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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    CONTACT: John Blacksten


    Narayanan Komerath Wins 2016 J. Leland Atwood Award
    Honored for Sustained Efforts to Enhance the Depth and Breadth of Learning in Aerospace Education

    October 7, 2015 – Reston, Va. – Narayanan Komerath, an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Associate Fellow, and professor of aerospace engineering in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, has won the 2016 J. Leland Atwood Award. Komerath will receive the award at a noon recognition luncheon on Thursday, January 7, held in conjunction with the AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition 2016 ( AIAA SciTech 2016), January 4–8, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego, California.

    The J. Leland Atwood Award, cosponsored by AIAA and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) honors Komerath for his “sustained efforts to enhance depth and breadth of learning in aerospace engineering education through mentoring, experimental research, publications, service and advanced concept development.”

    “John Leland Atwood is a legendary pioneer, an inspiration for people who teach, learn and do experimental research about the frontiers of flight,” said Komerath. “Those who have won this award before me are an equally inspiring group. I am deeply honored to be selected to join such company, and most grateful to my colleagues and alumni who wrote so thoughtfully for me and those who selected me.” He concluded, “This might even impress some of my students!”

    Komerath has guided 18 doctoral degree candidates and 68 Master of Science candidates through their programs at Georgia Tech. Three of Komerath’s students have won Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award. He has supervised 168 undergraduate research projects, and has served as project director for over 100 externally sponsored projects. Komerath holds three patents, and has written 370 publications. 


    In addition to his membership in AIAA, Komerath has served as Fellow of the NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts, a Boeing A.D. Welliver Faculty Fellow, a Sam Nunn Senior Security Fellow, a Hesburgh Teaching Fellow, and a United States Air Force Summer Faculty Fellow. He has chaired the ASEE’s Aerospace Education division from 2008 to 2009, and the American Helicopter Society’s Aerodynamics Technical Committee from 2014 to 2015. He is a member of the AIAA Economics Technical Committee.

    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 at


    About AIAA
    AIAA is the largest aerospace professional society in the world, serving a diverse range of more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 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 500, Reston, VA 20191-5807
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551