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Computational fluid dynamics-generated simulation of a GE-90 aircraft engine.

Award Categories
Technology and Innovation
Leadership and Management Excellence
Program and Mission Support
High Potentials Award
Strategic Partnerships
+ Read About the Categories

The Associate Administrator Awards are presented to individuals and groups who contribute to Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate activities and who demonstrate exemplary performance in one of five award categories.

The Awards are presented to NASA employees, contractors and students or interns who distinguish themselves, either individually or as part of a group, through their overall approach to their work and through results they achieved during the award year. Their accomplishments demonstrate a profound positive impact and benefit to ARMD, its partners and/or stakeholders.

Nominations come from NASA Headquarters and NASA centers around the country where aeronautics research and support activities take place, and encompass the immediately preceding NASA fiscal year (October 1-September 30).

The Awards are coordinated by the Associate Administrator for Aeronautics' Office at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.


The following awards are made in recognition of work performed, or of activities that occurred, during Fiscal Year 2015 (October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015).


Winner (Group)
+ Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) Project
   and Integrated Technology Demonstration Teams
   (AFRC, ARC, GRC and LaRC) (Click to read more)
A public-private partnership established to leverage best practices in technical innovation and collaboration, as well as project and systems engineering, the ERA Project Team is awarded for successfully achieving its goals of maturing airframe and propulsion technologies. A total of eight integrated technology demonstrations were conducted over the course of three fiscal years. Strategic, technical, and programmatic skill sets were leveraged to design and implement a framework to meet aggressive technical objectives within budget and schedule, and to create an applied technology legacy that can be put to practical use by the aviation community. The ERA Project’s accomplishments have boosted U.S. industry competitiveness and positioned NASA Aeronautics on the forefront of green aviation innovation.

+ View Team List

Project Manager: Dr. Fayette Collier (LaRC)
Team Leads: Mike Alexander, Dawn C. Jegley, Dr. Mehdi Khorrami, Craig Nickol & Jeffrey Flamm (LaRC)
Team Lead: Kevin James (ARC)
Team Lead: Thomas Rigney (AFRC)
Team Leads: Mark Celestina, Christopher Hughes and Angela Surgenor (GRC)

Honorable Mention (Group)
+ High Water Ice Content (HIWC) Radar Flight Campaign Team (GRC) (Click to read more)
The HIWC Radar Flight Campaign Team is recognized for its coordination and management of flight tests to investigate the efficacy of commercial aircraft radars to detect the presence of ice crystal icing and to document concurrent atmospheric conditions. The flight campaign brought NASA and the aviation community one step closer toward enabling real-time mitigation of engine icing risks, especially as regards development of computational modeling tools that could predict or ameliorate icing conditions encountered during flight. The campaign involved a partnership across three NASA centers, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Boeing Company and Science Engineering Associates, Inc. The meteorological database developed as a result will help to define the nature of ice crystal clouds, how they originate and propagate, and assist engine manufacturers in devising icing-mitigation strategies.

Waldo J. Acosta
Michael Agnew
Donald Bailes
Garry Beauregard
Wendy Bereda
Ben Bernstein
Matt Berry
Kurt Blankenship
Thomas H. Bond
Dan Bouley
Steve Brookshire
Royce Brown
Brian Bunch
Larry Ching
Paul Christianson
Renato O. Colantonio
Ewan Crosbie
Josue Cruz
Roger Dana
Michael M. Delaney
Terrance Dilworth
Stephanie Divito
Chris Dumont
Edward F. Emery
Tim Etherington
Jeff Finley
Larry Goins
Matt Grzych
Steven Harrah
Claudia Herrera
Tom Horn
Patricia Hunt
Bob Jensen
Richard Jinkins
David Johnson
Walter Klein
Greg Koenigs
Alexei Korolev
Kevin Kronfeld
Nils Larson
Lyle Lilie
Lyndel Lohberger
Jan Lukas
Mary Luke
Jeanne Mason
Peter Merlin
Tim Moes
Kevin Mount
Robert Neece
Lee Nguyen
Louis Nguyen
Anne Odenthal
Fred Proctor
Greg Pugh
Thomas P. Ratvasky*
Todd Renfro
Karen Richards
Herman Rijfkogel
James Riley
Wayne Ringelberg
Lorenzo Sanchez
Tim Sandon
Phil Schaffner
Scott Silver
Natalie Spivey
Walter Strapp
Justin Strickland
Kerri Tannert
Ed Teets
Roger Truax
David Vacanti
Dave Van Gilst
Adam Webster
Mike Yandell
Chris Yost
Luke Ziemba

