Suggested Searches

5 min read

2019 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

Dr. Eleanor Rieffel, ARC
Dr. Rieffel’s foundational research has advanced the theoretical underpinnings of quantum computing as well as practical engineering methods to realize the potential of quantum devices. She has led efforts to assess the feasibility of quantum technologies to assure availability of robust communications for denser, more heterogeneous air traffic that includes Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Her innovative and pioneering technical contributions to quantum information processing are helping meet the challenge of safely operating diverse aircraft in the complex national airspace of the future. 

Winner (Group)
Quiet Supersonic Flight 2018 (QSF18), AFRC
The QSF18 team accomplished a successful test of gathering data on public perceptions of sonic boom noise levels during a three-week campaign in fiscal year 2019 in support of the Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) mission. The test took place in the skies over Galveston, Texas and used NASA’s F/A-18 research jets flying a unique path to generate the quiet sonic booms. After 22 flights and 52 sonic booms, the team had invaluable risk reduction data for specialized hardware, data analysis tools, and survey techniques, as well as direct insight into the community response element for future LBFD flight tests.
Team Lead: Heather Maliska (AFRC)
View Group Honorees

Honorable Mention
The Conformal, Lightweight Antennas for Aeronautical Communications Technology Team, GRC
The Conformal, Lightweight Antennas for Aeronautical Communications Technology Team completed a highly significant technology and innovation task during 2019. They developed and demonstrated an innovative Ku-band, conformal phased array antenna concept to achieve beyond line of sight command and control for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. To help address cost, mass, and physical size constraints, the antenna concept used an aerogel substrate. The team included personnel from GRC, LaRC, ARC, and AFRC.
Team Leads: Dr. Mary Ann Meador and James Downey (GRC)
View Group Honorees

Leadership and Management Excellence

Ronald Johnson, ARC
Ronald Johnson served as manager for the Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) project and guided it through the execution of a series of four Technology Capability Level demonstrations. He applied his expertise to ensure that systems engineering, integrated master schedules, risk management, and cost estimation practices were applied to the UTM project. With Johnson at the helm, the UTM project successfully completed a convincing demonstration for a novel form of air traffic management and established operating principles and performance standards for the burgeoning Urban Air Mobility community.

Program and Mission Support

Marie Metzger, GRC
Marie Metzger provides liaison support to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD), as well as the Center Technology Transition office at GRC. During 2019, she handled 279 proposals for ARMD and 283 proposals at GRC. In addition to her contributions in administering the SBIR program for ARMD, she has helped the program transition through to a new selection process. Her experience with the legacy system and knowledge of diverse user expectations was invaluable. She identified key missing features and enabled a more efficient implementation of the new process.

Winner (Group)
QSF18 Communications/STEM Engagement Team, AFRC
To support QSF18 activity over Galveston, Texas during fiscal year 2019, a Communications/STEM team was created and deployed to assist in managing public expectations and reaction before and during the three-week series of tests. The wide-ranging effort involved interacting with local first responders, port and maritime officials, community leaders, and area schools. The team included representatives from HQ, AFRC, GRC, LaRC, and the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Commercial Supersonic Technology project managers were extremely pleased with the assistance and lessons learned will be applied to future community response activity.
Team Lead: Matt Kamlet (AFRC)
View Group Honorees

Honorable Mention
Christine Clark, Paragon Tech, ARC
Christine Clark supports aeronautics-related collaborations and partnerships with industry and other government agencies. Her unique blend of organizational and interpersonal skills, along with servant leadership qualities, significantly contribute to mission success. During fiscal year 2019, she coordinated four major workshops and was loaned out to the Federal Aviation Administration to organize a highly successful workshop with Japanese delegates. Her work was instrumental in ensuring NASA’s highly visible presence at Air Venture Oshkosh was a success. She also coordinated onboarding of 18 NASA Aeronautics summer interns.

High Potentials

Dr. William Jeremy Coupe, ARC
Dr. Coupe is recognized for his demonstrated ability, technical expertise, and growing leadership skills in the field of complex data analysis in support of the Airspace Technology Demonstration-2 (ATD-2) subproject. His contributions greatly enhanced the quality of ATD-2 research and resulted in highly productive engagement with NASA leadership and ATD-2 partners. As an example, for the Integrated Arrival Departure Surface system, he performed analyses to diagnose undesired behaviors, refine the design, and create improvements. Notably, he developed and implemented a suite of automated tools to analyze key field data and generate daily reports of high interest.

Honorable Mention
Dr. Sriram Rallabhandi, LaRC
Dr. Rallabhandi is the co-lead for the Integrated Supersonic Aircraft Technology subproject within the Commercial Supersonic Technology project. He oversees continued improvement in supersonic commercial aircraft design and analysis tools – including NASA’s advanced sonic boom propagation tool, sBOOM – as well as the development of NASA low-boom aircraft design concepts. He also has taken a leadership role in boom prediction and supersonic design tools as the organizer and champion of a series of Sonic Boom Prediction Workshops with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Strategic Partnerships

Dr. Rich Wahls, HQ/LaRC
Dr. Rich Wahls’ expert knowledge and leadership skills has enabled an active dialogue with key NASA and Boeing leaders to foster a productive One NASA Boeing relationship to explore the future of aviation, better understand key technical challenges, and achieve mutual appreciation of the relative priorities between government and industry. This is only made possible because of the aviation community’s respect for his deep knowledge of the aviation frontier and his ability to formulate compelling strategies.

2019 AA Award Winners

ARMD Associate Administrator Award



Last Updated
Jul 26, 2023
Lillian Gipson