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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics


    Foundation Logo   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


    AIAA Foundation Announces Graduate Award Winners
    $17,500 Awarded to Aerospace Graduate Students

    June 25, 2012 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation (AIAA Foundation) is pleased to announce the recipients of its five Graduate Awards for the 2012–2013 academic year. The winning graduate students will receive a total of $17,500 in awards.

    Each year the AIAA Foundation presents Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Awards. These $5,000 awards, given in memory of the Wright brothers’ contributions to the evolution of flight, are presented to students completing master’s degree or doctoral thesis work. The 2012–2013 winners are:

    • Paul Anderson, University of Colorado – Boulder, Boulder, Colo.

    • Rachel Ellman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

    The AIAA Foundation also annually presents a series of $2,500 awards. The 2012–2013 winners are:

    • Noel Bakhtian, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., who is the recipient of the John Leland Atwood Graduate Award. The Leland Award, sponsored by endowments from Rockwell and Boeing North America, Inc., and named in memory of John Leland “Lee” Atwood, former chief executive officer of Rockwell, North American, is presented to a student actively engaged in research areas covered by the technical committees of AIAA.

    • Ved Chirayath, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., who is the recipient of the Guidance, Navigation, and Control Graduate Award. The AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Technical Committee presents this award to a student engaged in work relating to the committee’s subject areas.

    • Vlad Popescu, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga., who is the recipient of the William T. Piper, Sr. Graduate Award. The Piper Award is sponsored by endowments of the W.T. Piper, Sr. Foundation in the name of William T. Piper, Sr., the founder and first president of Piper Aircraft Corporation. Also supported by AIAA’s General Aviation Systems Technical Committee and the AIAA Foundation, the award is presented to a student actively participating in research endeavors in General Aviation at the graduate level.

    For more information on the award winners, please visit: For more information on the AIAA Graduate Awards program, please contact Rachel Andino at 703.264.7577 or  

    Media Contact: Duane Hyland, 703.264.7558 or

    The AIAA Foundation seeks to “make it exciting, make it empowering, and make it fun.” That simple, compelling philosophy drives the Foundation’s commitment to math, science, and technology education. The AIAA Foundation offers a wealth of resources to support educators and students from K–12 through the university level: scholarships, classroom grants, design competitions, and student conferences, improving scientific literacy and advancing the arts and sciences of aerospace. For more information on the AIAA Foundation and its programs for students, teachers and professionals, please visit


    AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and 90 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit



    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500, Reston, VA 20191-4344
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551