SAE International Award for an Influential Aerospace Executive Honoring the Wright Brothers


This award recognizes individuals for their executive leadership in Aerospace Engineering. Nominees may be executives who have served the aerospace industry for a large portion of their career and can demonstrate significant contributions to the progress and development of air transportation, creating value for their company, aerospace industry, and/or society.

Providing supervisory or managerial engineering direction alone does not fulfill the award requirement.

This award honors Orville (an early SAE member) and Wilbur Wright, the first successful builders and operators of heavier-than-air flying equipment.


  • Vice President or C-suite Executive for a minimum of five years.
  • Led at least two major corporate or industry initiatives.
  • Demonstrated success developing collaborative teams.
  • Exhibited a customer-focused environment.


Members of the Selection Committee are not eligible for this award while serving on the committee. Two years must pass before former members of the Selection Committee are eligible to receive the award.


This includes an honorarium, and an award that is presented at SAE AeroTech.

Past Recipients:

2021 John Walter Strapp  
2021 Alfons Schwarzenboeck ,   
2021 Kristopher Bedka  
2021 Tom Bond  
2021 Alice Calmels  
2021 Julien Delanoe  
2021 Fabien Dezitter  
2021 Matthew Grzych  
2021 Steven Harrah  
2021 Alexei Korolev  
2021 Delphine Leroy  
2021 Lyle Lilie  
2021 Jeanne Mason  
2021 Rodney Potts Australian Bureau of Meteorology
2021 Alain Protat Australian Bureau of Meteorology
2021 Thomas Ratvasky  
2021 James T. Riley  
2021 Mengistu Wolde  
2019 Yuzhi Jin Tsinghua University
2019 Yuping Qian  
2019 Yangjun Zhang    
2019 Weilin Zhuge  
2017 Christian Boehlmann Fraunhofer IFAM
2017 Wolfgang Hintze IPMT TU Hamburg-Harburg
2017 Philip Koch Fraunhofer IFAM
2017 Simon Kothe Fraunhofer IFAM
2017 Christian Moeller Fraunhofer IFAM
2017 Hans Christian Schmidt Fraunhofer IFAM
2017 Jörg Wollnack TU Hamburg-Harburg
2016 Tadas P. Bartkus Ohio Aerospace Institute
2016 Peter Struk NASA John Glenn Research Center
2016 Jen-Ching Tsao Ohio Aerospace Institute
2014 Troy Beechner Mainstream Engineering Corp
2014 Kyle Ian Merical Mainstream Engineering Corp
2014 Paul Yelvington Mainstream Engineering Corp
2013 Ing Rafael Fernandes de Oliveira  
2012 Jerry Bieszczad PhD Creare Inc
2012 Michael Izenson PhD Creare Inc
2012 George Ford Kiwada  
2012 Dr Patrick J Magari Creare Inc
2011 Dr Matthew Barker Stirling Dynamics Limited
2011 Dr Luke Hickson PhD Stirling Dynamics Limited
2011 Dr Joseph K-W Lam PhD Airbus UK
2011 Dr Stephen Paul Tomlinson PhD  
2011 Darran Venn Stirling Dynamics Limited
2010 Magnus Engstrom Saab AB
2010 Dr-Ing Henrik Kihlman PhD DELFOi
2009 Atle Honne SINTEF
2009 John T James PhD NASA
2009 Dirk Kampf KT Automotive GmbH
2009 Kristin Kaspersen SINTEF
2009 Dr Thomas Limero Wyle Laboratories Inc
2009 Dr Ariel V. Macatangay Wyle Laboratories Inc
2009 Dr Herbert Mosebach KT Automotive GmbH
2009 Paul D Mudgett NASA Johnson Space Center
2009 Henrik Schumann-Olsen SINTEF
2009 Wolfgang Supper European Space Agency
2009 Gijsbert Tan  
2008 Carl Jack Ercol Johns Hopkins Univ
2007 Peter O Andreychuk PE RSC Energija
2007 Leonid S Bobe NIICHIMMASH
2007 Nikolay N Protasov RSC Energija
2007 Dr Nikolay N Samsonov PhD NIICHIMMASH
2007 Dr Yury Sinyak PhD Institute of Biomedical Problems
2007 Vladimir M Skuratov Institute of Biomedical Problems
2006 James R Akse PhD Umpqua Research Co
2006 James E Atwater Umpqua Research Co
2006 Roger Dahl Umpqua Research Co
