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Aero/astro confers awards on 26

Twenty-six students and faculty members were honored for their accomplishments by the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the department's senior recognition dinner on May 14.

The student chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) presented the department's undergraduate teaching award to Professor Jack L. Kerrebrock and the undergraduate advising award to Professor Earll M. Murman.

The Yngve Raustein Award went to David R. Smith, a sophomore from Folsom, CA, for best exemplifying the spirit of the late Mr. Raustein by his encouragement and support to other students and his ability to overcome obstacles in the pursuit of his love for aerospace engineering.

The Andrew Morsa Memorial Award was presented to Paul Eremenko, a senior from West Lafayette, IN, for applying computers in combining wind-tunnel data, computational fluid dynamics, 6-DOF (degree of freedom) dynamic models and control theory to develop a pitch-rate controller designed to meet stringent UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) performance requirements.

The Apollo Program Prize, awarded to an aero/astro student who conducts the best undergraduate research project on humans in space, was presented to seniors Dana M. Forti of Tyngsboro, MA and Shana L. Diez of Sugar Land, TX for their conception, design and operation of a two-person human-powered artificial gravity centrifuge.

The David J. Shapiro Memorial Award for designing, building and flying a high-speed electric-powered model aircraft in the 2001-02 Design Competition of the AIAA/Cessna Aircraft and the Office of Naval Research was presented to an eight-person team: graduate student Larry Baskett of Pleasanton, CA; seniors Bernard F. Ahyow of Irvine, CA and Lawrence O. Pilkinton of Ogallala, NE; and sophomores Daniel J. Benhammou of Colorado Springs, CO, Adam J. Diedrich of Petoskey, MI, Timothy D. Pigeon of Bridgewater, MA, Erik S. Stockham of Columbia, MO, and Caroline Twomey of Oconomowoc, WI.

The David J. Shapiro Memorial Award for designing, building and operating a radio-controlled micro air vehicle to compete in the Arizona State University Micro Air Vehicle 2001 Competition was presented to Martin Jonikas, a freshman from Berkeley, CA, on behalf of the Aero Astro Tech Model Aircrafters Club.

The Leaders for Manufacturing Prize was awarded to Mr. Ahyow and Nathan A. Doble, a senior from Shoreview, MN, for developing and validating a novel manufacturing technique for thin propellers with improved aerodynamic performance relative to conventional propellers.

The Pratt and Whitney Awards for outstanding achievement on an undergraduate experimental project were presented to seniors Lisa Dang of Downey, CA and Alan Y. Chen of Newtown, PA for characterization of JP-7 fuel as a micro-engine propellant, and to seniors Yassir Azziz of Casablanca, Morocco and Mariya A. Ishutkina of Newton, MA for experimental verification of a new theory for aerostructural vibration suppression.

The James Means Memorial Award for Excellence in Space Systems Engineering was presented to Ms. Dang for her contributions to the class project, an innovative multi-aperture reconnaissance satellite. The James Means Memorial Award for Excellence in Flight Vehicle Engineering was presented to Paul Eremenko, a senior from West Lafayette, IN, for excellence and creativity in the systems level and technical design of a low noise-impact supersonic business jet.

The Admiral Luis De Florez Award for original thinking or ingenuity was presented to seniors Ms. Dang and Mr. Chen for developing an innovative method for measuring the temperature and heat transfer properties of JP-7 fuel using remote sensors.

The Henry Web Salisbury Award, established by the family and friends of Mr. Salisbury, was presented to Noah Z. Warner, a senior from Petaluma, CA, for outstanding work in completing the undergraduate aeronautics and astronautics degree program.

Vladislav Gavrilets of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' Guidance, Navigation and Control graduate student award for his project on autonomous acrobatic control of small rotorcraft.

Three staff members were presented with the Vickie Kerrebrock Award, which recognizes staff who make great contributions to "building a sense of community within the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics." The recipients were graduate student Adam Hendriks of Vars, Ontario, senior technical instructor Richard F. Perdichizzi and academic program administrator Marie A. Stuppard.

Department head Edward F. Crawley, who presented the awards, cited Mr. Hendriks for "fostering strong departmental spirit by encouraging people to participate in intramural sports." Mr. Perdichizzi was nominated for "the warm care and support he offers as an advisor and a friend to students, staff and faculty alike." Ms. Stuppard received her award "for building a sense of community through the personal warmth and helpful advice she infuses in to the daily lives of students, faculty and staff." The award is named for Vickie Kerrebrock, wife of Professor Kerrebrock, who has befriended and supported many generations of MIT students.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 6, 2001.

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