Lawrence Sperry Award Open for Nominations 1 July 2021 1 October 2021

The Lawrence Sperry Award is presented for a notable contribution made by a young person, age 35 or under, to the advancement of aeronautics or astronautics. This award honors Lawrence B. Sperry, pioneer aviator and inventor, who died in 1923 in a forced landing while attempting a flight across the English Channel. Note: The recipient must be age 35 or under on December 31 of the year preceding presentation. Because of unique nature of this award, it is presented during the annual AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala. Nomination Deadline: 1 October

Award Recipients

2021

  • Prof Benjamin Jorns
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Awarded
    Award: 2021 AIAA Lawrence Sperry Award
    AIAA Citation: In recognition of his seminal experimental and theoretical work on wave-driven effects in Hall thrusters and his contributions to the development of advanced thruster technologies.

2020

  • Dr Patrick R C Neumann
    Neumann Space
    Awarded
    Award: 2020 Lawrence Sperry Award
    AIAA Citation: For continued development of miniature electric spacecraft propulsion systems and ceaseless advocacy for the development of Australian space capabilities

2019

  • Dr Katya M Casper
    Sandia National Laboratories
    Awarded
    Award: For outstanding and notable contributions to fundamental understanding of boundary layer transition and fluid-structure interactions in hypersonic flows through novel diagnostics with national program impact
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding and notable contributions to fundamental understanding of boundary layer transition and fluid-structure interactions in hypersonic flows through novel diagnostics with national program impact

2018

  • Dr Michael D West
    Department of Defence
    Awarded
    Award: "For significant contributions to AIAA and the Australian aerospace sector through policy, education, and significant scientific research activities”
    AIAA Citation: "For significant contributions to AIAA and the Australian aerospace sector through policy, education, and significant scientific research activities”

2017

  • Karen T Berger
    NASA-Langley Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to hypersonic boundary layer transition through supporting Space Shuttle in-orbit damage assessment and leading the Shuttle Boundary Layer Transition Flight Experiment Project.

2016

  • Dr Joshua Rovey
    University of Illinois
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For exceptional contributions to research in the areas of plasmadynamics and space propulsion, and to the AIAA Missouri S&T Student Branch.

2015

  • Dr Jeremy T Pinier
    NASA LaRC
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For significant technical accomplishments and leadership in the aerodynamic design and development of the next U.S. crew and heavy-lift launch vehicles.

2014

  • Dr Kimberley C Clayfield
    CSIRO Space Sciences & Technology
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For significant and sustained contributions to the development of the Australian aerospace sector through national public policy, scientific leadership, and education activities.

2013

  • Dr Eric J Ruggiero
    GE
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For innovation and leadership in turbo-machinery seals technology.

2012

  • Prof Hamsa Balakrishnan
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For the development and implementation of advanced air traffic management techniques leading to significant environmental improvements.

2011

  • Dr M. Brett McMickell
    Honeywell International, Inc.
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For proven leadership in the area of small satellite technology with focus on the advancement of momentum and structural control systems.

2010

  • Prof Mitchell L Walker II
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For technology advances in the field of electric propulsion and contributions to aerospace education.

2009

  • Dr Adam Rasheed
    GE Global Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding technical contributions to high-speed propulsion concepts, hypersonics and pulse detonation engines and for innovative research in propulsion.

2008

  • Dr Ryan P Starkey
    Raytheon Missile Systems
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions in multidisciplinary hypersonic vehicle design and propulsion/airframe integration/optimization for both access to space and hypersonic cruise vehicles, and computational chemistry for combustion and plasma analysis.

2007

  • Dr Amy Pritchett
    Pennsylvania State University
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For advancing the science of human cognition and applying it to engineer important aerospace applications.

2006

  • Lynn Nicole Smith
    NASA Glenn Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: In recognition of exceptional contributions to the aerospace industry through programmatic and technical excellence and for outstanding leadership with NASA and AIAA.

2005

  • Prof Tim C Lieuwen
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to understanding of combustion dynamics and commitment to aerospace engineering education.

2004

  • Dr Jeffrey D Jordan
    NASA-Langley Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For significant contributions to a broad range of aerospace research programs through the development and application of advanced measurement trechniques and innovative sensing technologies

2003

  • Dr Myles L Baker
    M4 Engineering, Inc.
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For significant technical contributions in the fields of aeroelasticity, structural analysis, and optimization

2002

  • Prof Edward C Smith
    The Pennsylvania State University
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For extraordinary leadership as founder of a national rotorceaft technology center; for pioneering research in aeroelasticity of composite rotors; and for dedication to aerospace engineering education

2001

  • Dr Keith A Comeaux
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For significant contributions to the development of the xenon ion propulsion (XIPS) orbit raising, and station change mission architectures on the HS702 satellite

