Corporate Awards

Each year, the corporation celebrates its commitment to excellence by recognizing individuals and teams who have demonstrated excellence exceeding expectations in the areas of science, technology, engineering, analysis, systems engineering, program and business management, and administration.

The corporation presents six different awards on a yearly basis, provided that there are qualified candidates.

The Trustees’ Distinguished Achievement Award

The Trustees’ Distinguished Achievement Award is Aerospace’s most prestigious corporate award. It acknowledges specific outstanding achievements recognized by the professional community as being worthy of highest commendation.

The Aerospace Corporation’s contributions to assuring space mission success are made possible through the efforts of many dedicated men and women. Each year, the corporation celebrates its commitment to excellence by recognizing individuals and teams who have demonstrated excellence exceeding expectations in the areas of science, technology, engineering, analysis, systems engineering, program and business management, and administration.

The President’s Distinguished Achievement Award

The President’s Distinguished Achievement Award acknowledges specific outstanding achievements recognized by the professional community as being worthy of high commendation.

Program Recognition Awards

Program Recognition Awards recognize the significant contributions of employees toward the completion of a major program milestone or organizational achievement in programs that have achieved or exceeded their performance and reliability objectives. The Program Recognition Award is given to a program of high significance, and only upon completion of the recognized program or project. Thus, the award may not be given during a specific year.

The Excellence in Diversity Awards

The Excellence in Diversity Award recognizes contributions and behavior that support the corporation’s values in the area of diversity.

Office Professional Recognition Award

The Office Professional Recognition Award was initiated in 2012 to encourage, recognize, and reward significant contributions and outstanding achievements by our Office Professionals that demonstrate excellence exceeding normal expectations.

Aerospace Team of the Year Award

The Aerospace Team of the Year Award was given for the first time in 2012 to acknowledge outstanding achievements made possible by the breadth and diversity of skills available at Aerospace and that have been recognized by the professional community as being worthy of higher commendation. The intent of this award is to celebrate a true strength of Aerospace – the ability to synthesize exceptional products from a diverse and distributed workforce of specialists. The Team of the Year Award is given to a team of high significance, and only upon completion of the recognized program or project. Thus, the award may not be given during a specific year.


2014 Corporate Awards

2014 Trustees’ Distinguished Achievement Award Winner

Enold Pierre-Louis, senior project leader, Environments, Test, and Assessment Department, Engineering and Technology Group (ETG)

Pierre-Louis was presented the 2014 Trustees’ Distinguished Achievement Award at the 35th President’s and Trustees’ Distinguished Achievement awards ceremony on Sept. 18.

Pierre-Louis was honored “for developing an integrated technique combining stress and probabilistic analyses to resolve numerous launch-critical issues.”

Pierre-Louis helped resolve numerous flight-critical issues on national security space programs by performing analyses using an integrated, multidisciplinary technique that he developed. Electronic devices and subassemblies in spacecraft and launch vehicles contain internal components susceptible to mechanical fatigue, which can lead to loss of critical functionality, diminished mission life, and even loss of mission.

Pierre-Louis’ integrated state-of-the-art fatigue analysis approach combines finite element stress modeling and probabilistic methods (two very different technical disciplines) to accurately assess the likelihood that flight hardware will experience functional anomalies during ground processing, launch, and space operations.

His contributions have had a significant impact on how the community assesses these components today. On several occasions, his work led to tremendous cost savings by providing the technical analyses that allowed for continued processing of spacecraft to launch. The innovative analyses pioneered by Pierre-Louis have been widely used on many successful investigations to prevent launch delays and provide rationale for effective design enhancements.


2014 President’s Distinguished Achievement Award Winners

Dr. Steven Beck, distinguished scientist, Electronics and Photonics Laboratory

Henry Montes, senior technical Staff, Photonics Technology Department

Michael Williams, technical staff, Photonics Technology Department

All of ETG

The team was awarded a President’s Achievement Award “for sustained contributions to SBIRS and other sensors by development and deployment of laser beacons.”

The team developed and helped deploy a number of mobile laser beacon systems critical to the early orbit testing of all U.S. overhead persistent infrared (OPIR) sensors launched and in orbit. The team designed, developed and operated a series of three mobile laser beacon platforms, including laser systems, pointing systems, software, and hardware, which were instrumental in the early orbit and ground truth testing of Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Highly Elliptical Orbit 1 and 2, Geosynchronous Earth Orbit 1 and 2, and two classified sensors. The team’s last deployment overseas lasted more than three months.

As a result of previous successes in designing and deploying these laser beacon systems, the Defense Support Program program office recently requested that the team design and install a permanent laser beacon facility at Edwards Air Force Base. Designing the facility from scratch, the team created the first remotely operated laser beacon source in the world.

As a result of the … team’s efforts, beacon support to the OPIR sensors is now well-known and highly respected in the technical community, among government and contractor alike. The work being recognized today has exceeded all expectation, rising above and beyond the limits of specified job responsibilities in order to achieve excellence.”


