The World's Forum for Aerospace Leadership

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The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

is the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession.

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    2012 Gala Awards

    2012 Aerospace Spotlight Awards

    AIAA’s highest honors to be presented at the 2012 AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala include:

    AIAA Distinguished Service Award


    richardson Donald W. Richardson
    President and COO
    DonRich Research Corporation
    West Palm Beach, Florida

    For over 60 years of service to the IAS and AIAA, the aerospace profession, and outstanding leadership in navigation and air traffic management systems.  


    AIAA Foundation Award For Excellence


    787 Dreamliner Boeing 787 Dreamliner

    For the groundbreaking development of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as a super-efficient, game-changing airplane that brings big-jet ranges and speeds to mid-size airplanes and provides airlines with unmatched value and efficiency by using 20 percent less fuel than today’s similarly sized airplanes.  


    AIAA Goddard Astronautics Award


    Thompson David W. Thompson
    Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
    Orbital Sciences Corporation
    Dulles, Virginia

    For 3 decades of contributions and innovations leading to expansion of knowledge of the earth and space to improve nation’s security and to enable success in commercial space.  


    AIAA International Cooperation Award


      Jean-Michel Contant 
    International Academy of Astronautics
    Paris, France

    For unique contributions to the cause of international cooperation with visionary and pioneering efforts within the world-wide aerospace community.  


    AIAA Reed Aeronautics Award


    Henne Preston A. Henne
    Senior Vice President of Programs, Engineering and Test
    Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
    Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

    For exemplary leadership in the development, design, testing and certification of major airplane programs and significant contributions to supersonic boom mitigation.  


    Daniel Guggenheim Medal


    Rutan Burt Rutan
    Founder and CTO (Retired)/Designer Emeritus
    Scaled Composites LLC
    Mojave, California

    For a distinguished career of highly innovative and successful flight vehicles ranging from home built designs to Voyager and SpaceShipOne.  


    National Capitol Section Barry M. Goldwater Educator Award


    Sullivan Kathryn Sullivan
    Assistant Secretary of Commerce 
    for Environmental Observation and Prediction
    Deputy Administrator
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Washington, D.C.

    For outstanding performance in designing and promoting STEM activities that inspire students to achieve from the depths of the ocean to the heights of outer space.