeraraghava Raju Hasti, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

The Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) Technical Committee’s $2,500 Guidance, Navigation and Control Graduate Award was presented to Young-Young Shen, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado.

The inaugural recipients of the $5,000 Dr. Hassan A. Hassan Graduate Award in Aerospace Engineering are Jonathan T. McCready and Joshua Glazer, both from North Carolina State University (NCSU). The award was established to entice top NCSU aerospace engineering seniors, who also are AIAA members, to earn their graduate degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) in aerospace engineering at NCSU.

The John Leland Atwood Graduate Award was presented to Garrett Marshall, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. Established in 1999, the $1,250 award, sponsored by endowments from Rockwell and what is now The Boeing Company and named in memory of John Leland “Lee” Atwood, former chief executive officer of Rockwell, North America, recognizes a student actively engaged in research in the areas covered by the technical committees (TC) of AIAA.

The $1,250 Leatrice Gregory Pendray Scholarship was presented to Anna Liu, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. 

The $2,500 Liquid Propulsion Technical Committee Scholarship was presented to EliseAnne Koskelo, Pomona College, Claremont, California.

The Modeling and Simulation Technical Committee’s $3,500 Luis de Florez Graduate Award was presented to Regis Thedin, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.

The Propellants and Combustion Technical Committee’s $1,250 Martin Summerfield Propellants and Combustion Graduate Award was given to Adam Weiss, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California.

The Neil Armstrong Graduate Award was presented to Mike Lotto, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado. This $5,000 award honors the character and achievements of the late astronaut, military pilot and educator, Neil A. Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon. 

The $5,000 Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Awards, given in memory of the Wright brothers’ contributions to the evolution of flight, recognize two full-time graduate students. The winners are:

• David Morata, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California

• Derek Nichols, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

The $1,500 Space Transportation Technical Committee Scholarship was presented to Theo Rulko, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The $5,000 Vicki and George Muellner Scholarship for Aerospace Engineering, named for and endowed by the late Lt. Gen. George Muellner, former AIAA president, and his wife Vicki, was presented to Justin Lidard, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland.

The $5,000 Wernher von Braun Scholarship, named in honor of the German rocketeer and founder of the U.S. space program, was presented to Matthew Corrado, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.

Applications for the 2020 scholarships are being accepted from 1 October to 31 January (aiaa.org/home/get-involved/students-educators/scholarships-graduate-awards).

“AIAA is grateful to its members who support the academic careers of the next generation of aerospace engineers,” said Merrie Scott, AIAA Foundation director. “Your contributions and partnerships with the Institute helps aerospace continue its tradition of pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for so many of our student members. You are truly making a difference one student at a time.”

For more information and if you are considering endowing a scholarship, please contact Merrie Scott at 703.264.7530 or merries@aiaa.org.

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Section News AIAA NOS 2019 Honors and Awards Picnic

Seven people stand in front of a banner that reads
AIAA NOS Officers (From L to R): Roger Tokars, Ivan Martin, Bill Marshall, Christie Pastor-Barsi, Peggy Cornell, Edmond Wong, Al Juhasz. Credit: AIAA Northern Ohio Section

Bill Marshall, Honors & Awards Chair

On 8 August, the AIAA Northern Ohio Section (NOS) gathered at the Wallace Lake Canopy at Mill Stream Run Reservation, Berea, OH, to recognize award recipients and celebrate the many accomplishments of the past year. Approximately 65 participants had the opportunity to spend some time socializing, renewing acquaintances, playing games, and enjoying a wonderful picnic dinner. Following the meal, honorees of over 30 awards were recognized, including a newly inducted AIAA Fellow, six Associate Fellows, and a Wyld Propulsion Award recipient, among many other technical excellence awards and membership awards.

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Section News AIAA Delaware Section Helps Sponsor Rocket Rampage!

