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RAeS announces 2019 award winners

Posted 26 November 2019 · Add Comment

The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) has announced the 2019 winners of the global aerospace community’s most prestigious and long-standing awards honouring achievement and innovation.

The 2019 Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) award winners.
Courtesy Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS)

The ceremony, held yesterday, saw leaders in aviation and aerospace recognised for their significant contributions from tackling climate change, through to leading in space innovation.

Among the team medallists, Gold went to the Chang’ e 4 Lunar Landing Mission Team from the China National Space Agency. In January, the spacecraft was the first ever to land on the far side of the Moon, enduring intense radiation and temperature differences on the lunar surface of up to 320°C.

Early-career professionals were recognised for their achievements in inspiring a new generation of aerospace professionals. The Young Persons’ Achievement Award went to Sophie Harker, Aerodynamics and Performance Engineer at BAE Systems. Sophie, who is a technical consultant on the SABRE hybrid air-breathing rocket engine, is also creating a STEM non-profit to encourage more students into aerospace.

Dr Nicol Caplin, a research fellow at the European Space Agency, was awarded a commendation for her work in exobiology. Nicole is a project scientist on the European Space Agency’s BioRock project, which seeks to harness the power of plants for mining in space. She has also started the #FollowThatScientist movement, to raise the profile of female scientists starting out in their careers.

Other award-winners include Dr James Taylor, whose advances in jet engine technology could eventually save up to 2.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. His discoveries were described by Prof Robert Miller, Director of the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, as ‘major break-throughs’.

A new award, the Sir Ralph Robins Medal for mid-career engineers demonstrating outstanding engineering leadership, was won by Ms Itxaso Ariza. Itxaso played a significant part in understanding the safety issues around ice formation in fuel, related to the Boeing 777 incident at Heathrow in 2008, and is now the Chief Engineer on Rolls Royce’s Trent 1000 engines. 

Sir Brian Burridge, Chief Executive, Royal Aeronautical Society said: “Since 1909, when Wilbur and Orville Wright came to London to receive the Society’s first Gold Medal, we have honoured those who have made outstanding contributions to aerospace. The achievements of 2019’s winners are just as impressive – in technological innovation, in tackling aviation’s contribution to climate change, and in making aeronautics more inclusive and inspiring for the scientists of tomorrow.”

Chang’ E Lunar Landing Mission Team said: “It is a great honour to receive the Team Gold Medal as a recognition of the achievements of the lunar exploration project. Recognition by the Royal Aeronautical Society reaffirms our resolve to further exploration of deep space in the interest of humankind. We hope this recognition helps to strengthen exchange and cooperation with the RAeS and scientists and academics across the world.”

Dr James Taylor said: “We have to understand more about the science of jet engines in order to create the sustainable designs of the future. Tackling these challenges in aviation is truly inspiring, with a focus on greater efficiency, lower emissions and less waste. I'm honoured to receive this award from the RAeS.”

Team Medals are awarded for outstanding contributions to the advancement of aerospace art, science and engineering.

Gold Medal
•    Chang’ e 4 Lunar Lander Mission Team, China
Silver Medal
•    F-35/Queen Elizabeth-class Carrier Integration Team from BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force
Bronze Medal
•    NOVASAR Team from Surrey Satellite Technology and Airbus Defence and Space
•    AW159 Digital AFCS Team from Leonardo Helicopters

Young Persons’ Awards recognise individuals or teams for exceptional achievement or promise in aerospace.

Young Persons’ Achievement Award
•    Ms Sophie Harker MRAeS, an aerodynamics and performance engineer at BAE Systems Warton

Young Persons’ Achievement Commendation
•    Dr Nicol Caplin, a research fellow at the European Space Agency

Herbert Le Sueur Award
•    Ms Laura Hoang MRAeS, an F-35 training systems development engineer at BAE Systems
Alan Marsh Award
•    Mr Daniel Young MRAeS, a flight control engineer at Leonardo Helicopter

NE Rowe Medals
•    Mr Adam Hill MRAeS, an engineer on the Airbus Future Projects Team
•    Mr Bastien Longeon, an aerospace engineering student at ESTACA

Individual Medals are awarded for outstanding contributions to the advancement of aerospace art, science and engineering.

Silver Medal
•    Dr Steve Hodge MRAeS, a specialist simulation engineer working for BAE Systems

Bronze medal
•    Dr James Taylor, a research fellow at the Whittle Laboratory in Cambridge University
•    Dr Robina Coker, a consultant in respiratory medicine, working on air travel for passengers with lung disease
•    Dr Eric Joffre, an interplanetary mission analysis specialist at Airbus Defence and Space

Sir Ralph Robins Medal
•    Ms Itxaso Ariza, Chief Engineer, Trent 1000 B&C at Rolls-Royce

Society Specialist Awards are conferred on individuals or teams in well-established professional disciplines. These awards recognise advances, innovation, excellence and long service that has made a significant impact.

Roger Green Medal
•    Ms Jean Page, Head of Human Factors, BAE Systems Warton

Geoffrey Pardoe Space Award
•    Mr David Parker FRAeS, Director of Human Space Flight and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency

Honorary Fellowships mark the world’s highest distinction for aerospace achievement, awarded only for the most outstanding contributions to the aerospace profession.
•    Dr Asad M Madni FRAeS, a pioneer of nanotechnology
•    Dr Raj Nangia FRAeS, an aerodynamicist who has worked on projects from Concorde, the legendary supersonic passenger jet, to modern military drones
•    Dr G Satheesh Reddy FRAeS, air defence pioneer and aerodynamicist

This year’s awards list demonstrates the momentous advancements being made in the aerospace sector.

How to apply
The Society’s Honours, Medals and Awards are open to anyone involved with or supporting the global aerospace community – from senior professionals to students and graduates. Nominations for next year’s awards are now open and the form can be found at . The closing date is 31st March 2020.


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