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NASA’s Aeronautics Associate Administrator Honored for Innovation

NASA Aeronautics Associate Administrator Jaiwon Shin at a news conference.
Shin speaks at news conference announcing award of contract for preliminary design of a low-boom supersonic demonstrator.
NASA / Joel Kowsky

Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD), was honored by Aviation Week with its prestigious Innovation Laureate for 2017 during a March 2 awards dinner in the nation’s capital.

Shin, who has directed NASA’s aeronautics research activities since 2008, was called out for his “leadership in developing a compelling strategy to guide U.S. civil aviation research.”

“I am humbled and honored to have received this award and realize that, truthfully, its recognition of all the hard work and dedication from the entire NASA Aeronautics team and their efforts in working with our partner agencies, industry, and academia,” said Shin.

Dr. Shin looking at a wing that can change its shape.
Shin visits a team working on a wing that can change its shape using actuators.

Heading up NASA’S team of aeronautical innovators, Shin was recognized for focusing the agency’s research emphasis around a long-range strategy aimed at meeting the global challenges facing aviation during the years ahead.

That strategy included evolving NASA’s work from concentrating solely on fundamental research, mostly performed in a laboratory or wind tunnel, to one that now includes further maturing technologies and demonstrating them in the air.

As an example, Aviation Week noted the Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) program, a recently-completed, six-year project aimed at reducing fuel burn, emissions and noise to levels dramatically lower than today’s most advanced airliners.

Dr. Shin discussing common challenges at the International Forum for Aviation Research.
Shin leads discussion about common challenges at a meeting of the International Forum for Aviation Research.

ERA developed technologies that, if fully adopted by industry, could realize a savings in operational costs of $255 billion during 2025-2050. Moreover, ERA’s legacy is sustained in NASA’s New Aviation Horizons initiative, which includes fielding a series of X-planes to demonstrate those and other advanced technologies.

In writing about the honor, Aviation Week’s Graham Warwick said Shin had “led efforts to revive the agency’s culture of flight research, embracing risk and learning from doing.”

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Shin emigrated to the United States in 1982 and joined NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland in 1989, where he became an expert in aircraft icing and served as chief of the Aeronautics Projects Office.

Dr. Shin and PM Quon on a recent test flight.
Shin (right) joins NASA ATD Project Manager Leighton Quon on a recent test flight of a new cockpit tool for aircraft interval management.

Shin held several management roles at NASA, including chief of the Aviation Safety Program Office, and deputy program manager for the Aviation Safety Program and Airspace Systems Program. Between 2004 and 2008 he served as deputy associate administrator for ARMD.

Shin received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia. His bachelor’s degree is from Yonsei University in South Korea and his master’s degree is in mechanical engineering from the California State University, Long Beach.

Former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who was instrumental in supporting Shin’s research strategy evolution, also was honored by Aviation Week at the 2017 Laureate Awards dinner.

Named for a former senior editor of Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, the Philip J. Klass Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to Bolden for his “nearly 50 years of service as a Marine Corps aviator and test pilot, astronaut and NASA administrator.”

About the Author

Jim Banke

Jim Banke

Managing Editor/Senior Writer

Jim Banke is a veteran aviation and aerospace communicator with more than 35 years of experience as a writer, producer, consultant, and project manager based at Cape Canaveral, Florida. He is part of NASA Aeronautics' Strategic Communications Team and is Managing Editor for the Aeronautics topic on the NASA website.



Last Updated
Sep 19, 2023
Jim Banke