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2020 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

Honoree (Group)
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System, AFRC

The completion of two partner-inspired Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) demonstrations in FY20, along with capturing certification lessons learned, are significant accomplishments that pave the way for future UAS operators to successfully complete the FAA certification process to obtain permission to operate their vehicles. In addition, the project delivered Detect and Avoid and Command and Control performance standards for mid-size UAS that pave the way for upcoming FAA standards. This has helped open the door for industry to bring mid-size UAS for FAA certification because performance requirements will be established and available to companies and operators.
Team Lead: Mauricio Rivas (AFRC)
View Group Honorees

Honorable Mention (Group)
Shape Memory Alloy Actuated Vortex Generator Development Team, GRC
The Shape Memory Alloy Actuated Vortex Generator Development Team completed a highly significant task in 2020 by designing, developing, and integrating a fully passive shape memory alloy reconfigurable technology (SMART) vortex generator (VG) onto the Boeing ecoDemonstrator 777 aircraft. The team’s exemplary work has had several significant impacts such as the technology’s demonstrated potential to improve the aerodynamic performance of aircraft control surfaces. The SMART–VG will potentially improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions – leading to safer, greener aviation.
Team Lead: Dr. Othmane Benafan (GRC)
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Leadership and Management Excellence

Dr. Misty Davies, ARC
Dr. Misty Davies went far beyond the traditional deputy project manager role of balancing budgets. She successfully built relationships with other projects while managing the System Wide Safety project team in the midst of a pandemic, refocusing the project and its message to make it clearer to upper management, building relationships with new entrants in the aviation industry, and grooming and giving opportunities to a more diverse crop of technical leaders.

Honorable Mention
Dr. Kelley Hashemi, ARC
Dr. Kelley Hashemi demonstrated an extremely high degree of leadership with management abilities across a broad skillset including technical, project management, multi-center and multi-organization collaborations. Her leadership and participation on multi-center planning teams has helped define the future of the Convergent Aeronautics Solutions (CAS) project. Her roles included CAS liaison, CAS Reimagined planning team member, CAS Reimagined prototyping lead for Weather Tolerant Operations/Synthesis, and Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program innovation strategy development team member.

Program and Mission Support

Angela Surgenor, GRC
Angela Surgenor demonstrated exemplary performance in support of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) as a whole, as well as in support of the Advanced Air Vehicles Program and Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program. She has helped streamline and clarify key processes and has improved how ARMD communicates our accomplishments, both internally and externally. Her work enabled improved insight, advancement of program goals, and allowed for the achievement of activities that will continue to return benefits to ARMD well into the future.

Honoree (Group)
ARMD Headquarters Strategic Communications Team, HQ
In March 2020, nearly overnight, ARMD’s Strategic Communications and STEM engagement team at Headquarters had to reexamine, reimagine, and rework plans for communicating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Early in the pandemic, the team worked quickly to ensure that ARMD was represented in the NASA STEM@Home initiative. As in-person events went virtual, the team implemented new creative approaches for using social media and cultural milestones to tell stories about ARMD innovators. This new content led to a substantial increase in followers and engagement on ARMD’s social media pages. Communicating during COVID presented a unique challenge that the ARMD Strategic Communication and STEM engagement team rose to with great alacrity and innovation.
Team Lead: Karen Rugg (HQ)
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Honorable Mention
Lynne Sahay, GRC
Lynne Sahay has provided professional and high-quality service to the Aerosciences Evaluation and Test Capabilities (AETC) portfolio office. Her contributions are above and beyond her baseline functions – heightening the success for ARMD and other missions by ensuring AETC operates and conducts its objectives. Her exemplary performance in ensuring efficient and effective office operations while under two office reorganizations and a long-lasting pandemic has been praised by the centers, missions, and internal team members.

Honorable Mention (Group)
LBFD Mission Risk Weighted Resource Estimate Team, LaRC

The Low-Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) mission Risk Weighted Resource Estimate team demonstrated exceptional teamwork, cooperation, and agility. Starting with the initial meeting and reformulation of the task plan, team members consistently demonstrated a willingness to communicate openly and reach consensus on risk inputs from across three projects. All team members remained committed to delivering on time, even though it meant working many long hours while adapting to an ever-changing COVID environment. The outcome not only provided valuable input for the FY22 Planning Programming Budgeting and Execution cycle but has provided an enduring capability that the LBFD mission can utilize for future assessments. This will enable successful completion of ARMD’s Critical Commitment to deliver to the International Civil Aviation Organization a database of community response to quiet supersonic aircraft flight over land.
Team Leads: Sherilyn Brown, Peter Coen, and Paul Krasa (LaRC)
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High Potentials

Thomas Tallerico, GRC
Thomas Tallerico has demonstrated exemplary performance in the first four years of his federal service career through the significant impacts he has made to ARMD’s missions. Through hard work and dedication, he has provided technical expertise to technological development efforts in the Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology, Advanced Air Transport Technology, and Convergent Aeronautics Solutions projects. His combined skillset in electromagnetics, heat transfer, fluid flow, structural analysis, and machine design make him uniquely qualified to tackle and lead efforts for multiple Aeronautics projects.

Strategic Partnerships

David Sadey, GRC
David Sadey has worked tirelessly to advance electric propulsion technology for the Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology (RVLT) project. As part of this effort, he took the initiative to foster critical relationships with external entities to leverage knowledge and share information. This included working with the Air Force Research Laboratory and taking leadership responsibility for the Society of Automotive Engineering standards committee developing a High Voltage Direct Current standard for aeronautical applications. He has also proven successful in leveraging the NASA Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program to advocate a small-business collaboration with applications to RVLT vehicle concepts.

Honorable Mention
Ritchie Lee, ARC

Ritchie Lee’s ground-breaking AdaStress adaptive stress testing tool, developed under the System-Wide Safety (SWS) project, is the project’s first tool to have its technology completely transferred to a business unit within industry. Working with industry and regulators, he helped researchers at General Electric Global Research Center and engineers at General Electric Aviation use AdaStress to test trajectory predictions in Flight Management Systems (FMS). GE Aviation intends to continue using the adaptive stress testing capability as part of their FMS testing strategy in future developments.

2020 AA Award Winners

ARMD Associate Administrator Award



Last Updated
Jul 26, 2023
Lillian Gipson