Aerospace Control and Guidance Systems Committee


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Dave Ward Memorial Lecture Award

2016 Award Presented to Dr. Tansel Yucelen


This award is established by the Aerospace Control and Guidance Systems Committee (ACGSC) to recognize the significant contributions by a young member of the aerospace community (35 years old or less at the time of the award nomination deadline) to development of flight dynamics, control and guidance system technologies. The award is in memory of Dave Ward who was Vice President and Chair Elect of ACGSC and very active in recruiting young members to the ACGSC.

Background on Dave Ward:

Dave held engineering degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and was the Senior Technical Director and President of Barron Associates in Charlottesville, VA. Highly respected in his field, he authored numerous publications and served as the Chair of important national and international committees and conferences. Dave’s research was concentrated in stochastic optimization of complex systems, robust on-line parameter identification, and receding-horizon optimal control. In 1996, Dave spearheaded the development of an adaptive flight control system that was the first ever to be successfully flight tested. Dave’s participation in the ACGSC was an exceptional example of meeting ACGSC objectives of providing discussion and dissemination of technical information relating to development of advanced aerospace control and guidance systems. Dave passed away in April 2010 at age 46 after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Aerospace Control and Guidance Systems Committee:

The mission of the ACGSC is to provide a forum for discussion, development, and rapid dissemination of technical information related to aerospace control and guidance systems. The ACGSC consists of five subcommittees: Aeronautics and Surface Vehicles; Missiles and Space Vehicles; Avionics and System Integration; Dynamics, Computation and Analysis; and Flight, Propulsion and Autonomous Vehicle Control Systems. Our mission is facilitated through our semi-annual meetings and conferences with technical sessions organized through the five subcommittees. Additional information about the ACGSC and the charter of the five subcommittees is available at

Award Eligibility:

The nomination is open to young professionals working in the United States and graduate students in good standing at an accredited Engineering or Mathematics program at a University in the United States. The nominee should be 35 years old or less at the time of the award nomination deadline. The nominee should have demonstrated significant contributions to the advancement of aerospace flight dynamics, control and guidance systems technology.

Award Description:

The award consists of a plaque, free registration to attend the Fall meeting of the ACGSC and an invited lecture on the awardee’s technical contribution in a special session of the meeting. The awardee will be reimbursed travel expenses up to $1500 to attend the meeting. The Fall meeting of the ACGSC is held during the middle of October from Wednesday to Friday of a week. The location for the meeting changes annually and is posted by early April on the ACGSC website:

Nomination Process:

The nomination process consists of the following information being submitted through the Ward Award Nomination link at

  1. A two page description of the nominee’s most significant contribution in aerospace flight dynamics, control and guidance systems technical area. This document should concisely describe the advancement over the state-of-the-art. Any figures and tables used to describe the accomplishment should fit within the two page limit.
  2. Nominee’s date of birth and a one page bio including a list of his or her most important publications, as well as a listing of any professional experience in the aerospace field.
  3. A one page letter of endorsement from the nominee’s supervisor or advising professor providing his or her perspective on why the candidate is suited to receive the award and giving approval to present an invited lecture at the ACGSC meeting if selected.
  4. A one page reference letter from a well-known expert in the field of the nominee’s contribution stating the significance of the contributions to the area of aerospace control and guidance.

All the above information can be entered directly on the text boxes provided or can be loaded as a Text (*.txt), Word (*.doc or *.docx), or PDF (*.pdf) file. When loading a file, the document should be created using font size 12 with single spacing and an easily readable font type such as Times New Roman, with at least 1” margins on all sides. The documents should adhere to the page limits identified above. Any nominations exceeding these limits will not be considered for the award.

The nomination deadline is typically July 1 of the year of the nomination solicitation.

The information provided in the nomination package will be judged for innovation, creativity, practicality, transitionability, relevance and importance to the ACGSC mission of the nominee’s technical contributions.

Decision Timeline:

The selected awardee will be notified by Sept. 1 and requested to confirm attendance at the Fall ACGSC meeting that year.

Any questions regarding this award should be sent to

Archive of All Ward Award Winners:

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