Ozires Silva to Receive the Daniel Guggenheim Medal for Influential Contributions to Aerospace Written 18 February 2021



Daniel Guggenheim Medal

February 18, 2021 – Reston, Va. – Ozires Silva, Co-Founder/Past President, Embraer, has been awarded the 2020 Daniel Guggenheim Medal for his education and inspiration of today’s aerospace engineers and scientists and for his influential contributions to the fields of combustion and propulsion. The award presentation will be hosted by the Brazilian Air Force and is tentatively planned for March 2021.

The Daniel Guggenheim Medal was established in 1929 to honor innovators who make notable achievements in the advancement of aeronautics. Its first recipient was Orville Wright. The medal is jointly sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), SAE International (originally the Society of Automotive Engineers) and the Vertical Flight Society (originally the American Helicopter Society).

“This distinguished recognition to Ozires Silva reflects his innovative and exceptional contributions to aviation. His passion, courage, and leadership paved the way for Embraer to expand in ways that few imagined, transforming regional aviation, and leading our company to be admired globally. It is an honor and a great privilege for me and all my colleagues at Embraer to be inspired every day by his pioneering vision and innovative spirit,” said Francisco Gomes Neto, President and CEO of Embraer.

Silva was born on January 8, 1931, in Bauru, State of São Paulo, Brazil. In 1948, he joined the Aeronautical School, linked to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), in Rio de Janeiro, where he received his military license four years later. He moved to São José dos Campos, State of São Paulo, to join the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA) in 1959, graduating with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1962. After graduation, he led the Department of Aircraft at the Institute of Research and Development (IPD), linked to the then Technical Center of Aeronautics (CTA).

In 1965, he travelled to the United States to complete a master’s degree at the California Institute of Technology, where he would spend a year. At the same time, he started the IPD-6504 project, which would later become the Bandeirante aircraft. Silva promoted, alongside a group of visionaries, the creation of Embraer in 1969, becoming the company’s superintendent director until 1986, when he accepted the offer to take command of the Brazilian oil company Petrobras. After two years as Minister of Infrastructure and Communications for Brazilian President Fernando Collor, Silva returned to Embraer in 1992 and chaired the company until its privatization in December 1994.

Silva became president of Varig airline in 2000, remaining in the position for two years. In 2003, he created Pele Nova Biotecnologia, whose mission was focused on the development of therapeutic and dermo-cosmetic innovations based on Brazil’s biodiversity. In the last few decades, Silva has become an active voice in favor of education, writing several books and articles on the subject. He currently is the president of the Innovation Council of Ânima Educação in São Paulo.

Past recipients of the Guggenheim Medal are some of the greatest names in aerospace, including Walter Vincenti, Holt Ashley, Lawrence Bell, William Boeing, James Doolittle, Donald Douglas, Charles Stark Draper, Hugh Dryden, Robert Goddard, Jerome Hunsaker, Theodore von Kármán, Charles Lindbergh, Glenn Martin, Frank Robinson, Burt Rutan, and Igor Sikorsky, among many others. 

For more information about the AIAA/ASME/SAE/VFS Daniel Guggenheim Medal, or the AIAA Honors and Awards program, contact Patricia Carr at patriciac@aiaa.org.

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 91 countries, and 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit www.aiaa.org, or follow AIAA on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.

About ASME
ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world. For more information visit www.asme.org.

About SAE International
SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting over 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™. For more information visit www.sae.org.

About The Vertical Flight Society 
Founded as the American Helicopter Society in 1943, the Vertical Flight Society today advocates, promotes and supports global vertical flight technology and professional development. For 75 years, the Society has provided leadership for the advancement of vertical flight. For more information, visit www.vtol.org or follow us on Twitter at @VTOLsociety.

AIAA Media Contact: Rebecca B. Gray, RebeccaG@AIAA.org, 804-397-5270.