2006 John W Fisher NASA Ames Research Center
2006 Frank C Garmon Umpqua Research Co
2006 Neal Hadley  
2006 Richard R. Wheeler Jr Umpqua Research Co
2006 Thomas W Williams Umpqua Research Co
2005 John W Fisher NASA Ames Research Center
2005 Dr Michael T Flynn NASA Ames Research Center
2005 Eric John Litwiller PhD NASA Ames Research Center
2005 Martin Reinhard Stanford Univ
2004 Philip Freeman Boeing Co.
2003 Timothy J Bencic NASA John Glenn Research Center
2003 Colin Bidwell NASA John Glenn Research Center
2003 Prof Michael Papadakis PhD Wichita State University
2003 Arief Rachman Wichita State University
2003 See-Cheuk Wong Wichita State University
2002 Gary L Boyd Ceramic Engineering Consulting Inc
2002 Alfred W Fuller Honeywell Engines Systems & Services
2002 Jack Moy Honeywell Engines Systems & Services
2001 Maurizio Apra Alenia Aerospazio
2001 Ing Marcello D'Amore Univ of Roma La Sapienza
2001 Maria Sabrina Sarto Univ of Roma La Sapienza
2001 Ing Alberto Scarlatti Univ of Roma La Sapienza
2001 Dr Valeria Volpi Alenia Aerospazio
1999 Jeremy S Agte US Air Force
1999 Robert Sandusky George Washington Univ
1999 Dr-Ing Jaroslaw Sobieski PhD NASA Langley Research Center
1998 Dr Anthony D Andre NASA Ames Research Center
1998 Dr David Foyle NASA Ames Research Center
1998 Becky Lee Hooey Monterey Technologies Inc
1998 Barbara Kanki NASA Ames Research Center
1998 Dr Robert S McCann NASA Ames Research Center
1997 Dr James R Fuller Boeing Co.
1996 Ing Bradford Alan Moravec Boeing Co.
1996 Michael W Patnoe Boeing Integrated Defense Systems
1995 Ryan Robert Wilkins Jr Boeing Aircraft & Missile Systems
1994 Timothy Geels Boeing Co.
1994 Tom McDavid Boeing Commercial Airplanes
1994 Greg Robel Boeing Commercial Airplanes
1994 Tze Siu Boeing Commercial Airplanes
1992 G J Bastiaans Iowa State Univ
1992 Steve D Braymen Iowa State Univ
1992 S G Burns Iowa State Univ
1992 Shelley J Coldiron Iowa State Univ
1992 Iowa State Univ Iowa State Univ
1992 R S Deinhammer Iowa State Univ
1992 William D Deninger Iowa State Univ
1992 R P O'Toole Iowa State Univ
1992 Prof Marc D. Porter Iowa State Univ
1992 H R Shanks Iowa State Univ
1991 Lourdes M Birckelbaw NASA Ames Research Center
1991 Lloyd D Corliss NASA Ames Research Center
1990 Mariann F Brown NASA Johnson Space Center
1990 Susan Schentrup NASA Johnson Space Center
1989 Charles W Boppe Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1989 Dr Warren H Davis Northrop Grumman Corp
1988 Dr Benton C Clark III Lockheed Martin Astronautics
1987 Charles Blankenship  
1987 Dr Robert J Hayduk National Aero & Space Administration
1986 James A Hare Lockheed Martin Aerospace Systems Group
1985 Charles W Boppe Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1984 Robert J Englar Georgia Institute of Technology
1984 James Nichols US Navy
1983 Dr Carol A Simpson Psycho Linguistic Res Associates
1982 Andre Fort Airbus France
1982 Jean-Jacq Speyer Airbus France
1981 Raymond M Hicks NASA Ames Research Center
1980 Dr Walter S Cremens Lockheed Martin Global Inc
1979 Gary E Erickson Northrop Grumman Corp
1979 Dale J Lorincz Northrop Grumman Corp
1979 William A Moore Northrop Grumman Corp
1979 Andrew M Skow Tiger Century Aircraft Inc
1977 Raymond M Hicks NASA Ames Research Center
1977 Garret N Vanderplatts Vanderplatts R&D
1975 John A Alic  
1975 H Archang Wichita State University
1974 Gordon G Grose McDonnell Douglas Corporation
1974 Dr John L Porter Jacobs Technology Inc
1974 V Ralph Pruitt McDonnell Douglas Corporation
1974 Michael J Wendl McDonnell Douglas Corporation
1973 Richard E Hayden Goodrich Aerospace

Nominations reopen  September 2024