Team Lead: Thomas Ratvasky

Honorable Mention (Group)
+ High Reynolds Number Transonic Semispan Test Team (LaRC) (Click to read more)
With significant improvements to facility operations and data quality, recent NASA facility investments in upgrades to the National Transonic Facility (NTF) have established a world-class high Reynolds number transonic semispan test capability. The Semispan Test Team is awarded for identifying problems and implemented key improvements to NTF infrastructure and equipment, including novel heating systems, seals, mechanical components and controls, enhancing the NTF’s unique and potent national test capability. Current and future NTF-based research and the application of that research in the evaluation of a game-changing transport configuration positions NASA and the U.S. aeronautics community to precisely evaluate current and future energy-efficient air vehicle concepts.

Michael J. Acheson
Leon Adams
Scott G. Anders
Roy L. Armstrong
Paul R. Bagby
Matthew M. Bailey
Sundareswara Balakrishna
Kathy A. Barnstorff
Jeremiah J. Barry
Gary L. Beacham
Francis L. Beltinck
Owen W. Bissett
Lynn E. Bobbitt
David C. Bowman
Lonnie A. Brown
Alpheus W. Burner
David H. Butler
Christopher M. Cagle
Richard L. Campbell
Harlen D. Capen
Dewitt Carter
David T. Chan*
Casie M. Clark
Fayette S. Collier
Paul Copeland
Christopher J. Cramer
Michael R. Czarnecki
Ruben Del Rosario
Joshua A. DeMoss
William R. Dressler
William K. Goad
Andrew I. Goldstein
Scott L. Goodliff
Albert B. Graham
John R. Hooker
Jerald G. Jones
Gregory S. Jones*
Charles B. Lunsford
Keith C. Lynn
William E. Milholen*
James K. Montgomery
Paul M. Morris
Roy T. Neff
Jeffrey L. Niles
Michael Ol
Glenn D. Ormsby
James J. Oshaughnessy
Jeffrey L. Outen
Roman W. Paryz
Ryan W. Plumley
Susan N. Price
Ronald K. Rauschenbach
Lynn Rawlinson
David O. Roberts
Donald R. Saxer
Michael W. Scott
Paul A. Smith
John A. Swain
Kenneth G. Toro
Venki S. Venkat
Sally A. Viken
Richard A. Wahls
Jimmy Walker
Eric L. Walker
Douglas L. Weber
James F. Wenzel
Wendell T. White
Andrew Wick
Susan J. Wilz
Leora O. Witt-Hill
James D. Wright
Cale H. Zeune

Team Leads: David Chan, Gregory Jones, William Milholen


+ Dr. Renato Colantonio (GRC) (Click to read more)
Awarded for leadership in designing the Aeronautics Evaluation and Test Capabilities (AETC) Project, Dr. Colantonio implemented AETC project structure and developed its operational strategy. That strategy has augmented AETC facility capabilities, enabling expansion into new research areas. In particular, his efforts have resulted in crucial modifications to the 9- by 15-Foot Low-Speed Wind Tunnel in which the aerodynamic performance and acoustic characteristics of aircraft engine fans, nozzles, inlets and propellers are evaluated, assuring optimal performance for many more years into the future. In addition, Dr. Colantonio continues to maintain and manage research into airframe and engine icing, ensuring that icing-study results can be expeditiously communicated to other NASA Aeronautics programs and projects.

Honorable Mention
+ Dennis Hines (ARFC) (Click to read more)
Mr. Hines is recognized for leading the implementation of Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM), a new way to manage projects and resources. Directing CCPM day-to-day execution, he has worked tirelessly to demonstrate CCPM’s many advantages. At NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Mr. Hines implemented a new center-wide metric known as called “Days to Flight”: a single number representing how well the center satisfies its customer commitments. Because of CCPM, the 2015 Days to Flight metric was reduced by more than 50%, with a corresponding 20% increase in throughput, and a number of aeronautics experiments were either able to conclude on time or ahead of schedule.