2000

  • Dr Anna-Maria R McGowan
    NASA-Langley Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For significant contributions to the DARPA/AF/NASA smart wing program enabling successful wind-tunnel demonstrations of the world’s two most advanced wings with embedded smart materials

1999

  • Dr Robert D Braun
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: Non-equilibrium gas flows and their application to aerospace systems

1998

  • Dr Iain D Boyd
    University of Michigan
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to physical models and the development, implementation, and verification of numerical techniques for predicting

1997

  • Dr John Kallinderis
    University of Texas at Austin
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For work that has led to orders of magnitude improvements in efficiency of computational fluid dynamics and help in tremendously improving our ability to carry out large-scale simulations

1996

  • Dr Penina Axelrad
    University of Colorado Boulder
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For research in the field of Global Positioning Systems Applications

1995

  • Dr William P Schonberg
    Missouri University of Science and Technology
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions in the analysis and design of orbital debris protection systems for safe space travel and operations

1994

  • Dr William K Anderson
    NASA Langley Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For pioneering advancements in the development and application of computational algorithms to solve complex, steady and unsteady, aerodynamic problems

1993

  • Prof Tim Barth
    NASA-Ames
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For fundamental and outstanding contributions in algorithm development and turbulence modeling for computational fluid dynamics

1992

  • Dr John T Batina
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to the development and application of computational fluid dynamic methods for the prediction of unsteady transonic aerodynamics and aircraft aeroelastic response

1991

  • Prof Mark Drela
    Massachusettes Institute of Technology
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For contributions of a method design subsonic airfoils and for his demonstration of his airfoil in Human Powered Aircraft

1990

  • Prof Ilan M Kroo
    Stanford University
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For imaginative use of the personal computer that is revolutionizing aerospace design education, and for extraordinary variety of research and teaching achievements in applied aerodynamics, flight-vehicle design and optimization

1989

  • Dr Case P Van Dam
    University of California-Davis
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For major innovative contributions in applied aerodynamics related to lift-induced vortex drag minimization design integration and optimization of novel aerodynamic concepts for aircraft, including natural laminar flow

1988

  • David W Thompson
    Orbital ATK
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For imaginative leadership in creating space enterprise and advancing space technology, conception and direction of the privately funded Transfer Orbit State development, which sets new standards for reliability, performing and delivery economy of satellite payloads

1987

  • James L Thomas
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For major contributions in experimental aerodynamics and in the analysis of inviscid and viscous flow, particularly for the development of subsonic panel methods and an efficient relaxation solution method for upwind-differenced, flux-split Navier-Stokes equations

1986

  • Dr Parviz Moin
    Stanford University
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For pioneering work in the field of large eddy simulation of turbulent flows, establishing the scientific credibility of computer-generated turbulent databases, and making the first application of the characteristic decomposition of turbulence

1985

  • Dr Vijaya Shankar
    HyPerComp, Incorporated
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For developing an advanced supersonic computational method based on the full potential equation and notable contributions to transonic figuration design and analysis techniques

1984

  • Sally Ride
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions during the STS-7 Mission, June 18-24 1983, including superb execution of the first single joint track and capture of a free-flying satellite, and for pioneering contribution as the first American woman in space.

1983

  • Mr. Luat T Nguyen
    NASA-Langley Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For the development of control system concepts that have been widely accepted and used in current generation fight aircraft for improving maneuverability and departure/spin resistance

1982

  • Jeffrey N Cuzzi
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For advancing the understanding of the nature and structure of planetary rings and their associated particles by both theoretical and observational methods as well as leadership in the development of scientific strategy for the Voyager-Saturn encounter.

1981

  • Mr. Charles W Boppe
    Draper Lab
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For developing an advanced computational aerodynamic method which is used in the analysis of complex aircraft configurations at transonic speeds

1980

  • Dr William F Ballhaus
    Aerospace Corp
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For advancing computational fluid dynamic as a practical tool for improving designs of transonic aircraft through the development of applicable and efficient numerical methods and computer codes and through fostering their implementation in the aeronautical community.

1979

  • Dr David A Caughey
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions toward the efficient numerical computation of transonic flow fields about complex configurations of practical significance.

