AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate celebrates top performer achievements

Aerospace Systems Directorate Top Performers

Douglas Blake, director of the Aerospace Systems Directorate, welcomed the audience during the 6th Annual Aerospace Systems Directorate Awards Luncheon. He spoke about the accomplishments that took place during the past year and the exciting future ahead for the directorate. (Courtesy photo/Danielle DeBorde)

AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate Top Performers

Col. Joel Luker, deputy director of the Aerospace Systems Directorate, presented the IMA Company Grade Officer of the Year Award to Capt. Garrett Kurtz during the 6th Annual Aerospace Systems Awards Luncheon. (Courtesy photo/Danielle DeBorde)

AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate Top Performers

Dr. Siva Banda, chief scientist for the Aerospace Systems Directorate, presented the General Benjamin D. Foulois Award to Dr. Benjamin Hall (pictured on right) from the Time Resolved Tomographic Imaging of Reacting and Non-Reacting Flows Team. Also on the team, but not pictured, is Dr. James Gord. The presentation took place during the 6th Annual Aerospace Systems Awards Luncheon. (Courtesy photo/Danielle DeBorde)

AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate Top Performers

Aerospace Systems Directorate employees and friends gathered to celebrate nominees and winners during the 6th Annual Aerospace Systems Directorate Awards Luncheon at the Presidential Banquet Center in Kettering, Ohio. (Courtesy photo/Danielle DeBorde)

AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate Top Performers

Dr. Douglas Blake, director of the Aerospace Systems Directorate, presented the Director’s Trophy Team Award to the Turbine Engine Transition Demonstrator Team during the 6th Annual Aerospace Systems Awards Luncheon. Pictured left to right are: Dr. Douglas Blake, Anthony Cerminaro, Frank Lieghley Jr., Gregory Bruening, Charles Frayne, Dr. Richard Anthony and Whitney Hulett. Also on the team, but not pictured, is Rebecca Howard. (Courtesy photo/Danielle DeBorde)

AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate Top Performers

Former astronaut Dr. Guion Bluford Jr. served as guest speaker for the 6th Annual Aerospace Systems Directorate Awards Luncheon. Dr. Bluford is an aerospace engineer with degrees from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He was the first African American to fly in space. (Courtesy photo/Danielle DeBorde)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Aerospace Systems Directorate, or RQ, celebrated achievements by top performers during their 6th Annual Awards Luncheon held Jan. 24 at the Presidential Banquet Center in Kettering, Ohio.

RQ’s annual awards celebration recognizes and awards excellence across the entire directorate. Awards are presented to individuals and teams for acts that are clearly and distinctively outstanding and that directly support the goals and missions of RQ, AFRL and the United States Air Force.

This year, the theme was “The Next Century: Launching the Force of Aerospace Innovation.” The organization is focused on technical revolution in aerospace technologies. “RQ believes that the research ideas envisioned today will allow continued air and space superiority and provide an advantage to U.S. military operations,” said Dr. Douglas Blake, director of the Aerospace Systems Directorate.

As a member of NASA’s barrier-breaking 1978 class of astronauts, the luncheon’s guest speaker,  Dr. Guion “Guy” Bluford, Jr., a retired Air Force Colonel and fighter pilot, former NASA astronaut and the first African American to fly in space, is quite familiar with aerospace innovation.

“I wanted to make a contribution to the program. I wanted to fly,” Dr. Bluford said of being selected out of 8,000 candidates to attend the space program.

And that is what he did. An International Space Hall of Fame and U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame inductee, Dr. Bluford has logged over 5,200 hours in a high performance jet aircraft and has flown 688 hours in space on four Space Shuttle missions.

A graduate from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Dr. Bluford currently serves as President of the Aerospace Technology Group in Cleveland, Ohio.

Over 115 individual nominees and more than 40 teams were honored during the event, which for the first-time, featured a live stream audio and visual feed to RQ West employees located at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and RQ employees at Arnold Engineering Development Center, Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee.