Winner (Individual)
+ Easter Wang (ARC) (Click to read more)
Honored for her sustained level of excellence as project analyst for the Airspace Technology Demonstration (ATD) Project, Ms. Wang made critical improvements to ATD schedule management, technology transfer, and project plan development. Ms. Wang created an integrated master schedule (IMS), populating it with requirements from the project management team and technical leads. She proactively identified critical dependencies, performed what-if scenarios, analyzed the critical path, communicated potential problem areas and scheduled “buy-back” opportunities for the project manager. On her own initiative, Ms. Wang created IMS summaries that project management quickly adopted for routine reporting of status and concerns to NASA senior management.

Winner (Group)
+ Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) Convention Planning Group (ARC)
   (Click to read more)
Awarded for developing a plan in less than six months’ time for the first NASA-hosted UAS Traffic Management Convention (UTM 2015) held at NASA Ames Research Center, the Convention Planning Group partnered with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Planetary Ventures LLC, and Access Destination Services. Composed of Ames personnel and NASA Headquarters management, the team worked diligently to define the requirements and develop the organizational agreements needed to implement event layout, logistics and security. The planning group developed an extensive technical agenda featuring more than 200 speakers and panelists. The event also included 40 exhibits from industry partners, a NASA Aeronautics exhibit, and UAS flight demonstrations. The team addressed safety and airworthiness requirements for UAS flight activities, exhibitor power, booth and speaker requirements, and ensured that event facilities would meet size, audio/visual and climate control requirements for the eventual three-day daily attendance of 1,000-plus participants, 150 companies and 100 media representatives.

NASA Ames Research Center
John Adams
Frank Aguilera
Lynn Bala
Marcos Barba
Cynthia Carbon Norman
Jessica Culler
Munro Dearing
Jonas Dino
Darlene Gross
Lynda Haines
Hugo Hoffman
Patrick Jacquemet
Kelly James
Nelson Japlit
Marcus Johnson
Kran Kilpatrick
Darrell Kirk
Dr. Parimal Kopardekar*
West Kurihara
Maria Lopez
Sharon Lozano
Paul Mckim
Christopher Menke
Mary Nguyen
Richard Morrison
William Notley
Stephen Patterson
Shawn Puma
Cheryl Quinn
Joseph Rios
Edward Schilling
Kenneth Silverman
Keith Siuda
Mark Sumich
Huy Tran
Jamie Turner
Kimberly Williams

NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center
Jamie Turner

NASA Langley Research Center
Sharon Graves
Meghan Guethe
Lou Glaab

NASA Glenn Research Center
Lisa O’Connor

NASA Headquarters
John Cavolowsky
Jd Harrington
Jon Montgomery
Irma Rodriquez

Lee Olson

Matthew Weisman*
Bruce Parks*

Planetary Ventures LLC at Google
Allan Bedwell

Wyle, Inc. at ARC
Sheryl Baca
Deborah Bazar
Angela Boyle
Christine Clark
Nicola Hunt
Melinda Gratteau
Duane Contineo Ratliff

Paragon TEC
Leslye Mogford

Montgomery Entertainment, LLC
Ashley Montgomery

Team Leads: Parimal Kopardekar, Matt Weisman, Bruce Parks

Honorable Mention (Individual)
+ Kimlan Pham (GRC) (Click to read more)
Ms. Pham is recognized for her expertise in procurement, assisting the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) and NASA Glenn Research Center in processing NASA Research Announcement (NRA) solicitations, as well as the disposition of more than $4.5 million in fiscal year 2015 ARMD augmentation funds. In particular, she provided critical aid during the fiscal year fourth quarter, as ARMD faced several personnel shortages and fund-obligation challenges. Ms. Pham exhibited commitment, diligence, and enthusiasm as she went above and beyond her standard duties to aid in the execution of both ARMD and Glenn procurement activities. She continues to play a key role in establishing and executing NRA solicitations, and mentoring other NRA managers.

Honorable Mentions (Group)
+ Aeronautics/NACA Anniversary Campaign Team (HQ) (Click to read more)
The launch of the Aeronautics Research Campaign marked the beginning of NASA Aeronautics' foray into the new agency communication priority structure and the official start to commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The Aeronautics/NACA Anniversary Campaign Team is recognized for creation of a new Campaign video, a new logo for the NACA/NASA anniversary, a first-ever graphic style guide, social media products – known as shareables – to support the Campaign launch, web features, talking points for both the Campaign and anniversary, Headquarters displays for the West Lobby and Great Hall, a NASA History Office presentation, an expanded NASA Aeronautics Contributions timeline, and a number of other items. NASA centers leveraged the materials to create their own displays, to host employee events, to distribute printed materials, to insert anniversary talking points into speeches and presentations, to generate internal newsletter stories, and to inspire such events as wind-tunnel tours and open houses.

