AIAA Foundation Announces Graduate Award Winners

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the AIAA Foundation are pleased to announce the recipients of the AIAA Foundation’s twelve Graduate Awards for the 2011–2012 academic year. The winning graduate students will receive a total of $80,000 in awards.


Each year the AIAA Foundation presents four Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Awards. These $10,000 awards, given in memory of the Wright brothers’ contributions to the evolution of flight, are presented to students completing master’s degree or doctoral thesis work. The 2011–2012 winners are:

• Stephen Clark, Duke University, Durham, N.C.

• Sertac Karaman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

• Chandrashekhar Tiwari, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.

• Jill Tombasco, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.


The AIAA Foundation also annually presents a series of $5,000 awards. The 2011–2012 winners are:

• Myra Blaylock, University of California, Davis, Calif., who is the recipient of the John Leland Atwood Graduate Award. The Leland Award, sponsored by endowments from Rockwell and Boeing North America, Inc., and named in memory of John Leland “Lee” Atwood, former chief executive officer of Rockwell, North American, is presented to a student actively engaged in research in the areas covered by the technical committees of AIAA.

• Brian Pomeroy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., who is the recipients of the Martin Summerfield Graduate Award in Propellants and Combustion. The AIAA Foundation presents this award in memory of Dr. Martin Summerfield, an early American rocket pioneer and co-founder of Aerojet, to a student actively pursuing research on propellants and combustion.

• Brent Tweddle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., who is the recipient of the Guidance, Navigation, and Control Graduate Award. The Guidance, Navigation, and Control Technical Committee presents this award to a student engaged in work relating to the committee’s subject areas.

• Sean Torrez, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., who is the recipient of the Gordon C. Oates Air Breathing Propulsion Graduate Award. The AIAA Air Breathing Technical Activities Committee presents this award, named in honor of the late Gordon C. Oates, a professor in the Department of Aeronautics at the University of Washington, to a student conducting research in the field of air breathing propulsion.


In addition to these named awards, the AIAA Foundation presents four $5,000 awards for outstanding scholarship in fields covered by AIAA’s technical committees. These open topic winners are:

• Matthew Cannella, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo., for his research topic “Rocket Propulsion/Propellants and Fluids.”

• Bruce Davis, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo., for his research topic “Numerical Analysis of Nanoscale Materials.”

• Chelsea Sabo, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, for her research topic “Dynamic Pickup and Delivery Problems with Cooperative UAVs.”

• Ashivni Shekhawat, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., for his research topic “Fracture and Reliability in Engineering Materials.”


The AIAA Foundation seeks to “make it exciting, make it empowering, and make it fun.” That simple, compelling philosophy drives the Foundation’s commitment to math, science, and technology education. The AIAA Foundation offers a wealth of resources to support educators from K–12 through university: scholarships, classroom grants, design competitions, and student conferences, improving scientific literacy and advancing the arts and sciences of aerospace. For more information on the AIAA Foundation and its programs for students, teachers and professionals, please visit: www.aiaafoundation.org

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