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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    CONTACT: John Blacksten


    John Crassidis Wins 2016 J. Leland Atwood Award
    Award Honors Crassidis’ Commitment to Excellence in Aerospace Engineering Education

    December 20, 2016 – Reston, Va. – John Crassidis, an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Fellow, and CUBRC Professor in space situational awareness, and director of the Center for Multisource Information Fusion (CMIF) at the University at Buffalo (UB), Amherst, New York, has won the 2016 J. Leland Atwood Award. Crassidis will receive the award at a 12:30 p.m. recognition luncheon on Tuesday, January 10, held in conjunction with the 2017 AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (AIAA SciTech Forum), January 9–13, at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center, Grapevine, Texas.

    The J. Leland Atwood Award, cosponsored by AIAA and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) honors Crassidis for his “commitment to excellence in aerospace engineering education.”

    Crassidis is one of the leading authorities in the areas of attitude determination and estimation of space situational awareness. He has developed numerous algorithms to determine the attitude of a vehicle from GPS signals and he was the first to develop an algorithm to resolve GPS integer ambiguities without prior attitude knowledge. Additionally, he developed an innovative leak localization approach for the International Space Station. Crassidis’ most recent work has been in the area of resident space object attitude estimation. As director of UB’s CMIF he leads a team of researchers focusing on basic and applied research in multiple-source information processing environments, such as in multiple-sensor or multiply-instrumented systems. He is also the principal investigator for UB’s participation in the U.S. University Nanosat Program and NASA’s CubeSat Initiative. Crassidis has supervised over 60 graduate students during his academic career, and many of those have gone on to become professors and government program managers.

    Crassidis’ past honors include UB’s 2014 Richard T. Sarkin Award for Excellence in Teaching; the 2012 AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Award; a 2006 AIAA Sustained Service Award; and the Society of Automotive Engineers’ 2006 Ralph T. Teetor Educational Award.

    Established in 1985, the J. Leland Atwood Award annually honors an aerospace engineering educator, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the profession. Atwood entered aviation when it was little more than experimentation in a daring sport. Nevertheless, he believed that this new field would be a cornerstone of our national security and serve as a principal medium of world commerce. As an outstanding engineer and a leader of a great corporation, Atwood played a major role in the development of aviation and aerospace technologies for more than 50 years. Administration of the award resides at ASEE.

    For more information on the J. Leland Atwood Award or the AIAA Honors and Awards program, please contact Carol Stewart at 703.264.7538 or


     About AIAA
    AIAA is the world’s largest aerospace professional society, serving a diverse range of more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and nearly 100 corporate members. AIAA members help make the world safer, more connected, more accessible, and more prosperous. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.



    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    12700 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 200, Reston, VA 20191-5807
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551