NASA Headquarters
Bill Barry, NASA History Office
J.D. Harrington, Office of Communications/ARMD PAO
Yvette Smith, NASA History Office
Tony Springer, ARMD*

James Banke, MiLA Solutions
Lillian Gipson, ARMD, DMI
Tun Hla, CSSC, Media Fusion
Leslye Mogford, ARMD, Paragon TEC
Karen Rugg, ARMD, ZilYen
James Schultz, ARMD
Maria Werries, ARMD, DMI

Team Lead: Tony Springer (HQ)


+ Shawn Engelland (ARC) (Click to read more)
Mr. Engelland is awarded for outstanding efforts in forming strategic partnerships to ensure the success of the Airspace Technology Demonstration-2 (ATD-2), a highly visible joint NASA and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) project to improve the predictability and the operational efficiency of the nation’s air traffic system through the enhancement, development and integration of advanced and sophisticated arrival, departure, and surface prediction, scheduling and management systems. He leads this multi-year, $93 million effort whose goal is to demonstrate that ATD-2 technologies can perform optimally in day-to-day flight operations. Because the demonstration's success relies on the active participation and cooperation of multiple stakeholders representing the government and industry, Mr. Engelland has leveraged his past relationships and forged new ones, gaining the solid commitment and support of the FAA, American Airlines, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

Honorable Mention
+ Dr. Paula Dempsey (GRC) (Click to read more)
Dr. Dempsey is recognized for instituting a three-way partnership between NASA, the U.S. Army Aviation Engineering Directorate at Redstone Arsenal, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) William J. Hughes Technical Center to significantly increase the effectiveness of health management technologies to detect damage in flight-critical components within rotorcraft drive systems. She also developed a comprehensive test and validation program integrating U.S. Army flight data with accurate component failure progression test data at NASA in order to develop validated health management technologies and health usage monitoring systems certification requirements. Information derived from this effort has been incorporated in the Aeronautical Design Standard on condition-based maintenance used by the U.S. Army. In addition, the results are being used to update the FAA’s Aircraft Circular 29-2C as it relates to test-rig-generated fault data and certification of systems for flight-critical component monitoring.


+ Dr. Jaewoo Jung (ARC) (Click to read more)
Dr. Jung is awarded for development of performance-based navigation (PBN) methods and metrics that assess the ability of airports to recover from disruptions, such as unexpected emergency arrivals or missed approaches. His method continuously assesses the conformity of arrival trajectories to an ideal PBN-based standard and provides a metric to quantify when arrival efficiency decreases, which increases delays, and the rate at which arrival efficiency improves or decays. Dr. Jung also developed concepts and technologies assessing the precision with which unmanned aerial systems (UAS) can navigate a prescribed trajectory under varying environmental conditions: critical to UAS collision avoidance at low altitudes. In addition, he has created a vehicle registration database and framework that can assess UAS trajectory-following performance.

Honorable Mention
+ Dr. Othmane Benafan (GRC) (Click to read more)
Dr. Benafan is recognized for contributions to the development of materials known as shape memory alloys (SMAs) for aeronautics applications, including advanced actuation technologies for aircraft that could save mass, improve fuel consumption, and enable new capabilities in adaptive structures. In his role as task lead for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Advanced Air Transport Technology and Transformational Tools and Technologies Projects, he is playing a major role in reaching out to other NASA centers and industry to explore a range of SMA applications. One of Dr. Benafan's notable technical achievements is development of a new class of SMAs for sub-zero temperature actuation, which have potential for passive actuation of aerodynamic surfaces such as vortex generators, engine chines, engine nacelles and chevrons. Beyond laboratory work, Dr. Benafan is the NASA lead of a co-funded project with SMA industrial and federal partners to devise regulatory guidelines for SMA material specifications and test standards pertaining to commercial and military aviation.

+ View Complete List of 2015 Award Winners and Honorable Mentions [PDF]

+ 2014 Associate Administrator Awards
+ 2013 Associate Administrator Awards
+ 2012 Associate Administrator Awards
+ 2011 Associate Administrator Awards
+ 2010 Associate Administrator Awards


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Editor: Karen Rugg
NASA Official: Tony Springer
Last Updated: March 10, 2015
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