Dr. Russel Benson, systems director, Geospatial Intelligence Development Office, National Systems Group

Alison Kremer, project engineer, International Space Systems, Systems Planning, Engineering, and Quality (SPEQ)

Dr. Ashley Williams, senior technical staff, Control Analysis Department, ETG

The team was awarded a President’s Achievement Award “for application of innovative controls analysis to diagnose and mitigate issues on a critical national program.”

The team developed an innovative analysis technique to identify the root cause of, and provide mitigation for, anomalous gimbal behavior that threatened the operational capabilities of a national security space vehicle.

The contractor’s acceptance of the team’s theory as the true root cause illustrates the technical value added by the team and the team’s strongly forged relationship with the contractor engineers. The team contributed further by stepping in at a critical time to provide analysis when the contractor’s tools were not available. When additional issues arose after further testing, the team provided analyses that were used to support time-critical customer decisions that directly impacted operations.

This delicate combination of hard-nosed objectivity and a cooperative approach allowed the team to influence the process to achieve the correct and successful result with no schedule impact or political ramifications.


James Gin, systems director, Aerospace Western Test Range Systems Engineering, Space Systems Group

Chafic Hammoud, systems director, Targets and Interceptor, SPEQ

The team was awarded a President’s Achievement Award “for exceptional leadership in mitigating critical path risks to the first Ballistic Missile Defense System operational flight test.”

The team provided boots-on-the-ground, onsite support for the tests, which saved the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) more than three months time, millions of dollars, and ensured crew safety. The team led more than 100 targeted pedigree reviews, vendor audits, failure investigations, and risk assessments.

The team’s support to MDA has relied heavily upon the breadth of Aerospace expertise in mission assurance for launch vehicles. The team was instrumental in the success of the Missile Defense Agency’s first operational flight test.

The team’s adept and economical management of matrix talent and capture and execution of MDA quality and safety work significantly protected the Western Range Directorate workforce from Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle budget perturbations and provided purposeful areas to apply space systems expertise. By establishing a direct relationship with MDA Targets and Countermeasures, including onsite support in Huntsville, Ala., the team achieved one of the top goals for the Missile Defense and Space Sensors Division of SPEQ.

Through diligence and masterful use of the Aerospace matrix, the team helped realize the corporate vision to be a principal technical resource for programs of national significance and has put into concrete action the corporate value to tackle the tough questions and deliver candid answers.


2014 Excellence in Diversity Award Winner

Howard Carver, manager, Government Security.

Carver was cited by the Diversity Award committee for his “leadership and outstanding sustained support in advancing diversity and inclusiveness at The Aerospace Corporation.”

In particular, Henry was cited for his work as a “tireless champion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender causes for many years, both inside and outside of The Aerospace Corporation.”

He has been an Aerospace Lambda Alliance (ALA) board member since the organization’s inception in 2000, serving variously as its president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. In 2007 he helped establish ALA’s LGBT History Month event, where poster displays are set up to highlight LGBT icons.

Over the past two years, Carver has participated in “The Models of Pride,” part of ALA’s presence at the USC Youth Conference. He donates his personal time to take part in the event, speaking with young people about STEM and career opportunities at Aerospace and within the defense industry.


2014 Office Professional Recognition Award Winner

Michelle Lash, executive office assistant, Special Projects Directorate.

Lash was awarded the second annual Office Professional Recognition Award for proactively pursuing change and improvement and working to improve mission support and morale in the Washington D.C. area by linking together with sub-regional offices in order to foster a one-team approach. She has also made significant contributions to the Mission Support Staff survey workgroup and was instrumental in improving communications within the National Systems Group while serving on the MSS communications subcommittee.


2014 Team of the Year Award Winner

Key Aerospace Contributions to PicoSat Team. The 22 team members are: Peter Carian, Andrew Chin, Alan Choy, Richard Dolphus, Renny Fields, Francisca Fuentes, Jerry Fuller, Rachael Galvan, Joseph Gangestad, James Gee , Brian Hardy, David Hinkley, Siegfried Janson, Petras Karuza, Geoffrey Maul, Jerry Michaelson, Leslie Peterson, Darren Rowen, Daniel Rumsey, Timothy Smith, Catherine Venturini, and Kevin Zondervan.

The picosat team was recognized for consistently leading its field in innovation and for building groundbreaking spacecraft while meeting immensely restrictive budget and scheduling requirements.

David Hinkley, senior projects leader, Mechanics Research Department. Hinkley explained the history of the picosat program and detailed a number of its significant accomplishments.

“We now have a team, built around the individuals in this room, that are the world experts in all aspects of miniature satellites, and The Aerospace Corporation is recognized as a world leader in this field,” said Hinkley. “No company and no team has a more varied capability and experience, is as practiced in satellite design and assembly, has flown more missions, or has had a better success rate.”