Adrian Akerson Majoring In Space Physics... AND Aerospace
Adrian Akerson, a senior with a
double major in Space Physics and Aerospace Engineering at
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, was recently awarded the
prestigious Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Scholarship, given
annually in honor of America's rocket pioneer.
A $10,000 grant and a plaque were presented to Akerson by the
Board of Governors of the National Space Club at the 51st Annual
Goddard Memorial Dinner on March 7 in Washington, DC. The citation
on the award recognizes Akerson (shown at right) for his
"commitment to excellence and his desire to explore and develop
exotic propulsion and energy technologies for the spacecraft of the
"The guest speaker at the event was Neil Armstrong, and other
dignitaries, such as NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, were also
present," said Dr. Darrel Smith, Embry-Riddle Physics chair. "They
took the opportunity to talk with Adrian and congratulate him on
his award. Although other awards were presented at the dinner,
Adrian's award was the most prestigious."
After completing his bachelor degree programs, the 23-year-old
from Prescott Valley, AZ plans to specialize in the development of
exotic propulsion and energy technologies as a graduate student,
pursuing a master's degree in Astronautics and a doctorate in
Akerson said he appreciates the guidance and numerous
contributions he's received from Embry-Riddle faculty. "This honor
and award wouldn't have been possible without them," Akerson said.
"In the Physics Department I'd like to thank Dr. Darrel Smith, Dr.
Phillip Anz-Meador, Dr. Andri Gretarsson, Dr. Brian Rachford, and
Dr. Nicholas Devereux. I'd also like to thank my McNair Scholars
mentor, Dr. Ronald Madler of the Aerospace Engineering
The Goddard Memorial Scholarship was established to stimulate
the interest of talented students in the opportunity to advance
scientific knowledge through space research and exploration. A
grant of $10,000 is made to the university of the recipient's
choice for use by the student, who must be in at least his or her
junior year and have definite plans to pursue undergraduate or
postgraduate studies in science or engineering during the interval
of the scholarship.
"My goal is to join the industry as a research
scientist/engineer," Akerson said. "I want to contribute to the
development of technologies that incorporate recent discoveries in
science to create an efficient, multipurpose, high-endurance,
low-hazard, and reusable interplanetary spacecraft."