AIAA Members Named to National Academy of Engineering Written 14 February 2022


February 14, 2022 – Reston, Va. – Eight American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) members are among the 133 newest members of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

The following AIAA members have been elected to the NAE, one of the highest professional distinctions awarded to an engineer:

Brian M. Argrow, professor and chair, Ann and H.J. Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder. AIAA Fellow, Class of 2016. For contributions to unmanned aerial systems capable of penetrating severe storms and leadership in their application to scientific observation.

Nicholas D. Lappos, senior technical fellow (emeritus), Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Beryl, Utah. AIAA Associate Fellow, Class of 2021. For improving rotary wing flight performance and serving as test pilot, engineer, inventor, technologist, and business leader.

Sandra Magnus, principal, AstroPlanetview LLC, Arlington, Va. AIAA Fellow, Class of 2022. For national accomplishments in the U.S. civil space program and in Department of Defense engineering and technology integration.

Daniel N. Miller, senior fellow, Skunk Works, Lockheed Martin Corp., Bainbridge Island, Wash. AIAA Fellow, Class of 2017. For theoretical contributions and practical innovations in flow control that improve the performance of aircraft propulsion systems.

Elon Musk, founder, chief executive officer, and chief engineer, SpaceX, Hawthorne, Calif. AIAA Associate Fellow, Class of 2012. For breakthroughs in the design, engineering, manufacturing, and operation of reusable launch vehicles and sustainable transportation and energy systems.

Nelson Pedreiro, vice president, Advanced Technology Center, Lockheed Martin Corp., Palo Alto, Calif. AIAA Fellow, Class of 2020. For technical innovation and engineering leadership on programs of national importance in space exploration, strategic systems, and missile defense.

Michael M. Watkins, director and vice president, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. AIAA Fellow, Class of 2020. For leadership in the development of space geodesy and leading robotic missions for exploration of the Earth and planetary bodies.

Karen Willcox, director, Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, University of Texas at Austin. AIAA Fellow, Class of 2019. For contributions to computational engineering methods for the design and optimal control of high-dimensional systems with uncertainties.

“On behalf of the AIAA staff, the Board of Trustees, and the Institute’s nearly 30,000 members, I extend our congratulations to these AIAA members on this well-deserved professional honor,” said AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher. “We also are thrilled to see so many others in the aerospace industry who are friends of the Institute receive this recognition. Each of these individuals have made exemplary contributions to the field of engineering and the aerospace community. We are awed by their accomplishments throughout their careers, as they are shaping the future of aerospace.”

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, and follow AIAA on TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.