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Announcing the 53rd Annual Laureate Awards

2011 winners

Congratulations to the 2011 Laureate Winners!

  • Aeronautics/Propulsion: The X-51A Waverider Hypersonic Vehicle Team (X-51A Program Managers Charles F. Brink, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Propulsion Directorate, Wright Patterson Air Force Base; George Thum, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne; and Joseph Vogel, Boeing Phantom Works) developed an unmanned, hypersonic vehicle with a scramjet engine capable of controlled flight for a substantial amount of time and distance.
  • Business/General Aviation: Randall Greene, chairman, president and CEO, Safe Flight Instrument Corp., supported, led and expanded the Corporate Angel Network, which has arranged free flights for 35,000 cancer patients.
  • Commercial Air Transport: Jim French, chairman and CEO, Flybe, steered the independent airline to become one of Europe’s largest and most profitable carriers.
  • Defense/Government: U.S. Air Force Major General (ret.) Michael C. Kostelnik, assistant commissioner, Office of Air and Marine, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, fielded the Guardian Maritime Unmanned Aircraft System, the first air vehicle system dedicated to maritime homeland security and counter-narcotics missions.
  • IT/Electronics: The Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System Team (Represented by Edward Griffin, program manager, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Advanced Development Programs, Skunk Works®; Donald Swihart, program manager, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory; Mark Skoog, NASA collision avoidance technical expert and Dryden ACAT project manager, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center; and Mark Wilkins, senior aviation safety analyst, Defense Safety Oversight Council) created “Auto GCAS” to predict and avoid ground collisions if pilots become disoriented or unconscious—a system projected to save $10.7 billion, 172 lives and 209 aircraft over the next 25 years.
  • Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO): Tim Sassenrath, director, Apache Worldwide Support, Boeing Co., led the Apache Performance-Based Logistics Program, which achieved 95% material availability, increased flight hours by 20%, and resulted in continuous cost reduction.
  • Space: The Radar Imaging Commercialization Team (Vark Helfritz, managing director, Infoterra GmbH; John Hornsby, president, MDA Geospatial Services Inc.; and Marcello Maranesi, CEO, e-GEOS) helped make radar imagery an essential element of geospatial information packages for government, defense and enterprise applications.
  • Workforce: Rick Stephens, senior vice president, human resources and administration, Boeing Co., has worked to improve the public perception of scientists, mathematicians and engineers, as well as Boeing’s outreach to students through internships, university programs and social media.

Aviation Week also honored the Philip J. Klass Lifetime Achievement Award winners, the Aviation Week Heroism Award winners, and Tomorrow’s Leaders.

  • Klass Award: Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., retired president of the Aircraft Systems Group, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, and Abraham Karem, founder of Karem Aircraft Inc., were recognized for their contributions to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Cassidy is considered the father of the Predator drone. Karem has made significant improvements to UAV technology and is currently working on a tilt rotor design to allow greater UAV cruising speeds.

  • Heroism Award: Captain Daniel Aufdenblatten, Air Zermatt, and Richard Lehner, Swiss mountain guide, rescued three Spanish climbers on Nepal’s Mount Annapurna—the highest-altitude longline aerial rescue in history.

  • Tomorrow’s Leader Awards, sponsored by BAE Systems, were presented to these cadets:
    • U.S. Military Academy at West Point Cadet Matthew Craig Belanger
    • U.S. Naval Academy Cadet Nicholas Connor Dunn
    • U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Gregory Eslinger
    • U.S. Coast Guard Academy Cadet Jordan Kellam




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Press Release

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