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2014 Associate Administrator (AA) Awards Honorees

ARC = Ames Research Center
AFRC = Armstrong Flight Research Center
GRC = Glenn Research Center
HQ = Headquarters
LaRC = Langley Research Center

Technology and Innovation

Winner (Individual)
Dr. Neal Chaderijan (ARC)
Awarded to Dr. Chaderjian for completing several groundbreaking achievements in computer modeling and simulation that have had a significant impact in computational fluid dynamics, and a specific and dramatic impact in rotorcraft aeromechanics. The new tools position ARMD, NASA and the aviation community to achieve greater mobility in the national airspace by enabling accelerated development of vertical lift aircraft for general aviation.

Winner (Group)
Full-Scale Active Flow Control Enhanced Vertical Tail Demonstration Team (ARC & LaRC)
During the fall of 2013, this multi-center team successfully executed a unique and complex wind-tunnel test of a full-scale Boeing 757 tail in the 40- x 80-Foot wind tunnel at NASA’s Ames Research Center. The tail, after a finely choreographed installation into the tunnel, was modified with sweeping jet technology designed to enhance its aerodynamic performance to the extent that future aircraft tails could be smaller and reduce drag. Data from the test, designed to produce a benchmark for validating computer simulations and informing future flight tests on a Boeing ecoDemonstrator aircraft, showed that the tail with the technology significantly exceeded the aerodynamic performance goals.
Team Leads: Robert Fong (ARC), John C. Lin (LaRC)
View Group Winners

Leadership and Management Excellence

Dr. Fay Collier (LaRC)
Awarded to Dr. Collier for his leadership as project manager for the Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) Project, which has established a new paradigm for reducing technical risk by conducting research on promising aeronautical concepts and technologies at an integrated system level, and by accelerating their acceptance into designs for future commercial aircraft. He also excelled at establishing communications across NASA research centers, with industry and with other government agencies. At the same time he continues to be a strong supporter of high school, undergraduate and graduate college students through competitions internships, and advisory efforts.

Dr. Rubén Del Rosario (GRC)

Awarded to Dr. Del Rosario for his leadership as project manager for the Fixed Wing Project, with special focus on improving communications and planning with Line Management through inclusion and collaboration. During FY2014 he oversaw successful execution of several major activities and tests including the ACCESS II flight experiments, the D-8 tests in the 14- x 22-Foot Wind Tunnel at LaRC, and a major truss braced wing experiment in the Transonic Dynamic Tunnel. He played a key role in coordinating research with international partners for the ACCESS II flight campaign, and represented NASA on an International Civil Aviation Organization effort to project future needs in emissions standards.

Honorable Mention
Dr. Richard Wahls (LaRC)

Awarded to Dr. Wahls for exemplary leadership, management and advocacy involving the development and advancement of next-generation aircraft. As project scientist for the Fixed Wing Project, he was primary writer for strategy and technical sections of the new project plan under ARMD’s new structure, including participation from all four aeronautics centers. He has exhibited outstanding leadership and dedication through myriad roles as facilitator with an SBIR team, with NRA proposers, with industry, international partners, the AIAA – for which he was recently elected a Fellow – and as a strategic technical advisor to ARMD’s Fundamental Aeronautics Program (now Advanced Air Vehicle Program).

Honorable Mention
Susan Gorton (LaRC)
Awarded to Ms. Gorton for outstanding leadership of the Rotary Wing Project through a year of dramatic transition and challenges to team morale. In spite of these difficulties, she led the team with open and honest leadership and, with her team, still made significant advances in active flow control and use of pressure sensitive paint in the 14- x 22-Foot Subsonic Tunnel. Under her leadership, the rotary wing team took a broader look at the entire vertical lift community to better understand NASA’s relevance.

Program and Mission Support

Winner (Individual)
Amy Radford (LaRC)
Awarded to Ms. Radford for her leadership in the Aeronautics Research Directorate at NASA’s Langley Research Center, where she brought considerable knowledge and expertise to support the management of program/project lifecycles within all elements of the portfolio including reimbursable partnerships. Under her leadership and through her development of valuable tools such as a Red Book, a Kaizen evaluation, along with her model for accountability and responsibility, the management support team’s effectiveness in supporting the entire aeronautics portfolio greatly increased.

