2019 Chapter Awards

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

Witold Koning, Wayne Johnson, and Håvard Grip, for their paper titled “Improved Mars Helicopter Aerodynamic Rotor Model for Comprehensive Analysis,” presented at the 44th European Rotorcraft Forum, Delft, the Netherlands, 18-31 September, 2018.

Schroers Award for Outstanding Rotorcraft Research

Brian Fujizawa, for his significant efforts keeping flight research front and center in Army Aviation S&T in returning the UH-60A flight research aircraft to not just flight status, but flight research status, all while on extended travel to Virginia.

Franklin Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Powered-Lift Field

The 699/Tiltrotor Test Rig Test Team, for safely and successfully conducting the full envelope evaluation of the first civil tiltrotor system that will enter commercial usage by 2020. This test was also the first use of the Tiltrotor Test Rig and served as a checkout and operational verification test of the completely new $30M national test capability for future generation tiltrotor aircraft.

Award for Outstanding Contribution to the VFS Local Chapter

Robert Ormiston and Irving Statler, for their incredible efforts in creating and editing the NASA Special Publication, “Figures of Merit – Remembrances of Those Who Built an Army-NASA Collaboration and a New Age of Rotary-Wing Technology, 1965 – 1985.” The first-person narratives of these memoirs are voices of the first few decades of SFBAC members, many of whom cite the activities of the AHS and the opportunities for learning, networking, and career enhancement and recognition the AHS provided.

Award for Outstanding Technical Support

Christopher Hartley, who for nearly 10 years supported the Tiltrotor Test Rig Development project and led the Air Force AEDC participation in the development of the TTR. He oversaw a multitude of integration, acceptance, and checkout activities from model prep, to tunnel installation and checkout. He then led the test team in executing the longest wind tunnel entry in the history of the 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel with the successful completion of the 699/TTR wind tunnel test.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Wally Acree is recognized for his 40+ year career serving the nation as a NASA rotorcraft researcher. Wally’s contributions began with the XV-15 Tiltrotor Research Aircraft flight demonstration and Advanced Technology Blades Programs. He then was involved with a multitude of technology programs, including the MDHC Canard Rotor Wing, JVX OSRF, JMR tiltrotor, the Langley Research Center TDT WRATS model, and the TDT TRAST model. Finally, for the past decade, Wally has led the engineering development and checkout of the Tiltrotor Test Rig as TTR Technical Director. Thanks largely to Wally’s efforts, the TTR will enable future experimental research on the fundamental aeromechanics of tiltrotor systems and on the designs of advanced tiltrotors for decades to come.

2018 Chapter Awards

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.

2017 Chapter Awards

Velkoff Award for Outstanding Technical Paper – Matthew S. Whalley, Marc D. Takahashi, M. Hossein Mansur, LTC Carl R. Ott, MAJ Joseph S. Minor, MAJ Zachariah G. Morford, Ernesto Moralez, Marcos G. Berrios, Chad L. Goerzen, and Gregory J. Schulein, in recognition for the following paper titled “Flight Test Results for a New Mission-Adaptive Autonomy System on the RASCAL JUH-60A Black Hawk”. This 31-page paper was selected as the best of the Unmanned VTOL Aircraft and Rotorcraft Sessions at the AHS 72nd Annual Forum, West Palm Beach, Florida, May 17–19, 2016.

Schroers Award for Outstanding Rotorcraft Research – Degraded Visual Environment Mitigation (DVE-M) Team – MAJ Joseph S. Minor, MAJ Zachariah G. Morford, Richard W. Huber, Zoltan P. Szobozslay, Brian T. Fujizawa, Jeffery A. Lusardi, Nathan L. Mielcarek, John Archdeacon, and Michael J. Irish – is recognized for completing over 75 flight test hours in the AFDD EH-60L during NATO field trials held at Yuma Proving Ground, AZ, September 2016 and Alpnach Switzerland & Manching, Germany, February 2017.  These flight tests demonstrated potent technical solutions to a vexing operational problem through a novel and sophisticated combination of guidance displays, flight control laws and aircrew cueing technologies which were used in conjunction with sensor imagery provided through the Communication and Electronics Research Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC).

Franklin Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Powered-Lift Field –Ben Lawrence, for his contributions to the field of rotorcraft handling qualities as applied to future advanced powered lift concepts. His research on the fundamental engineering principles of flight dynamics and handling qualities, and his subsequent application of the research to powered lift concepts including the Large Commercial Tiltrotor (LCTR), the High Efficiency Tiltrotor (HETR), and several helicopter, compound helicopter, and other rotorcraft concepts has provided the VTOL flight community with a generalized tool for the integration of handling qualities analysis into advanced rotorcraft design. This generalized tool, called SIMPLI-FLYD, allows for assessment of handling qualities using only the limited amount of detailed information on a vehicle’s technical characteristics that is available at the early conceptual design stage.

Award for Outstanding Contribution to the AHS Local Chapter – Anita I. Abrego, for her contributions to the local AHS chapter. As Community Outreach Chair, Ms. Abrego supported and fostered relationships with personnel of the Eastside College Preparatory High School. She enabled and fully coordinated the first freshman class tour of Ames, in 2006, and all subsequent tours through 2016. While serving on the board of directors, Anita was an enthusiastic supporter of chapter events, providing feedback and guidance at the board meetings, attending fundraisers and technical presentations, and mentoring the incoming board of directors annually.

Award for Outstanding Technical Support – Patrick M. Shinoda is recognized, in his capacity as Chief Engineer for the operation of the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex, for his keen eye, technical rigor, and diligence that enabled a remarkable series of tests in late 2016 and early 2017 involving novel articles for the US Army, NASA, DARPA, the Department of Energy, and the rotorcraft industry. He is also recognized for his 43 years of service to the United States Government. Rick’s many accomplishments are well recognized by the US rotorcraft community, making direct contributions to countless wind tunnel research programs and developing the infrastructure used to execute a majority of the Nation’s large scale rotorcraft wind tunnel testing.  Mr. Shinoda has also improved worldwide rotorcraft research through his technical leadership on the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International’s Test and Evaluation Technical Committee and through direct mentorship of dozens of young researchers and engineers.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Franklin D. Harris is recognized for his service to advancing the field of vertical flight aeronautics over the past 50 years. Mr. Harris has conducted pioneering research in rotorcraft aeromechanics and analysis, and he led the development of several new U.S. helicopter designs.  He led the Bell Helicopter development of the OH-58D Kiowa that still serves in the U.S. Army.  For the past thirty years, Mr. Harris has built the bridge between U.S. government-conducted and government-sponsored fundamental research and its application by industry’s designers and manufacturers. In late 2016, Frank completed Volume III of his Autogyros, Helicopters, and Other V/STOL Aircraft trilogy, an amazing and lasting accomplishment.