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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    CONTACT: John Blacksten


    Wanda M. Austin Wins 2016 Yvonne C. Brill Lectureship in Aerospace Engineering
    Will Deliver September Address on “Engineering Leadership: The Need for Technical Excellence and Diversity”

    March 1, 2016 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce that it has selected Dr. Wanda M. Austin, president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, as the recipient of the second Yvonne C. Brill Lectureship in Aerospace Engineering.

    Austin will present her lecture, “Engineering Leadership: The Need for Technical Excellence and Diversity,” on Thursday, September 15, in conjunction with the AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum and Exposition ( AIAA SPACE 2016), September 13–16 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California.

    “From developing communication systems that allow our armed forces to communicate instantly and securely transfer crucial data on the battlefield, to ensuring that our national security space assets are efficiently and strategically deployed, Wanda M. Austin’s work has greatly enhanced the strength and security of our nation. Her work, like Brill’s, has been transformative and forward thinking, and AIAA congratulates her for being this year’s Yvonne C. Brill lecturer. Austin has also been a great champion of diversity in our community and does much each year to ensure that both the current and future workforce are diverse, well prepared, and well rounded. We thank her for all she has done for our nation and for our aerospace community.”

    Austin is an internationally recognized expert in satellite and payload system acquisition, systems engineering, and system simulation. She regularly works with the U.S. Air Force, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), NASA, and other agencies to ensure the viability and superiority of almost every national security space program. Austin has also championed science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives, including involving The Aerospace Corporation in programs like MathCounts, US First Robotics, and Change the Equation. Austin was one of the first CEOs in the nation to commit their company to the support of the Change the Equation program.

    Austin has made numerous contributions to the U.S. national security space program, including working on the National Security Space Master Plan Task Force for the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Space; contributing to the U.S. Human Spaceflight Review Committee; leading the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board’s study on the use of small satellites; and supporting numerous Defense Science Board studies. She has also served on the NASA Advisory Council and the Defense Intelligence Agency’s MASINT Technology Advisory Panel, among numerous other boards.

    Austin’s other honors include the 2012 Horatio Alger Award; the 2012 NDIA Peter B. Teets Industry Award; the 2010 AIAA von Braun Award for Excellence in Space Program Management; a National Reconnaissance Office Gold Medal; and the National Intelligence Medallion for Meritorious Service.

    AIAA, with the participation and support of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), created the Yvonne C. Brill Lectureship in Aerospace Engineering to honor the memory of the late, pioneering rocket scientist, AIAA Honorary Fellow and NAE Member, Yvonne C. Brill. Brill was best known for developing a revolutionary propulsion system that remains the industry standard for geostationary satellite station-keeping.

    The Lecture emphasizes research or engineering issues for space travel and exploration, aerospace education of students and the public, and other aerospace issues such as ensuring a diverse and robust engineering community.


    About 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.

    About NAE
    Founded in 1964, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. The mission of the National Academy of Engineering is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. For further information, visit  



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