A sellout crowd of 430 aerospace luminaries from all over the world gathered at the historic National Building Museum in Washington on March 14 for the presentation of Aviation Week’s 62nd Annual Laureate Awards. Continuing a tradition that began in 1957, Aviation Week Network editors presented 30 previously announced awards in four categories: Defense, Commercial Aviation, Business Aviation and Space (AW&ST Feb. 11-24, p. 63). They then revealed a Grand Laureate winner in each category. Also honored were two Lifetime Achievement winners and two dozen top students pursuing aviation or aerospace careers (AW&ST March 11-24, p. 58). Nominations for the 2020 awards will open in June at laureates.aviationweek.com



Aviation Week & Space Technology Managing Editor for Commercial Aviation  Jens Flottau (back row, second from right) and Aviation Daily Managing Editor Mark Nensel (far right) joined this year’s Commercial Aviation Laureates. Outgoing Embraer CEO Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva (bottom right) and John Slattery, president/CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, accepted the Grand Laureate for the E-Jet E2. 

Grand Laureate: Embraer E-Jet E2
Electronics/Avionics: Airbus
Leadership: Margaret Jenny
MRO: United Airlines
Platform: Embraer E-Jet E2
Propulsion: Safran Aircraft Engines
Safety: ISAE-SupAero
Technology & Innovation: Airbus Perlan Mission II
Unmanned Systems: NASA, FAA, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Honeywell


Aviation Week & Space Technology Defense Editor Steve Trimble (far left) and Managing Editor for Defense and Space Jen DiMascio (far right) joined this year’s Defense Laureate winners. Royal Netherlands Air Force Col. Jan der Kinderen and Col. Jurgen van der Biezen (left) accepted the Grand Laureate for leading the European/NATO Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Fleet program. 

Grand Laureate: Royal Netherlands Air Force/Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Fleet
Best New Product: Perfect Point E-Drill
Electronics/Avionics: KC-135 Real-Time Information in the Cockpit
Leadership: Leanne Caret, President and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security
MRO: U.S. Air Force, Moog and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Operations: Royal Netherlands Air Force/Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Fleet
Safety: Lockheed Martin/U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory/Office of the Secretary of Defense
Technology & Innovation: Collins Elbit Vision Systems (CEVS) F-35 Gen III Lightweight Helmet
Unmanned Systems: Office of Naval Research/Aurora Flight Sciences AACUS


Aviation Week & Space Technology Space Editor Irene Klotz (far left) and Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Editor-in-Chief Jeff Morris (far right) presented awards to the 2019 Space Laureate winners. Rocketlab’s Grand Laureate was accepted by Lars Hoffman (right), senior vice president of global launch services. 

Grand Laureate: Rocket Lab Electron
Best New Product: Iceye
Leadership: Rick Ambrose, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin Space
Launcher: Rocket Lab Electron
Operations: LeoLabs
Platforms: Iridium Communications
Space Science: Mars Exploration Rovers
Technology & Innovation: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Hayabusa 2



William Garvey (far left), editor-in-chief of Business & Commercial Aviation, and Molly McMillin (far right), editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, flanked this year’s Business Aviation Laureate winners. The Grand Laureate was accepted by Michel Ouellette, senior vice president for the Global 7500 and 8000  programs at Bombardier Business Aircraft. 

Grand Laureate: Bombardier Global 7500
Electronics/Avionics: Garmin International
Leadership: Mark Baker, President & CEO, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
MRO: Gulfstream Aerospace
Platform: Bombardier Global 7500
Propulsion: Pratt & Whitney Canada PW800
Supplier Innovation: GE Aviation Catalyst Additive Manufacturing
Safety: Gulfstream Runway Overrun Awareness and Alerting System



The 62nd Laureates event opened with Aviation Week and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) recognizing Tomorrow’s Leaders, two dozen top students from universities around the world (profiled in our March 11-24 issue) and the four U.S. service academies. The service academy cadets are:

Midshipman 2nd Class Aaron Martinez (middle row, fourth from left), graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in aerospace engineering and a commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He is enrolled in the Naval Academy’s growing rotorcraft program, which emphasizes helicopter and vertical lift performance, stability and control. After graduation, he will report to The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, followed by flight training in Pensacola, Florida, to become a Marine Corps pilot.

Cadet 2nd Class Austin Brown (middle row, fourth from right), vice president of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Aviation Club, which is its largest student organization, and a qualified instructor in the academy’s RedBird MCX full-motion flight simulator. Brown has completed 24 total flight hours toward his private pilot’s license, and he has leveraged his flight experience to compete with the academy’s flight team in ground and simulator events. Upon graduation, he hopes to attend Naval Flight Training in Pensacola, Florida, with the goal of becoming a Coast Guard aviator.

Cadet Capt. Bogue M. Waller (back row, fourth from right), studying mechanical engineering with a focus in aeronautical engineering at the U.S. Military Academy, where he is part of a capstone team focusing on the recovery of a large fixed-wing UAV without the use of a runway. He is fascinated by aviation and looks forward to a lifelong career in the field. After graduating in May, he will commission as an Army Aviation officer and begin flight school. 

Cadet 1st Class Ryan Olson (inset), executive officer in Cadet Sqdn. 19 at the U.S. Air Force Academy, an astronautical engineering major and active member of the FalconSAT program, for which he is contributing to the design of the next satellite for the program. He completed a research internship with the Air Force Research Lab in Maui, Hawaii, where he contributed to a new method for calculating satellite relative motion. Following graduation, he hopes to attend graduate school to study astronautics before reporting to Sheppard AFB, Texas, for Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training. 



Outgoing Airbus CEO Tom Enders (right) received a Lifetime Achievement Award for leading a remaking of the company by reducing government interference and pursuing investor-based strategies. Airbus launched the A350 and A320neo families on his watch and opened new assembly lines in China and the U.S. Aviation Week & Space Technology Editor-in-Chief Joe Anselmo presented the award. 

Philanthropist and entrepreneur Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, received a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to both preserving aviation’s history and helping spark the revolution in low-cost access to space through the SpaceShipOne and Stratolaunch programs. Brian Morse (left in inset), Stratolaunch senior vice president for operations, accepted the award from Aviation Week & Space Technology Managing Editor for Technology Graham Warwick. 

Video Learn more about the careers of Tom Enders and Paul Allen: