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Fri, Mar 24, 2023

VFS 2023 Individual Award Recipients Announced

In Recognition of Excellence

The Fairfax, Virginia-based Vertical Flight Society (VFS) is a non-profit technical society committed to the advancement of vertical flight. The Society comprises over one-hundred corporate and 28 educational members, and advocates on behalf of rotorcraft technology to government bodies and the general public.

On 21 March 2023, The Vertical Flight Society announced the individual recipients of its prestigious 2023 awards. For nearly eighty-years, the VFS awards program has paid tribute to outstanding leaders within the vertical flight sector and served as a catalyst for engendering technological advances. The winners of 2023’s VFS individual awards will be recognized at the 79th Annual Grand Awards Banquet on Thursday, 18 May 2023, during the Society’s annual forum and technology display in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Vertical Flight Society executive director Mike Hirschberg stated: “The Society’s first awards were granted in 1944, when Igor I. Sikorsky and Colonel H. Franklin Gregory were granted Honorary Fellowships. This year’s awards similarly recognize the world’s leading engineers and scientists who have developed groundbreaking new capabilities and technologies.”

The title of Honorary Fellow is bestowed upon highly distinguished Society members who’ve made exceptional leadership, innovative, or otherwise meritorious contributions by which the VFS and the vertical flight sector were significantly advanced during the individual’s career or lifetime. The 2023 Honorary Fellows are:

  • Robert Hood: Principal Consultant, QUARTEK Engineering Services. Over nearly half-a-century, Mr. Hood—as technical chair for a number of VFS Australian-Pacific conferences—has made numerous and significant contributions to the VFS Australia Chapter, the education of next-generation rotorcraft engineers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and the rotorcraft community and aerospace sector at large.
  • Tomasz Krysinski: Vice President, Research and Innovation, Airbus Helicopters. Mr. Krysinski is recognized for 35-years of technical excellence and visionary leadership. Krysinski played key roles in the development of advanced rotorcraft, including today’s Racer compound helicopter, and has authored two books, 18 VFS and European Rotorcraft Forum (ERF) technical papers, and secured 12 patents. Additionally, Mr. Krysinski has mentored generations of engineering leaders—to include 26 PhD students. Most recently, he headed up the VFS Board of Directors.

The title of Technical Fellow is granted to Society members whose contributions to the goals and objectives of the vertical flight technical community constitute an outstanding achievement. The 2023 Technical Fellows are:

  • Oliver Dieterich: Senior Expert Rotorcraft Dynamics, Airbus Helicopters. Mr. Dietrich is recognized for his exceptional contributions to the field of applied helicopter dynamics and vibrations, computational and experimental dynamics, and aeromechanics.
  • Professor Joseph F. Horn: Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. Professor Horn is recognized for thirty-years of sustained excellence and leadership in research, teaching, and service to the vertical flight community—specifically in the areas of flight controls, simulation, handling qualities, and aeromechanics.
  • Dr. Rajneesh Singh: Team Lead, US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Army Research Laboratory. Dr. Singh is recognized for his body of work germane to the advancement of the vertical flight sciences with research contributions in computational aeromechanics. Dr. Singh has demonstrated strategic leadership vis-à-vis expanding collaborations, assembling teams for transformative research, and mentoring future workforce personnel.
  • Dr. Berend G. van der Wall: Senior Expert Rotorcraft, DLR, the German Aerospace Center. Dr. van der Wall is recognized for advancing rotary-wing technology through technical leadership and research, and progressing comprehensive simulation code capabilities. Through the use of experimentation and analytics, Dr. van der Wall has bettered humankind’s understanding of unsteady airfoil aerodynamics, blade vortex interaction (BVI), and the effect of higher harmonic control on BVI and vibration.

The John J. Schneider Historical Achievement Award is given in recognition of distinguished achievement by an individual in encouraging appreciation of and enhancing access to the history and legacy of vertical flight aircraft. This year’s recipient is former Boeing-Sikorsky Comanche Program Director Arthur W. Linden. In addition to his distinguished career at Sikorsky, Mr. Linden has advanced the science of vertical flight by publishing myriad technical and historical papers. Mr. Linden has been recognized for his authorship of the seminal historical book, The RAH-66 Comanche Helicopter: Technical Accomplishments, Program Frustration, Published in 2022 after nearly a decade of conceptual and organizational effort, the tome is broadly acknowledged as the definitive work on the RAH-66 Comanche Helicopter.

The annual François-Xavier Bagnoud Award is presented to a VFS member 35-years or younger in recognition of outstanding career-to-date contributions to vertical flight technology. This year’s award recipient is Dr. Natasha Schatzman, Research Aerospace Engineer, Flight Vehicle Acoustics, NASA Ames Research Center. Dr. Schatzman is recognized for outstanding research pertaining to rotorcraft acoustics and full-scale wind tunnel acoustics testing. Schatzman is further recognized for her significant contributions to the VFS technical community, the local VFS San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, and for her outstanding mentorship in the rotorcraft field.

The Society’s Paul E. Haueter Award is presented for outstanding technical contribution to the field of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. This year’s award will be posthumously presented to Alex Stoll, Joby Aviation’s  aeromechanics lead and first full-time employee, who lost his life in a tragic motor-vehicle accident in February 2023. A pioneer of electric flight and low-noise propulsion, Mr. Stoll developed a comprehensive system optimization model that resulted in the Joby electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) air taxi designs. In addition to being cited as a co-inventor on 21 patents, Mr. Stoll co-authored numerous technical papers and served as an active officer of the Vertical Flight Society’s San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.

Founded in 1943 as the American Helicopter Society, the organization known today as the Vertical Flight Society is a global non-profit society comprising engineers, scientists and others professionals plying their expertise and experience to the advancement of vertical flight. For more than eight-decades, the Society has championed rotorcraft technology, advocated for rotorcraft safety, and functioned as the primary forum for the interchange of information pertaining to vertical flight.

FMI: www.vtol.orgwww.vtol.org/awards


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