AIAA to Recognize Technical Excellence in Aerospace at the 2021 AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum Written 23 July 2021



July 23, 2021 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce the winners of technical excellence awards to be presented during the 2021 AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum, which will be held online 9-11 August. The awards ceremony will be held online Wednesday, 11 August, 1300-1430 hrs ET, and is open to all with free registration.

“Technical advances are the foundation for the next innovations in aerospace,” said AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher. “We applaud these winners and we are grateful for their creativity and dedication to shaping the future of aerospace.”  

In addition to these technical awards, AIAA will be recognizing winners of the Best Professional Papers, Best Student Papers, and Student Paper Competitions during the forum.

The following aerospace professionals will be recognized for their outstanding contributions in their field, having been chosen by their peers from related AIAA technical committees.

J. Philip Drummond, NASA Langley Research Center, is being presented with the 2021 AIAA Air Breathing Propulsion Award for his pioneering contributions to high-speed air-breathing propulsion, his leadership in aerospace engineering, and for his continuous contributions to AIAA.

Stephen D. Heister, Purdue University, is being presented with the 2021 AIAA Wyld Propulsion Award for continuous leadership in advancing rocket propulsion engineering through state-of-the-art computational and experimental research and decades of mentorship of students.

Yiguang Ju, Princeton University, is being presented with the 2021 AIAA Propellants and Combustion Award for outstanding contributions in studies of near-limit combustion, plasma assisted combustion, micro combustion, and cool flames.

Kai Hong Luo, University College London, is being presented with the 2021 AIAA Energy Systems Award for groundbreaking contributions to multiscale multiphysics modeling and simulation that have transformed energy system analysis, prediction, design, and optimization through research, innovation, education, and leadership.

Robert J. Walters, Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate, is being presented with the 2021 AIAA Aerospace Power Systems Award for significant technical contributions and leadership in the area of space photovoltaic technology development and solar cell radiation damage research.

AIAA Media Contact: Rebecca B. Gray,, 804-397-5270 cell

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, or follow AIAA on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn