Larry B. Ilcewicz, FAA’s Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Advanced Composite Materials to Receive the Prestigious AIAA Walter J. and Angeline H. Crichlow Trust Prize Written 22 October 2018

CONTACT: John Blacksten

October 22, 2018 – Reston, Va. –The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
(AIAA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Larry B. Ilcewicz, chief scientific and technical advisor for Advanced Composite Materials at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has been selected to receive the 2019 Walter J. and Angeline H. Crichlow Trust Prize. 

The prize, presented by AIAA every four years for excellence in aerospace materials, structural 
design, structural analysis or structural dynamics, will be presented to Ilcewicz during the awards luncheon on 10 January 2019 at the AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition ( AIAA SciTech Forum). The forum is being held 7–11 January 2019 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego in San Diego, California. 

Ilcewicz’s work has been instrumental as the aviation industry transitions from all-aluminum aircraft to composite materials, which are used to reduce weight, increase efficiencies and improve structural properties. He also has made significant research contributions to the Boeing 777, the world’s largest twin-engine jet airliner. 

He is being honored “For exemplary technical leadership in establishing a safety and regulatory framework enabling large-scale structural application of composites in commercial and general aviation aircraft, rotorcraft and engines.” The award includes a medal, a certificate of citation and a $100,000 honorarium. 

“The foresight and dedication of AIAA Senior Member Larry Ilcewicz has helped guide the aerospace industry in meeting the challenge of composite materials to make aircraft safer and more efficient,” said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA executive director. “We are grateful for his keen understanding of the cooperation needed across the industry to advance aerospace.” 

Ilcewicz’s nomination was supported by such companies as Airbus SE, The Boeing Company, Bombardier Aerospace, and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). 

Ilcewicz joined the FAA in 1998 as chief scientific and technical advisor for advanced composite materials following many years in prominent positions developing composite materials and structures technology at Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA). In his FAA position, he has worked to advance composite materials and structures technology and develop coordinated strategies to address certification issues and service issues for composites. 

This work culminated in the FAA Aviation Safety Office (AVS) Strategic Composite Plan, an international plan for composite safety and certification initiatives. The Strategic Composite Plan was developed during the time that large aircraft companies, such as Boeing, Airbus, and Bombardier, were intensively developing large composite structures for new aircraft applications. 

While at Boeing, Ilcewicz was one of the founding participants in the Boeing Advanced Composite Development Program (ACDP), noted Steven A. Chisholm, director of Structures Engineering, BCA, in a nomination letter for Ilcewicz. ACDP set the stage for the “groundbreaking insertion of toughened advanced composites on the 777 Program, with Larry’s research and guidance strongly contributing to the development of the composite empennage structure on the 777.” 

Ilcewicz also serves as co-chair of the Composite Material Handbook 17 (CMH-17) Working Group, which develops and publishes extensive documentation of standard methods, material databases and engineering guidelines to meet the needs of industry and the general public. As part of this effort, Ilcewicz created a forum with Boeing, Airbus, regulators and academia. 

Chisholm wrote in the nomination letter, “I don’t think that many believed that such a forum would be well supported and sustainable. However, Larry’s passion for this was palatable, and this forum, which now has added Bombardier, is still going strong. He knew that the collective knowledge of the experts from each of the Airframers would benefit the industry as whole. 

“Larry’s vision and leadership have resulted in a cooperative relationship amongst the Airframers that did not exist previously. He was the kingpin in developing a culture where we regularly engage at the industry level to further composite safety, and establish standards to ensure that future aircraft benefit from our collective knowledge.” 

Ilcewicz was awarded a dual degree Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from Oregon State University in 1984. During his Ph.D., he performed contract work on advanced composite resin matrices with toughened interlayers for the Boeing Company ACDP.  He also received an M.S. degree in Wood Science from Oregon State University in 1979, and a B.S. degree in Wood Science and Technology from Michigan Technological University in 1977. He is author or co-author of 79 technical publications 

The U.S. government recognized Ilcewicz’s service and accomplishments with a 2013 Presidential Rank Award. The Presidential Rank Award program recognizes senior government officials for exceptional professional, technical, and/or scientific achievement recognized on a national or international level.

About AIAA
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 85 countries, and 95 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.


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