Press Release

AIAA Announces its Class of 2021 Honorary Fellows and Fellows

By SpaceRef Editor
February 25, 2021
Filed under , ,

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) proudly congratulates its newly elected Class of 2021 Honorary Fellows and Fellows. The induction ceremony for the new Honorary Fellows and Fellows will take place later this year. 


“The Class of 2021 AIAA Honorary Fellows and Fellows are among the best minds in our profession. I commend each member of this year’s Class on their career accomplishments and dedication to furthering our industry,” said Basil Hassan, AIAA president. “This distinguished set of individuals has earned the respect and gratitude of the aerospace community for their creativity and valued contributions to better understanding our universe and mentoring future generations of aerospace professionals.”


Honorary Fellow is the highest distinction conferred by AIAA and recognizes preeminent individuals who have had long and highly contributory careers in aerospace and who embody the highest possible standards in aeronautics and astronautics. In 1933, Orville Wright became the first AIAA Honorary Fellow. Today, AIAA Honorary Fellows and AIAA Fellows are the most respected names in the aerospace industry.


AIAA confers the distinction of Fellow upon individuals in recognition of their notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences or technology of aeronautics and astronautics. Nominees are AIAA Associate Fellows. Since the inception of this honor, 1,980 distinguished persons have been elected as a Fellow.


“AIAA takes great pride in honoring this Class of Honorary Fellows and Fellows. These professionals have distinguished themselves by their significant and lasting contributions to the aerospace community. Their passion, accomplishment and dedication to the industry are worthy of this recognition. They are the inspiration to aspire to even greater heights for the generations that follow,” added Dan Dumbacher, AIAA Executive Director.


For more information on the AIAA Honors Program, AIAA Honorary Fellows, or AIAA Fellows, contact Patricia A. Carr at 


2021 AIAA Honorary Fellows 

Daniel E. Hastings, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Gwynne E. Shotwell, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX)

The Honorable Heidi Shyu, Heidi Shyu Inc.


2021 AIAA Fellows

Juan J. Alonso, Stanford University

Randal W. Beard, Brigham Young University

Chiara Bisagni, Delft University of Technology

Stanley K. Borowski, NASA Glenn Research Center (retired)

Chia-Chun “George” Chao, The Aerospace Corporation (retired)

Olivier L. de Weck, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jeanette L. Domber, Ball Aerospace

Eric H. Ducharme, GE Aviation

Jack R. Edwards, North Carolina State University

Richard Scott Erwin, U.S. Air Force

Eric M. Feron, Georgia Institute of Technology

Irene M. Gregory, NASA Langley Research Center

W. Michael Hawes, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Michael Keidar, George Washington University

Erick Lansard, Thales

Roger D. Launius, Launius Historical Services

Ivett A. Leyva, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology and Engineering

Ioannis G. Mikellides, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Kristi A. Morgansen, University of Washington

Greg F. Naterer, Memorial University

Daniel I. Newman, Boeing Defense, Space & Security

Guillermo Paniagua, Purdue University

James E. Polk, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Shahrokh Shahpar, Rolls-Royce PLC

Walter A. Silva, NASA Langley Research Center

Karen A. Thole, Pennsylvania State University

William A. Welsh, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company

Oleg A. Yakimenko, Naval Postgraduate School


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About AIAA 
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 91 countries, and 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow AIAA on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.


Media Contact: Rebecca B. Gray,, 804-397-5270


Rebecca B. Gray, APR

Senior Communications Manager


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

12700 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 200, Reston, VA 20191-5807   804.397.5270 (cell)   

SpaceRef staff editor.