Winner (Group)
Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) Project Control Team (GRC)

Given the ERA Project’s focus on technology destined for entry into service by 2020, a disciplined process for managing their planning, execution and assessments was critical. The team employed process controls and rigor that embraced lessons learned from Phase I work, creating a suite of processes for tackling eight integrated technology demonstrations in Phase II, including risk and change management, full cost integrated master schedule, key decision point reviews, milestone completion documentation, integrated baseline reviews, and even interim tabletop walkthroughs where the status of milestones was discussed. One process control feature called a “progress indicator” has since been replicated in all ARMD programs. Due to these practices, ERA was able to complete all Phase I demonstrations and move with confidence to complete Phase II work before ERA closes down at the end of 2015.
View Group Winners
Team Lead: Dr. Kenneth Suder (GRC)

Honorable Mention (Individual)
Dr. Koushik Datta
Awarded to Dr. Datta for his leadership of the Seedling Fund with the NASA Aeronautics Research Insitute (NARI), which enables the pursuit of ARMD innovative aviation research concepts. He successfully managed an unexpectedly large response to four solicitations for competitive research proposals, implementing creative processes to ensure a cost-effective evaluation that minimized overhead and maximized funds available for research. He also facilitates adoption of NARI-funded technologies by NASA and the aeronautics community, and is the primary NASA technical reviewer of final reports. His contributions help ensure a source of new ideas to advance aeronautics by creating new technologies that otherwise would not have existed.

Honorable Mention (Group)
Awarded for successful coordination and implementation of a NASA Social event in support of the Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions II (ACCESS II) flight campaign. The first NASA Social to entirely focus on aeronautics, the event pooled the resources of communications, research and outreach staff at AFRC and at NASA Headquarters. The Social, which involves social media “influencers” touring and promoting the center, generated 18.5 million potential impressions on Facebook and Twitter. The event ushered in NASA Aeronautics’ social media presence and laid the groundwork for ARMD to talk with audiences never each before with messages about how “NASA is with you when you fly.”
Team Lead: Kate Squires (AFRC)
View Honorable Mention Teams

Honorable Mention (Group)
NASA’s North Texas Research Station (NTX) Team (ARC)
TEAM LEAD: Shawn Engelland (ARC)
Awarded for coordination and implementation of activities in support of a visit by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. The NTX team coordinated with NASA partners including the Federal Aviation Administration, American Airlines, and Dallas-Fort Worth Airport to provide tours of the region’s air traffic facilities, senior leadership meetings, demonstrations, and a press conference. They successfully navigated ever-changing agendas, schedules, security requirements, the availability of high-ranking VIPs from all partner organizations, and even a moratorium on visitors to FAA facilities mandated one day before the Administrator’s visit.
Team Lead: Shawn Engelland (ARC)
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Honorable Mention (Group)
Research and Development Contracting Branch (LaRC)
Awarded for exemplary performance in the award and administration of contracts supporting the Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) Project. After first collaborating with ERA for Phase I awards, R&DCB began working with ERA on an acquisition strategy for its Phase II work including issuing a precedent-setting Industry Request for Information seeking recommendations of technologies to move forward to the Phase II demonstrations, product-focused transition plans, intellectual rights challenges, partner cost sharing and acquisition strategy. Such contracts played and continue to play a critical part in ERA success; the acquisition strategy is now a model for other ARMD organizations such as the Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration, Avionics, Phase I.
Team Lead: Roberta Keeter (LaRC)
View Honorable Mention Teams

Strategic Partnerships

Dr. Parimal Kopardekar (ARC)
Awarded to Dr. Kopardekar for his remarkable achievements in building a diverse alliance of partners to work with NASA on the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) effort, and for his unprecedented creativity in reaching out to non-traditional partners who will be instrumental to the success of the research project, and for first identifying the opportunity for NASA to fill an unmet need in aviation. Realizing he government’s challenge to act swiftly enough to stay ahead of the burgeoning market, Kopardekar began creating a national alliance of partners necessary to conduct the research and flight demonstrations. In less than half the time it typically takes to formulate a traditional NASA project, he mobilized the entire community around a shared vision.

High Potentials

Dr. Cara Keckey (LaRC)
Awarded to Dr. Leckey for her first five years of work in the Nondestructive Evaluation Sciences Branch and her significant contributions to the development of realistic simulation tools for computational nondestructive evaluation (NDE). Through this work she has actively and positively contributed to ARMD’s new Strategic Thrust areas by developing tools that substantially reduce aircraft safety risks and enable ultra-efficient commercial aircraft design. Her research is enabling the introduction of radical advanced vehicle concepts and technologies, such as Digital Twin Design and Operations, into the Advanced Air Vehicles Program. She is already sought out across the agency for her recognized skills in computational modeling of complex NDE solutions.

Dr. Marcus Johnson (ARC)
Awarded to Dr. Johnson his work on the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration into the National Airspace System (NAS) Project, and on the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) project. During his brief several years so far at NASA he has conceived, advocated for, executed and reported a series of groundbreaking fast-time simulation experiments that earned RTCA endorsement. The experiments are now used by the RTCA as the technical basis for their guidance regarding separation standards for unmanned operations in the NAS. He has also served in technical and advisory roles, especially in the UAS community, and leads important several subcommittees in the field.

2014 AA Award Winners PDF

ARMD Associate Administrator Award



Last Updated
Jun 10, 2023
Lillian Gipson