Recipients of the awards are selected annually, from nominations submitted by SFBAC VFS members, by a special advisory board chaired by the past chapter president. These awards are an opportunity to recognize the outstanding work and significant accomplishments achieved by rotorcraft researchers in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Velkoff Award for Outstanding Technical Paper
Wayne Johnson, Chris Silva, and Eduardo Solis, for their paper titled “Concept Vehicles for VTOL Air Taxi Operations,” presented at the AHS Technical Meeting on Aeromechanics Design for Vertical Lift, San Francisco, CA, January 16-18, 2018.
Vinod Lakshminarayan, Jay Sitaraman, Beatrice Roget, and Andrew Wissink, for their paper titled “Simulation of Complex Geometries Using Automatically Generated Strand Meshes,” presented at the AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Kissimmee, Florida, January 8-11, 2018.
Schroers Award for Outstanding Rotorcraft Research
Wayne Johnson, for his development of NDARC, NASA Design and Analysis of Rotorcraft. NDARC is used extensively by both NASA and Army rotorcraft researchers. In addition, over 100 users from academia, industry, startups, and inventors have made it the international standard for rotorcraft synthesis and sizing.
Franklin Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Powered-Lift Field
Larry Young, for inventing, demonstrating, and assessing new technologies leading to a Mars Helicopter development project. As an innovator and creative futurist, Larry invented the means to enable development of the Mars Helicopter Mars 2020 Mission proposal led by JPL, which on May 11 was given the official green light by NASA Headquarters.
Award for Outstanding Contribution to the VFS Local Chapter
The AHS SFBAC Conference arrangements team, consisting of Meridith Segall, Geoffrey Ament, Michelle Dominguez, Kristen Kallstrom, Barry Lakinsmith, Cory Loob, Ethan Romander, Chris Silva, Eduardo Solis, and Colin Theodore. In January of 2018, the AHS SFBAC put on what is arguably its most successful biennial conference ever. The 4-day conference included 62 technical papers, 345 registered attendees, with representation from about 100 different organizations. The local AHS chapter lives and breathes on the success of the biennial conference, and this team made it happen.
Award for Outstanding Technical Support
MAJ Zachariah Morford, who with dignity and poise, wrote a fitting and honorable final chapter to decades of history-making vertical manned and unmanned research flight testing by the United States Army at NASA Ames Research Center.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Barry Lakinsmith is recognized for his superb ability to build and maintain strong coalitions among the U.S. Army, NASA, the U.S. Air Force and other agencies, which have reinvigorated the vertical lift research capability at NASA Ames and will help sustain it as a national presence and contributor for years to come. He has worked tirelessly over the past six years as Director of the U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate to meet the rotary wing technology needs of the nation. He has enabled numerous major collaborative research programs with multiple government agencies and industry in wind tunnel testing, computational modeling, piloted simulation, and flight testing.