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.