A group of children wearing green
Credit: AIAA Delaware Section

For the sixth consecutive year, the AIAA Delaware Section, in conjunction with Northrop Grumman, sponsored the Rocket Rampage! summer camp at the YMCA in Elkton, MD. The camp took place the week of 15 July, and the activities centered on celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Campers learned about the moon, its phases, and lunar and solar eclipses before moving on to a Rockets 101 course, where the campers constructed balloon rockets and straw rockets. Midweek, campers toured the Northrop Grumman Propulsion Systems and Controls facility in Elkton, MD, and rotated through four activity stations: Mentos rockets, cork bonding, soda spinners, and marshmallow landers. Day 4 was Mission Day, where campers participated in simulated astronaut training and made posters to encourage lunar tourism in the year 2120.

The week culminated in Rocket Launch Day, where campers had the opportunity to launch the Estes model rockets they had built during the week. Overall, the rockets performed nearly flawlessly, avoiding the nearby rocket-eating trees and launching 200 to 300 feet, and attracting the attention of many of the participants from the other YMCA camps and preschool classes.

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Award Announcements Daedalus 88 Scholarship Winner

Two men are standing and smiling in front of a sign for Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing Company, with cars and a building visible in the background.
Ara Mahseredjian (left) with John Langford. Credit: Aurora Flight Sciences

On 5 September, AIAA President John Langford met with Daedalus 88 Scholarship winner Ara Mahseredjian of the University of Southern California at Aurora Flight Sciences to discuss the many ways that AIAA young professionals can stay engaged after graduation.

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Section News AIAA Utah Section Holds 3rd Annual August is for Aerospace

A group of 32 people, dressed in business and casual attire, pose for a photo indoors while smiling and sitting or standing in rows.
August is for Aerospace attendees. Credit: AIAA Utah Section

The AIAA Utah Section and INCOSE cosponsored an August is for Aerospace event on 8 August, in Layton, UT. In addition to local aerospace and systems engineers, VIPs from Northern Utah businesses, universities, and government organizations were invited for a stimulating night of informal networking and formal discussions.

The invitees offered perspectives on the topic of the evening: “Fishing for Talent,” which gave the crowd an overview on who everyone was. There was a discussion about the talent pool of aerospace professionals within Utah, how changing employers is healthy for the overall community, and participation in the overall engineering community and professional societies vs individual companies. One elected representative also encouraged those in the room to run for political office at a time when technology is a big topic at the state legislature. Local universities representatives were interested in feedback so that they are preparing their students for what is needed. They also emphasized that there are advanced degree and certificate programs that cater to full-time professionals.

The evening concluded with networking among the participants, based on topics and positions from the more formal discussions. It was a stimulating evening with a great turnout.

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Section News AIAA Section Supports Connecticut ACE Camp

A group of people, including children and adults, gather around a small airplane on the tarmac while a man in a purple shirt explains something about the aircraft.
ACE camp participants. Credit: AIAA Connecticut Section

With the support of the AIAA Connecticut Section, the Connecticut Aviation Career Education (ACE) Camp just completed a successful seventh season at the Groton/New London Airport. It was a fun learning experience for the 6th-9th graders as they toured the ATC tower at Hartford/Brainard, Survival Systems and 1109th AVGRAD helicopter repair at Groton/New London Airport, Stellar Avionics at Chester Airport, and aerospace component manufacturing facilities around the state. Students built and tested free flight balsa models, and United and American Airline pilots and professional drone pilots visited the camp.

This year was the largest camp ever, and program director and long-time AIAA Educator Associate Stuart Sharack noted that providing an exemplary educational program for students depends on the generosity of the aerospace community. 

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Young Professionals AIAA Region I YPSE Conference To Be Held in November

The AIAA Mid-Atlantic Section is organizing the AIAA Region I Young Professionals, Students, and Educator (YPSE) Conference, to be held Friday, 15 November 2019, at the Kossiakoff Center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD. Young professionals (under age 35), graduate, undergraduate, and high school students, as well as educators, are welcome to submit 15-minute technical presentations on aerospace-related topics. The event will feature networking events including a happy hour, awards presentation, and a keynote address from former NASA astronaut and test pilot Pierre Thuot. Abstracts are due by 15 October and registration for conference attendees closes on 1 November. Please email aiaa.midatlantic@gmail.com or visit ypse19.eventbrite.com for more details.

