AIAA Announces 2022 Undergraduate Scholarship and Graduate Award Winners Written 1 September 2022


September 1, 2022 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation has announced the 25 winners of its 2022 undergraduate scholarships and graduate awards. Through its Foundation and supported by nearly 30,000 members, AIAA awards over $100,000 in academic scholarships and STEM educational grants to support the next generation of aerospace professionals.

“Congratulations to these exemplary students on receiving scholarships and awards to further their education. Preparing the next generation of aerospace innovators is part of our commitment to the aerospace community,” said Basil Hassan, chair, AIAA Foundation. “The students recognized here are some of our industry’s next leaders and problem-solvers. We are proud to call them AIAA student members and we look forward to seeing how they shape the future of aerospace.”

Applications for the 2023 scholarships and awards are being accepted from 1 October 2022 to 31 January 2023.

The 2022 undergraduate scholarship winners are:

  • The AIAA Foundation, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, is pleased to present the inaugural AIAA Lockheed Martin Marillyn Hewson Scholarship to the following two students. This $10,000 scholarship is a needs-based award presented to one female high school graduate and one female enrolled university student each year.

    • Julianna Schneider, accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
    • Penelope Nieves, currently enrolled at University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez (Mayaguez, Puerto Rico)
  • The $10,000 Daedalus 88 Scholarship, endowed by former AIAA President John Langford, founder and CEO Emeritus of Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing Company, and founder and CEO of, was presented to Rebecca Gilligan, University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio).

  • The $10,000 David and Catherine Thompson Space Technology Scholarship, named for and endowed by former AIAA President David Thompson, retired chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Orbital ATK, Dulles, Virginia, and his wife Catherine, was presented to Kaila Coimbra, California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California).

  • The $5,000 Vicki and George Muellner Scholarship for Aerospace Engineering, named for and endowed by the late Lt. Gen. George Muellner, U.S. Air Force, former AIAA president, and president of advanced systems for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, and his wife Vicki, was presented to Michael Esry, Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana).

  • The $5,000 Wernher von Braun Scholarship, named in honor of the German rocketeer and founder of the U.S. space program, was presented to Satvik Kumar, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia).

  • The $1,250 Leatrice Gregory Pendray Scholarship, named in honor of Mrs. Leatrice Pendray, an accomplished rocketry researcher and co-founder of the American Interplanetary Society in 1930 was presented to Eszter Anna Varga, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Blacksburg, Virginia).

Six AIAA Foundation scholarships were presented by AIAA technical committees (TC) to students performing research in the TC’s area:

  • The Space Transportation TC presented a $1,500 scholarship to Rebecca Zurek, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, Florida).

  • The Digital Avionics TC presented five scholarships of $3,000 each:

    • The Dr. James Rankin Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to Patrick Bailey, University of South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina).
    • The Dr. Amy R. Pritchett Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to Adam Hale, Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah).
    • The Ellis F. Hitt Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to Justin Self, California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo (San Luis Obispo, California).
    • The Cary Spitzer Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to Jesus Delgado, Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne, Florida).
    • The Denise Ponchak Digital Avionics Scholarship was presented to Sanjay Kuruchanvalasu Jambulingam, SRM Institute of Science and Technology (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)

The 2022 graduate award winners are:

  • Michelle Lin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cambridge, Massachusetts, received the Neil Armstrong Graduate Award. This $5,000 award honors the character and achievements of the late astronaut, military pilot, and educator, Neil A. Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon.

  • Brigid Donohue and John Parrish, both from North Carolina State University (NCSU), are the recipients of the Dr. Hassan A. Hassan Graduate Award in Aerospace Engineering. Dr. Hassan established the award shortly before his death in January 2019 to entice top NCSU aerospace engineering seniors, who also are AIAA members, to earn their graduate degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) in aerospace engineering at NCSU. Two $5,000 awards are presented each year.

  • Javier Viana, University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio), received the John Leland Atwood Graduate Award. Established in 1999, the $1,250 award, sponsored by endowments from Rockwell and what is now The Boeing Company and named in memory of John Leland “Lee” Atwood, former chief executive officer of Rockwell, North America, recognizes a student actively engaged in research in the areas covered by the technical committees of AIAA.

  • Shashank Maurya, University of Maryland – College Park (College Park, Maryland), and Abinash Sahoo, North Carolina State University (Raleigh, North Carolina), each received the Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Award. These $5,000 awards, given in memory of the Wright brothers’ contributions to the evolution of flight, recognize two full-time graduate students.

Six AIAA TCs also presented graduate awards:

  • Damien Guého, Pennsylvania State University (State College, Pennsylvania), received the Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) TC’s $2,500 Guidance, Navigation and Control Graduate Award.

  • Tengjie Gao, Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne, Florida), received the Liquid Propulsion TC’s $2,500 Liquid Propulsion Graduate Award.

  • Aashutosh Mishra, Auburn University (Auburn, Alabama), received the Modeling and Simulation TC’s $3,500 Luis de Florez Graduate Award.

  • Hongyuan Zhang, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota), received the Propellants and Combustion TC’s $1,250 Martin Summerfield Propellants and Combustion Graduate Award.
  • Rishi Roy, University of Maryland – College Park (College Park, Maryland) received the Air Breathing Propulsion TC’s $1,000 Gordon C. Oates Air Breathing Propulsion Graduate Award.

  • Michael Harwin, Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne, Florida) received the General Aviation TC’s $1,000 William T. Piper Sr. Graduate Award.

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 Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.