Crassidis receives J. Leland Atwood Award

Award honors Crassidis’ commitment to excellence in aerospace engineering education

by Jane Stoyle Welch

Published January 5, 2017

John L. Crassidis, CUBRC Professor in Space Situational Awareness in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Center for Multisource Information Fusion (CMIF), has won the J. Leland Atwood Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

John Crassidis

John L. Crassidis received the J. Leland Atwood Award from AIAA.

“John’s sustained excellence in research, education, and dedication to our students has been exemplary.”
Kemper Lewis, Professor and Chair
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

The J. Leland Atwood Award, cosponsored by AIAA and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), honors Crassidis for his “commitment to excellence in aerospace engineering education.”

Crassidis’ most recent work has been in the area of resident space object attitude estimation. As Director of UB’s CMIF, he leads a team of researchers focused on basic and applied research in multiple-source information processing environments, such as in multiple-sensor or multiply-instrumented systems. He is also the Principal Investigator for UB’s participation in the U.S. University Nanosat Program and NASA’s CubeSat Initiative. Crassidis has supervised over 60 graduate students during his academic career, many of whom have gone on to become professors and government program managers.   

“John’s sustained excellence in research, education, and dedication to our students has been exemplary,” said Kemper Lewis, professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “The UB Nanosat Lab he established continues to be recognized nationally in scholarship, broader impact, and student involvement.  Many students have said that their experience in the program was the highlight of their time at UB.”

A three-time UB alumnus — PhD ’93, MS ’91 & BS ’89 — Crassidis joined the UB faculty in 2001. His past honors include UB’s 2014 Richard T. Sarkin Award for Excellence in Teaching; the 2012 AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Award; a 2006 AIAA Sustained Service Award; and the Society of Automotive Engineers’ 2006 Ralph T. Teetor Educational Award. He was named a Fellow of AIAA in 2015 and a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society (AAS) in 2014.

Established in 1985, the J. Leland Atwood Award annually honors an aerospace engineering educator, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the profession. Atwood entered aviation when it was little more than experimentation in a daring sport. Nevertheless, he believed that this new field would be a cornerstone of our national security and serve as a principal medium of world commerce. As an outstanding engineer and a leader of a great corporation, Atwood played a major role in the development of aviation and aerospace technologies for more than 50 years. Administration of the award resides at ASEE.

Crassidis will receive the award at a recognition luncheon on Tuesday, January 10, held in conjunction with the 2017 AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (AIAA SciTech Forum), January 9–13, at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.

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