AIAA Members Win Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers Written 26 July 2019

CONTACT: Michele McDonald  

AIAA members Chunlei Liang, Kelly Stephani and Dan Garmann win PECASE award. Not shown: Steven Brunton.

July 26, 2019 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics congratulates the AIAA members who won this year’s Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

  • AIAA Member Steven Brunton, University of Washington (nominated by Department of Defense)

  • AIAA Associate Fellow Daniel Garmann, Air Force Research Laboratory (nominated by Department of Defense)

  • AIAA Associate Fellow Chunlei Liang, George Washington University (nominated by National Science Foundation)

  • AIAA Associate Fellow Kelly Stephani, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign (nominated by NASA)

The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology. The award was presented on Thursday, 25 July, in Washington, D.C.

Established in 1996, the PECASE acknowledges the contributions scientists and engineers have made to the advancement of science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) education and to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, and community outreach. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates the PECASE with participating departments and agencies.

The winners noted how AIAA has helped their work.

Brunton, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Washington, said, “AIAA has always provided an engaging and stimulating community for me. My first experience conducting research and writing papers was in preparation for AIAA conferences, which provided a great opportunity early in my career.”

Daniel Garmann, a senior research aerospace engineer in the Aerodynamic Technology Branch at the Air Force Research Laboratory, added, “AIAA has been an excellent conduit for me not only to build and extend my own professional network, but also to engage the broader aerospace community through technical committees, publications, workshops, and conferences.”

Liang, who starts a position as a professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at Clarkson University on August 1, became an AIAA Associate Fellow in 2013 and was the Fluid Dynamics Technical Discipline Chair at the 2018 AIAA AVIATION Forum. He’s also published AIAA meeting papers on a regular basis for the past decade.

 “I have enjoyed participating in AIAA’s active intellectual community because it offers leadership opportunities and is a great place to discuss research,” Liang said.

“AIAA has been a mainstay for my professional growth in the aerospace community,” said Kelly Stephani, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who also serves on AIAA’s thermophysics technical committee (TPTC). “This organization fosters an environment where early career scientists and engineers can exchange ideas, network, and gain exposure, all critical pieces to where I am today professionally.”

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 99 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information,, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.



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