AIAA to Present Premier Lecture and Technical Excellence Award During 2022 ASCEND Written 4 October 2022


NASA’s William H. Pickering Lecture also Scheduled

ASCEND Las Vegas and OnlineOctober 4, 2022 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce the winners of a premier lectureship and a technical excellence award, as well as the recipient of the NASA William H. Pickering Lectureship. The lectures and award will be presented during 2022 ASCEND, 24–26 October, Caesars Forum, Las Vegas, and online.

2022 von Kármán Lecture in Astronautics: “An Orbital Transportation Network to Support the Cislunar Space Enterprise”
  • Kathleen C. Howell, Purdue University
  • Monday, 24 October, 1830 hrs PT
  • This lecture will be delivered in person at 2022 ASCEND in Las Vegas, as well as recorded and available on demand.

The 2022 von Kármán Lectureship in Astronautics has been awarded to Kathleen C. Howell, Hsu Lo Distinguished Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, College of Engineering, Purdue University. Named in honor of Theodore von Kármán, a world-famous authority on aerospace sciences, the lectureship honors an individual who has performed notably and distinguished themselves technically in the field of astronautics.

Professor Howell’s technical research focus is astrodynamics in complex gravitational environments. She has successfully applied these methodologies to various flight missions and mission proposals. Her contributions include mission planning and trajectory optimization, station-keeping and maneuver design, low-thrust applications including small satellites and the development of interactive visual capabilities for complex mission scenarios.

As a principal investigator, Professor Howell has obtained numerous grants and received various awards related to her research program as well as in recognition as an engineering educator.  She served for many years as the Editor-in-Chief for the American Astronautical Society (AAS) Journal of the Astronautical Sciences; she is also a member of other editorial boards. 

Professor Howell is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the International Academy of Astronautics. She is an AIAA Fellow, as well as an AAS Fellow. She earned her B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Sciences from Stanford University.

2022 William H. Pickering Lecture: “Early Science Results from the James Webb Space Telescope”
  • Jonathan Gardner, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Tuesday, 25 October, 1830 hrs PT
  • This lecture will be delivered in person at 2022 ASCEND in Las Vegas and will be recorded and available on demand.

The William H. Pickering Lecture will be delivered by Jonathan Gardner, Deputy Senior Project Scientist, James Webb Space Telescope, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Named for the former NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory director William H. Pickering, the lectureship honors his initiation and leadership of America’s robotic scientific space program, from Explorer I in 1958 through the development of the Viking Mars orbiters and the Voyager outer planet and interstellar missions.

The first science results from the James Webb Space Telescope have engaged the public and surprised the scientists. Early results range from the most distant galaxies to black holes to interacting galaxies
to star-forming regions to exoplanet atmospheres to our own solar system. Gardner will review Webb’s construction, launch, and deployments, and discuss the commissioning of the telescope and its instruments. He will describe what scientists have learned in the first few months of science results from the telescope and look ahead to additional results expected in the coming years.

AIAA Technical Excellence Award: 2022 AIAA Space Systems Award

The Mars2020 Sampling and Caching System (SCS) Team from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is being presented with the 2022 AIAA Space Systems Award for “the design and flight operation of the scientific acquisition system that became the foundation of Mars Sample Return.” This award will be accepted by Keith Rosette and Louise Jandura, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in the architecture, analysis, design, and implementation of space systems and is sponsored by the AIAA Space Systems Technical Committee.

AIAA is committed to ensuring that aerospace professionals are recognized and celebrated for their achievements, innovations, and discoveries that make the world safer, more connected, more accessible, and more prosperous. Visit AIAA’s Honors and Awards Program for more information.

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

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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.