AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala Confers 2013 Top Honors Written 4 June 2013

Event Also Recognized Newly Elected AIAA Fellows and Honorary Fellows
AIAA Foundation Educator Achievement Award recipients

Presentation of AIAA's most prestigious awards, and the recognition of the newly elected Fellows and Honorary Fellows of the Institute, took place 8 May at the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, in Washington, DC. This annual black-tie event recognizes the most influential and inspiring individuals in aerospace, whose outstanding contributions merit the highest accolades.

The honors conferred at the 2013 AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala include:

Happy Hour at the 2013 AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala

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  • AIAA Goddard Astronautics Award: William F. Ballhaus Jr., The Aerospace Corporation
  • AIAA Reed Aeronautics Award: Hon. Paul Kaminski, Technovation Inc.
  • AIAA International Cooperation Award: Scott Pace, Space Policy Institute, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
  • AIAA Distinguished Service Award: A. Tom Smith, ATS Solutions Inc.
  • AIAA Public Service Award: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Hayden Planetarium, Rose Center for Earth and Space, American Museum of Natural History
  • Gala-13-NASA-team
    AIAA Foundation Award of Excellence recipient: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Mars Science Laboratory
  • AIAA Foundation Award of Excellence: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Mars Science Laboratory, NASA Jet Propuslion Laboratory
  • AIAA Foundation Educator Achievement Awards: Lanena Berry, Houston Independent School District, Houston, Texas; Elizabeth Dabrowski, Magnificat High School, Cleveland, Ohio; Lisa Damian-Marvin, Camden Hills Regional High School, Rockport, Maine; Joan Labay-Marquez, Curington Elementary School, Boerne, Texas; Sean McCullough, Anderson Districts I & II Career and Technology Center, Anderson, S.C.; Deborah Swan, Windsor Hills Math, Science, Aerospace Magnet School, Los Angeles, Calif.; and James Weber, Timberland High School, Wentzville, Mo.
  • AIAA National Capitol Section Barry Goldwater Educator Award: John Grunsfeld, NASA


2013 AIAA Honorary Fellows with Skip Fletcher, chair of the Honorary Fellows Committee (far left), and Mike Griffin, AIAA President (far right)

The highest distinction conferred by AIAA and its Board of Directors is that of Honorary Fellow, which is granted only to preeminent individuals who have had long and highly contributory careers in aerospace and who embody the highest standards possible in aeronautics and astronautics. The 2013 Honorary Fellows are:

Allen E. Fuhs, Naval Postgraduate School
William H. Gerstenmaier, NASA Headquarters
David Ian Poll, Cranfield University
David W. Thompson, Orbital Sciences Corporation

The distinction of Fellow is conferred by AIAA and its Board of Directors upon those members of the Institute who have made notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences, or technology of aeronautics or astronautics. The 2013 Fellows are:

Edward H. Allen, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
Frank H. Bauer, Emergent Space Technologies
Christina L. Bloebaum, Iowa State University
Hsiao-Hua K. Burke, Lincoln Laboratory
Wesley G. Bush, Northrop Grumman Corporation
Joaquin H. Castro, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Ray G. Clinton Jr., NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Victoria L. Coverstone, University of Illinois
Frank L. Culbertson, Orbital Sciences Corporation
Basil Hassan, Sandia National Laboratories
Stephen D. Heister, Purdue University
Kathleen C. Howell, Purdue University
Laurence D. Leavitt, NASA Langley Research Center
Feng Liu, University of California at Irvine
Asad M. Madni, BEI Technologies Inc.
Dennis A. Muilenburg, Boeing Defense, Space & Security
Jaime Peraire, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michael W. Plesniak, George Washington University
Andre J. Preumont, Universite Libre de Bruxelles
James D. Raisbeck, Raisbeck Engineering, Inc.
Rami R. Razouk, The Aerospace Corporation
Gwynne E. Shotwell, SpaceX
Friedrich K. Straub, Boeing Defense, Space & Security
Frank L. Van Rensselaer, VanRSpace
Aspi R. Wadia, GE Aviation
Steven H. Walker, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Kevin A. Wise, Boeing Defense, Space & Security
2013 AIAA Fellows

In 1933, Orville Wright became AIAA’s first Honorary Fellow, and AIAA Honorary Fellows and AIAA Fellows continue to be the most respected names in the aerospace industry.

For more information on the Aerospace Spotlight Award recipients, contact Carol Stewart at 703.264.7623 or

For more information on Fellows, Honorary Fellows, and other Member Advancements, contact Patricia Carr at 703.264.7523 or

To learn more about the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala, please contact Merrie Scott at 703.264.7530 or And, remember, the "save the date” for next year's gala is 30 April 2014. Same location!