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 President’s Achievement Award

The President’s 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 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.

2013 Corporate Awards

2013 Trustees’ Distinguished Achievement Award Winner

Dr. Donald Lewis, principal director, Strategic Awareness and Policy, Systems Planning, Engineering, and Quality.

Lewis was selected as the 2013 Trustee’s Distinguished Achievement Award winner for “outstanding personal contribution and leadership of Project West Wing (PWW) into its 56th year of premier space-related technical intelligence service to the nation.”

For more than two decades Lewis has been the leader of Project West Wing — a staff organization focused on the scientific and technical intelligence analysis of foreign space and missile systems. Under his stewardship, PWW has become widely known for providing excellence in space intelligence.

In 1991, Lewis became the third leader of PWW. At the time of Lewis’ appointment, the agency was in desperate need of a new direction after the fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent end of the Cold War. For years, PWW had focused solely upon the Soviet Union and its potential threat to U.S. national security.

Lewis brought a new vision to the organization that traded its narrow Cold War focus for a broader strategy that supported the full spectrum of space technical intelligence research studies, as requested by various elements of the acquisition and intelligence communities.

During a time of great uncertainty and financial instability, Lewis built PWW into a flourishing enterprise that accounted for dynamic changes in a rapidly evolving global security environment. In many ways, he went above and beyond the typical duties of an Aerospace principal director, creating an innovative business model and adding relevancy and prestige to the PWW brand.

2013 President’s Achievement Award Winners

Ronald Clifton, director, Performance Modeling and Analysis Department, Engineering and Technology Group

Marc DiPrinzio, senior engineering specialist, Mission Analysis and Operations Department, Engineering and Technology Group

Dr. Matthew Ferringer, project leader, Architecture and Design Subdivision, Engineering and Technology Group

Timothy Thompson, senior engineering specialist, Performance Modeling and Analysis Department, Engineering and Technology Group

The team was awarded a President’s Achievement Award for “execution of a revolutionary constellation replenishment technique, allowing for performance recovery and optimization for a critical national system.”

The team was able to recover, and ultimately enhance, the performance of a valuable national security asset. Details of this effort are limited due to security classification.

Due to an on-orbit anomaly, a space asset was exhibiting degraded performance in one of its mission areas. Using the baseline constellation replenishment plan, it would have taken several years before this situation was rectified by the replacement of the degraded spacecraft.

The Aerospace team was tasked with developing simulation capabilities that were not previously available within Aerospace or elsewhere. In fact, such a difficult replenishment scheme had never been executed on any other program. The team helped to determine that Aerospace’s Genetic Resources for Innovation and Problem Solving (GRIPS) tool suite would be useful in developing the constellation replenishment plan.

The team worked tirelessly to add the necessary tools and capabilities to GRIPS. Initial results were reviewed in late 2009 and were found to be promising. After a few iterations, a solution was found that effectively recovered asset performance several years earlier than anticipated.

In addition, the team’s new constellation design allowed for a 20 percent improvement in performance upon completion of the replenishment plan.

After this initial success, the exercise was continued. The team found an updated solution for the next timeframe, allowing a further performance improvement of 20 percent in certain regions. This new plan was approved and implementation began in 2012.

2013 Program Recognition Award Winner

The Space Based Infrared System, or SBIRS

The Space Based Infrared System, or SBIRS, team, is part of the Space Based Surveillance Division of Space Systems Group. The award was given at the board of trustees meeting by board chairman Peter Teets. Scott Gustafson accepted the award on behalf of the SBIRS team. A recognition dinner for the team was held in August.

2013 Excellence in Diversity Award Winner

Sonia Henry, engineering manager, Software Systems Assurance Department, Computer Applications and Assurance Subdivision, Engineering and Technology Group.

Henry was cited by the Diversity Award committee for her “leadership and promotion of diversity, inclusion, and excellence at Aerospace and in the community.”

In particular, Henry was cited for her work with the summer intern program and ensuring a group of diverse participants in the program. In her acceptance speech, Henry compared the ideals of the Olympic movement to the goals and attitudes of Aerospace.

2013 Office Professional Recognition Award Winner

Corey Baer, senior office assistant, Government Security Investigations.

Baer was awarded the second annual Office Professional Recognition Award for her work going “far beyond what’s considered normal duties for her position.” 

She is the Access Control trainer for all the security officers and receptionists, maintains and updates all access procedures manuals and writes new security procedures as needed. She also helped design the security layout for the new corporate headquarters building and conducted the Annual Security Penetration Exercise, which tested Aerospace’s security measures.

She can often be found at the A1 reception desk, diligently maintaining access security. Dr. Wanda Austin described Baer as “the corporation’s first impression to customers, visitors, and employees when they arrive at our corporate headquarters.”