Engineer of the Year Award Open for Nominations 1 July 2021 1 October 2021

The AIAA Engineer of the Year (EOY) Award is presented to a member of AIAA who has made a recent, individual, technical contribution in the application of scientific and mathematical principles leading to a significant technical accomplishment.

The AIAA Engineer of the Year Award is intended for recognition of an individual’s single scientific and/or technical contribution. Career or lifetime achievements are not eligible, neither is a team or a management accomplishment. However, a project lead or a member of a team is eligible, provided that he/she has made significant individual contribution to the team’s success. The award is intended for a recent accomplishment, specifically within the last three years, with the intent to “capture the moment”. Thus, both the individual’s specific technical contribution and the recentness of the accomplishment need to be conveyed in the award write-up. Nominations will be evaluated on the significance of the contribution, the impact of the contribution to the aerospace community, and the quality of the references. Diversity in the reference pool is highly recommended.

The candidate must be an AIAA professional member in good standing (active membership). AIAA Student members, Educator Associates or E-Members are not eligible.

The Engineer of the Year Award is an individual award. Current standing members of the AIAA Board of Trustees, Council of Directors, or Honors and Awards Committee are not eligible for the EOY award, but may be considered once their terms have ended.

This award will be presented at the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala in Washington D.C. If the recipient is unable to attend the Gala, they can select one of the AIAA Forums or a Section/Region event to receive the award.

Nomination deadline: 1 October

Award Recipients

2021

  • Dr Humberto Silva III
    Sandia National Laboratories
    Awarded
    Award: 2021 AIAA Engineer of the Year Award
    AIAA Citation: “For pioneering the modernization of re-entry vehicle probability loss of assured safety assessments including conduction, convection, chemical kinetics, radiation and associated thermophysical material uncertainty.”

2020

  • Dr Andrew T Klesh
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    Awarded
    Award: 2020 Engineer of the Year
    AIAA Citation: For exceptional engineering and technical leadership achievements in the development of MarCO, the first interplanetary CubeSat pathfinder, enabling future NASA deep space small satellites.

2019

  • Mr Timothy Dominick
    Northrop Grumman
    Awarded
    Award: For successful development and implementation of a novel structural insulator material, JT-700, into multiple controllable solids propulsion systems with potential applications across the aerospace industry
    AIAA Citation: For successful development and implementation of a novel structural insulator material, JT-700, into multiple controllable solids propulsion systems with potential applications across the aerospace industry

2018

  • Rodger E Farley
    Awarded
    Award: For the system design of a controlled lighter than air vehicle which is capable of station keeping in the stratosphere
    AIAA Citation: For the system design of a controlled lighter than air vehicle which is capable of station keeping in the stratosphere

2017

  • Prof Michael Keidar
    The George Washington University
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For significant contributions to fundamentals and applications of electric propulsion, particularly micro-propulsion for small satellites.

2016

  • Mrs Robin J. Osborne
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For increasing the aerospace industry’s understanding of spark torch ignition systems and building a low-cost ignition test facility

2015

  • Dr William J Emrich Jr
    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
    Awarded
    Award: -
    AIAA Citation: For conceiving of, designing, and bringing to operational status the megawatt-class Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environment Simulator.

2014

  • Mr William B Blake
    Air Force Reseach Laboratory
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: “For exceptional contributions to advance formation flight through invention and patent of critical technology and leading flight test demonstration of fuel savings.”

2013

  • Dr Rob Williams
    711 HPW/RH
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For exquisite engineering of an agile, all-source data fusion system for national security and for leadership of an innovative, high impact STEM outreach program.

2012

  • Dr John P Clark
    US Air Force
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For contributions to assessment and design of efficient gas turbine components, specifically for inventing optimization methods for shock-interaction reduction and improved film-cooling performance.

2011

  • Mr Jay M Brandon
    NASA Langley Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For superb technical contributions in the development of the flight control system and high-fidelity simulation of the Ares I-X, which was successfully flown on 28 October 2009.

2010

  • Dr Michael G Gilbert
    NASA-Langley Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to the highly successful development and flight demonstration of the NASA Engineering Safety Center Max Launch Abort System (MLAS).