1978

  • Dr Paul Kutler
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For furthering the understanding of supersonic aerodynamics through development of numerical methods that solve flow fields with intricate shock and expansion wave interactions

1977

  • Mr Joseph L Weingarten
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding professional competence, initiative, and creativity in the development of criteria for cargo movement, in both aircraft and spacecraft, and for your effort in achieving a high degree of air transportability for the Department of Defense

1975

  • Dennis M Bushnell
    NASA Langley Research Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For significant advances in the state-of-the-art for predicting complicated fluid mechanics phenomena such as the two phase flows resulting from fluid infection during reentry flight; the heating of interfering flows involving multiple shock systems and separation; and the flow of compressible turbulent shear layers and boundary layers

1974

  • Mr. Jan R Tulinius
    Rockwell International Corp
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For the development of practical advancement theoretical aerodynamic design methods combined with the unique adaptation of computer techniques to realize maximum efficiency for the determination of advanced air vehicle characteristics

1973

  • Dr Dino A Lorenzini
    SpaceQuest Ltd.
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For developing a modern inertial guidance test facility which incorporates current technology in the areas of computer control, data acquisition, sensor excitation and seismic isolation

1972

  • Dr Sheila E Widnall
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For contributions to the understanding of vortex flows in wing wakes, aerodynamic noise and lifting surface theory

1971

  • Mr. Ronald Berry
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For many outstanding achievements in the field of manned space flight, particularly in lunar mission analysis and design development.

1970

  • Glenn Lunney
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding performance as a flight director during the Gemini and Apollo manned space flight missions and exceptional leadership, professional skill, and personal dedication which contributed to the success of this nation’s first manned lunar mission and particularly during the flight of Apollo 13 when you and your team directed the return of the damaged spacecraft following an explosion in space.
  • Dr Glynn S Lunney
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding performance as a flight director during the Gemini and Apollo Manner space flight missions and exceptional leadership, professional skill, and personal dedication contributed to the success of this nation’s first manned lunar mission, and particularly during the flight of Apollo 13 when you and your team directed the return of the damaged spacecraft following an explosion in space.

1969

  • Edgar C Lineberry Jr.
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For significant advancement of the field of rendezvous mechanics through development of the spacecraft maneuver logic and associates control techniques and formulation of the mission plans which contributed decisively to the success of all rendezvous operations conducted during the U.S. manned space flights.

1968

  • Roy V Harris
    Awarded

1967

  • Eugene F Kranz
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For imaginative use of the personal computer that is revolutionizing aerospace design education, and for extraordinary variety of research and teaching achievements.

1966

  • Joe H Engle
    The Stafford Task Force
    Awarded

1965

  • Rodney C Wingrove
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For precise calculations toward minimizing total heat on a spacecraft during re-entry, enabling success of NASA’s early space programs.

1964

  • Daniel M Tellep
    Awarded

1962

  • Robert O Piland
    Awarded

1961

  • Douglas G Harvey
    Awarded

1960

  • Robert B Howell
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For contributions to development of advanced theoretical guidance and control techniques.

1959

  • Prof James E Mc Cune
    M I T
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For research contributions.

1958

  • Dr Robert G Loewy
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For work on rotary-wing aircraft.

1957

  • Mr. Clarence A Syvertson
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For solving problems at flight at speeds 30 times that of sound.

1956

  • Mr. George F Jude
    Terraces 6240
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For contribution to the advancement of precision automatic flight control and safe all-weather flight.

1955

  • Giles J Strickroth
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For contributions to the development of guidance system for the Matador.

1954

  • Mr. A. S Crossfield
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For important contributions in aeronautical flight research, especially at transonic and supersonic speeds up to Mach 2

1953

  • Prof Donald E Coles
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For fundamental contributions to the understanding of supersonic skin friction.

1952

  • Dr Dean R Chapman
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For contributions to the basic knowledge of skin friction base pressure, and heat transfer at supersonic speeds.

1951

  • Mr. Robert C Seamans Jr.
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For system of determining dynamical characteristics of an airplane and matching them to automatic controls by measuring the pulse excitement response in flight.

1950

  • Mr. Frank N Piasecki
    Piasecki Aircraft Corporation
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to the design and development of helicopters.

1949

  • Dr Alexander H Flax
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For significant additions to the methods available for determining dynamic behavior of airplanes, helicopters, and missiles.

1948

  • Dr Allen E Puckett
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to the design and development of supersonic wind tunnels.

1947

  • N A M Gaylor
    Awarded

1946

  • Peter R Murray
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For radio control systems for guided missiles and pilotless aircraft.

1945

  • Richard Hutton
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to the development of carrier-based aircraft.

1944

  • Mr. William H Phillips
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contribution in the field of stability and control of aircraft.

1943

  • William B Bergen
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For theoretical and experimental studies of dynamic loads on airplanes.

1942

  • Edward C Wells
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to the art of airplane design, with special reference to four-engined aircraft.

1941

  • Ernest G Stout
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For contribution to the experimental determination of hydrodynamic stability of model flying boats and seaplanes.

1939

  • Mr. Charles M Kearns Jr.
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For successful application of methods of measuring propeller vibration stresses in flight.

1938

  • Russell C Newhouse
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For development and first practical application of the terrain clearance indicator.

1937

  • Clarence L Johnson
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For important improvement of aeronautical design of high-speed commercial aircraft.

1936

  • William C Rockefeller
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For application of aerodynamics and meteorology in determining the optimum flight path in air transport operation.