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Obituary AIAA Associate Fellow Smith Died in March

Alexander E. Smith died on 1 March 2019 at age 59.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Smith attended Glasgow Caledonian University to obtain his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering followed by a master’s degree in Aerospace Systems at Cranfield University. He began working for the National Air Traffic Service (NATS), the Engineering division of the Civil Aviation Authority (UK). He quickly excelled in his duties and was chosen to represent the UK’s interests at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a role where he became known worldwide to a great many people.

During his time at NATS Smith attended Westminster Business School (London) and gained his MBA in Finance. He moved to the United States in 1988 to work on behalf of the FAA. After working at MSI and Booz Allen Hamilton, he formed his own company (Rannoch) where he mentored many and launched careers. For 17 years he led the company as its CEO until its sale to SRA in 2008. By this point the company grew to attain a staff of almost 400 people spread across the globe.

Pursuing several lifelong interests in art, music and travelling, Smith also obtained his Ph.D. from the International School of Management based in Paris. His aviation career continued unabated and he expanded his involvement with various institutions, including as part of the AIAA Digital Avionics Technical Committee. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, the Royal Institute of Navigation, the Royal Aeronautical Society, and the Institute of Directors. He was also a Chartered Engineer (UK) and a Certified European Engineer (EUR Ing.). He authored over 50 issued U.S. and European patents.

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Obituary AIAA Fellow Parker Died in April

Norman F. Parker died on 20 April 2019.

Parker started at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, PA, on a Westinghouse scholarship. World War II interrupted his studies and he served on the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, TN. In 1948, Parker graduated from Carnegie Tech, with a Doctorate of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.

From 1948 to 1967, Parker was at North American Aviation, Inc., where he advanced from system engineer to leading the Autonetics Division, best known for its provision to the military of the guidance and control system for the Minute Man missile as well as the inertial guidance system for nuclear submarines. From 1967 to 1968, Parker served as executive vice president and director at The Bendix Corporation in Detroit before joining Varian Associates in Palo Alto, CA, as president, CEO, and director. 

Recognized for his superior technical, management, and executive skills, Parker served as director on several corporate boards, was a member of Sigma Xi (the Scientific Research Honor Society), the National Academy of Engineering, and was a fellow of IEEE and AIAA.

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Obituary AIAA Associate Fellow Hitt Died in May

Dr. Darren L. Hitt died on 10 May 2019. He was 53 years old.

Dr. Hitt earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in the area of Micro-Fluid Mechanics. After a brief appointment as research fellow and adjunct faculty member in the Department of Physics at Loyola College, he joined the University of Vermont in 1998. He was promoted to Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 2012, and he embodied the teacher-scholar model of the university.

Dr. Hitt received a prestigious NSF CAREER Award in 2001 for his research on microfluidics. His scientific interests later focused on micropropulsion for nano-satellites, for which he won multiple NASA and DoD EPSCoR awards. His work has translated in technological innovations with several patents and a local company, Benchmark Space Systems, founded by a former Ph.D. student, Dr. Ryan McDevitt.

After his appointment as the director of the Vermont Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) in 2013, Dr. Hitt administered and facilitated a continuous stream of large NASA EPSCoR Research Group awards that contributed to scientific and technological advancements in many areas critical to NASA’s mission, including atmospheric entry physics, biofilms, and material sciences. These awards fostered collaborations within academic institutions within the states and with NASA research centers. His office funded multiple innovative research faculty awards, graduate fellowships, and undergraduate internships.

An Associate Fellow of AIAA, Dr. Hitt was a member of the AIAA Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee from 2008 to 2015. He was also the AIAA University of Vermont Student Branch Faculty Advisor from 2016 to 2019. Among his many other services to the scientific community, he was an associate editor and on the Editorial Board of AEROSPACE. Dedicated to the Department of Mechanical Engineering, he served as interim Department Chair while still an Assistant Professor in 2003 and 2004 and later as Program Head from 2010 until 2012.

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October 2019 AIAA Bulletin