2009

  • Dr Frederick R Schauer
    Air Force Institute of Technology
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For contributions to developing the next generation of power for future flight vehicles, specifically for a recent flight test of a pulsed detonation engine.

2008

  • Mr William Harrison III
    Air Force Reseach Laboratory
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For dedicated work to develop, demonstrate, certify and field fuels from alternative energy resources for DoD applications to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

2007

  • Mr. Elbert L Rutan
    Scaled Composites LLC
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For bold innovations and concepts that have provided a low-cost approach for access to space and won the civilian space race with SpaceShipOne.

2006

  • Mr Thomas J Horvath
    NASA Langley Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For exemplary contributions to understanding of Space Shuttle orbiter aerothermodynamic phenomena which were critical to the Columbia accident investigation, and the safe entry of Discovery on the STS-114 Return-to-Flight mission.

2005

  • Dr Prasun N Desai
    NASA-Langley Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For superior accomplishments and significant contributions to the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project.

2004

  • Dr Paul M Munafo
    Teledyne Brown Engineering
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For extraordinary technical expertise, leadership skills, and dedication to the aerospace profession.

2003

  • William M Parks
    AeroVironment
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For engineering skills and team mentoring and consistently pushing the envelope of record-setting long-duration flights with unique high-altitude solar electric powered aircraft like Helios.

2002

  • Scott Winship
    Northrop Grumman Corporation
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For his integral design and demonstrative role of Short Take Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) propulsion and control integration for the X-35B Joint Strike Fighter.

2001

  • Steven X Bauer
    NASA Langley Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For maturing and innovatively applying Passive Porosity Technology to achieve improved controllability of aerospace vehicles.

2000

  • Krishan K Ahuja
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding innovative contributions, including sound-related patents, to the field of experimental aeroacoustics in the areas of jet noise, flow/acoustic interactions, aircraft propulsion systems acoustics, automotive and noise control.

1999

  • Dr Leonard M Weinstein
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For development of various versions of a large field focusing and motion camera schlieren systems to visualize complex flow fields for high Mach number flows.

1998

  • Mr. Tommaso P Rivellini
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding achievement in the leadership and development of the Mars Pathfinder Airbag System.

1997

  • Mr. David M Urie
    Colbaugh & Heinsheimer Consulting, Inc
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For leadership, vision, communication skills, and tenacity which shaped the national Space transportation policy, making it possible for advanced technologies to be applied to national space needs.

1996

  • Preston A Henne
    Awarded
    Award: 1
    AIAA Citation: For leading the Concurrent Engineering Team in the development of Gulfstream V, first Global Business Jet Aircraft, and directing a world-wide partnership program through detail design, manufacture, and flight-testing

1995

  • Dr George S Springer
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For sustained contributions in analysis and manufacturing development of composite assemblies.

1994

  • Mr. Roland L Bowles
    NASA
    Awarded
    Award: 1994 Engineer of the Year Award
    AIAA Citation: For contributions to improved aircraft safety through characterizations of the wind shear hazard, and for leadership in developing forward-look sensors for microburst hazard detection.

1993

  • Mr Domenic J Maglieri
    Eagle Aeronautics, Inc.
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to the fundamental understanding, prediction and control of aircraft noise and sonic booms therefore furthering the design of environmentally acceptable commercial aircraft systems.

1992

  • Dr Antonio L Elias
    Orbital ATK
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For pioneering contributions to the invention, development , production and operation of the Pegasus air-launched space booster, the world's first privately-developed space launch vehicle.

1991

  • Mr. Frank C Gillette Jr.
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For a generation of leadership in designing, developing and fielding outstanding aerospace propulsion systems, and cultivating the advanced technologies that spell success.

1990

  • Mr. Clarence J Wesselski
    Lockheed Engr & Sci Co
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For conceiving the basic design, serving as a principal designer, and leading the development test effort for the Pole crew escape system for the Space Shuttle Orbiter.

1989

  • Bernard L Koff
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding leadership in the design and development of Pratt & Whitney's F100-PW-220 engine, the first Military Propulsion System to complete the equivalent of approximately 18 years of operational service on one set of engine hardware.