AIAA celebrates our industry’s discoveries and achievements from the small but brilliantly simple innovations that affect everyday life to the major discoveries and missions that fuel our collective human drive to explore and accomplish amazing things.


Technical Awards

2020 AIAA Aerospace Power Systems Award
Charles W. Bennett, Lockheed Martin Corporation
For sustained excellence in the design and deployment of energy storage systems for unique space environments and applications.

2020 AIAA Propellants & Combustion Award
Meredith B. Colket, III, United Technologies Research Corporation (retired)
For pioneering contributions in the development of endothermic fuels leading to demonstration of the X-51 and coordinating technology programs supporting certification of alternative jet fuels.

2020 AIAA Wyld Propulsion Award
Alec D. Gallimore, University of Michigan
For groundbreaking achievements and leadership in technology and workforce development that has contributed significantly to increased utilization of spacecraft electric propulsion systems.

2020 AIAA Air Breathing Propulsion Award
Heinz Pitsch, RWTH Aachen University
For seminal contributions to the fundamental understanding, theory, and computational modeling of turbulent combustion.

2020 AIAA Energy Systems Award
Alan Williams, University of Leeds
For pioneering contributions to energy systems for enhanced efficiency and reduced pollution using experiments and modeling, and for education and services to industry and government.

Best Papers

2019 AIAA Aerospace Power Systems Best Paper Award
“Solar Power for Deep-Space Applications: State of Art and Development” (AIAA-2019-4236)
Authors: Andreea Boca, Clara A. MacFarland, Robert S. Kowalczyk, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

2019 AIAA Electric Propulsion Best Paper Award
“High Power Demonstration of a 100 kW Nested Hall Thruster System (AIAA-2019-3809)
Authors: Sarah W. H. Shark, Aerojet Rocketdyne; Scott J. Hall, Vantage Partners, NASA Glenn Research Center; Benjamin A. Jorns, University of Michigan; Richard R. Hofer and Dan M. Goebel, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

2019 AIAA High Speed Air Breathing Propulsion Best Paper Award
“Using Computational Flow Imaging to Optimize Filtered Rayleigh Scattering Measurements of an Isolator Shock Train” (AIAA-2019-4016)
Robin L. Hunt, Cody R. Ground, Robert A. Baurle, Paul M.  Danehy, NASA Langley Research Center

2019 AIAA Hybrid Rockets Best Paper Award
“Real Time Deep Throttling Tests of a Hydrogen Peroxide Hybrid Rocket Motor” (AIAA-2019-4266)
Authors: Alessandro Ruffin, Technology for Propulsion and Innovation; Enrico Paccagnella, Marco Santi, Francesco Barato, Daniele Pavarin, University of Padova

2019 AIAA Inlets, Nozzles, and Propulsion System Integration Best Paper Award
“Development of a Ducted Propulsor for BLI Electric Regional Aircraft – Part I: Aerodynamic Design and Analysis” (AIAA-2019-3853)
Authors: Kenneth A. Brown, Jonathan Fleming, Matthew Langford, Wing Ng, Techsburg, Inc.; Kyle Schwartz, AVEC, Inc., Cory Combs Ampaire, Inc.

2019 AIAA Liquid Propulsion Best Paper Award
“Additive Manufacturing and Hot-fire Testing of Liquid Rocket Channel Wall Nozzles Using Blown Powder Directed Energy Deposition Inconel 625 and JBK-75 Alloys” (AIAA-2019-4362)
Authors: Paul R. Gradl, Christopher S. Protz, Tal Wammen, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

2019 AIAA Nuclear and Future Flight Best Paper Award
“Applications of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion to Lunar Architectures” (AIAA-2019-4032)
Authors: Christopher B. Reynolds, James F. Horton, Claude. R. Joyner II, Timothy Kokan, Daniel J. H. Levack, Aerojet Rocketdyne

2019 AIAA Propellants and Combustion Best Paper Award
“Influence of Cross-Frequency Interactions on Nonstationary Thermoacoustic Oscillations in a Rich-Burn Gas Turbine Combustor at Elevated Pressure” (AIAA-2019-3949)
Authors: Mitchell L. Passarelli and Timothy M. Wabel, University of Toronto; Krishna Venkatesan and Arin Cross, GE Global Research; Adam M. Steinberg, Georgia Institute of Technology

2019 AIAA Solid Rockets Best Paper Award
“Numerical Simulations of Air Inclusions Using ROBOOST Simulation Tool” (AIAA-2019-3959)  
Authors: Fabrizio Ponti, University of Bologna, Forli, Italy; Stefano Mini, University of Bologna, Forli, Italy; Adriano Annovazzi, Avio Space Propulsion, Rome, Italy

2020 AIAA Gas Turbine Engines Best Paper Award
“Conjugate Heat Transfer Study of Innovative Pin-Fin Cooling Configuration ” (AIAA-2020-0634)
Authors: Mohammad A. Hossain; Munevver E. Asar; Ali Ameri, NASA; Jeffrey P. Bons Ohio State University

2019 ASME Aerospace Division Propulsion Technical Committee Best Paper Award
“GRCop-42 Development and Hot-fire Testing Using Additive Manufacturing Powder Bed Fusion for Channel-Cooled Combustion Chambers” (AIAA 2019-4228)
Authors: Paul R. Gradl, Chris Protz, Ken Cooper, Chance Garcia, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; David Ellis, Laura Evans, NASA Glenn Research Center

Best Student Papers

2019 AIAA Hybrid Rockets Best Student Paper Award
“Experimental Findings on Pre- and Post-combustion Chamber Effects in a Laboratory-scale motor” (AIAA-2019-4336)
Authors: Flora Mechentel, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Brian J. Cantwell, Stanford University

2019 AIAA Propulsion Education Best Student Paper Award
“Development and Experimentation of a Lab-Scale Pulse Detonation Engine (PDE)” (AIAA-2019-3808)
Authors: Austin P. Murray, Tyler L. Smith, Eric D. Pittman, Grant A. Risha, Jeffrey D. Moore, Penn State Altoona

2019 AIAA Solid Rockets Best Student Paper Award
Second Law to a Variable Mass Body” (AIAA-2019-4138)
Authors: Brandon Roberts, UT Space Institute; Ashwyn M. Sam, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; John A. Brand II, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Trevor S. Elliott, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Best Student Paper Competition

2019 AIAA Aerospace Power Systems Best Student Paper Competition Award
“Hydrogen Loss Effects on Mircoreactors for Space and Planetary Nuclear Power Production” (AIAA-2019-4452)
Authors: Vedant Mehta and Patrick McClure, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dan Kotlyar Georgia Institute of Technology

2020 AIAA Aerospace Power Student Paper Competition
Competition held during the week of the forum. Winners will be announced at a later date.


Northrop Grumman 
Lockheed Martin 
Aerojet Rocketdyne