Award winners in order that they were presented are:

Administrative Excellence Award – Jory Boudreaux

Senior Administrative Excellence Award – Juneann D. Bryant

Scientific/Technical Technician Award (Individual) – Paul J. Olekas

Scientific/Technical Technician Award (Team) – Wind Tunnel Maintenance Team – Kevin King, Nathan Brown, Rodney Gough and Frederick Gillium Jr.

Mission Support Award (Individual) – Suzanne L. Wilson

Mission Support Award (Team) – Component Research Air Facility (CRAF) Engineering Team – David Dye, Dustin Smith, James Bowden and Jaderic Dawson

Mentoring Award – Bonnie J. Schwartz

Leadership Award - Dr. Michael A. Rottmayer

Senior Leadership Award - Dr. Jose A. Camberos    

Supervisory Award - Dr. Lewis Rosado

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Award – SSgt Justin W. Elledge

IMA Company Grade Officer of the Year Award - Capt Garrett M. Kurtz

Company Grade Officer of the Year Award - 1st Lt Frank R. Jackson

IMA Field Grade Officer of the Year – Maj Rebecca L. Stone

Field Grade Officer of the Year – Lt Col Ionio Q. Andrus

Innovation Award – Justin R. DelMar

Scientific and Technical Management Award - Dr. Gregory R. Yandek

Scientific and Technical Achievement Award (Individual) - Dr. Philip S. Beran

Scientific and Technical Achievement Award (Team) - F-16 Auto-Strafe "Death Claw" Team – Dr. Nicholas Hanlon, Nicklas Stockton, Dr. Michael Bolender and Dr. David Doman

International Award (Individual) - Chad M. Marshall

International Award (Team) - RQQ/RQV Integrated Energy and Power Management (IEPM) Team – Dr. Kirk Yerkes, Dr. David Pratt, Capt Edwin Colon and 1st Lt Zachariah Provchy

Civilian of the Year Category I Award – Lindsey R. Judd

Civilian of the Year Category II Award – Lauren A. Zientarski

Civilian of the Year Category III Award – Matthew S. Stefanski

Director’s Trophy Classified (Junior Force Individual) Award - Zachary L. White

Director’s Trophy Classified (Senior Individual) Award - Matthew K. Goettke

Director’s Trophy Classified (Team) Award – Laser Weapon System Integration Team – David Leggett, Dr. Michael Stanek, Jacob Hinchman and John Nairus

Directory’s Trophy (Junior Force Individual) Award - Andrew C. Dwenger

Director’s Trophy (Senior Individual) Award – Dr. Tadeusz J. Masternak

Director’s Trophy (Team) Award – Turbine Engine Transition Demonstrator Team – Dr. Richard Anthony, Anthony Cerminaro, Charles Frayne, Rebecca Howard, Frank Lieghley Jr., Gregory Bruening and Whitney Hulett

Dr. Richard B. Rivir Scientific and Technical Achievement Award – Dr. Kristin M. Rice

E.C. Simpson Technical Team Achievement Award – Conformal Loadbearing Antenna Structure (CLAS) Team – Michael Wipperman, Burton Fisher, David Zeppettella and Todd Engleman

Dr. Courtland Perkins Individual/Team in Engineering Award – Intelligent Control and Evaluation of Teams (ICE-T) Team – Chad Marshall, Dr. David Casbeer and Dr. David Grymin

Don Ross Individual/Team Achievement in Space S&T Award – Jason B. Mossman

S.D. Heron Individual/Team Achievement in Aeronautical S&T Award – Imaging Diagnostics Team – Dr. Timothy Ombrello and Dr. Campbell Carter

General Benjamin D. Foulois Individual/Team Scientific Achievement Award – Time Resolved Tomographic Imaging of Reacting and Non-Reacting Flows Team – Dr. James Gord and Dr. Benjamin Halls

FOGGY Award – Dustin Smith

Select categories will move forward to compete at the annual AFRL Awards Ceremony Feb. 26.