Scientist Award

Distinguished Scientist Award

The Distinguished Scientist Award is presented at the Hypervelocity Impact Symposium to an individual or to a research team for significant and lasting contribution to the field of hypervelocity science. The award consists of a plaque citing the accomplishments of the award recipient(s) and a monetary remuneration set by the Board of Directors. The recipient(s) also becomes an Honorary Member of the Society, i.e., a lifetime member with all the privileges and responsibilities of a regular member except that dues are waived.

Formal letters of nomination are now invited for the Distinguished Scientist Award.

Award candidates may be nominated by anyone who has been involved in hypervelocity impact science and engineering, not just Society members. In preparing the letter of nomination, nominators should:

  • ・Include supporting information about the candidate
  • ・Address the candidate’s technical recognition within the community
  • ・Highlight the importance of their work and its contribution to hypervelocity science
  • ・Describe the nominated individual’s personal contribution and service to the technical field of hypervelocity impact.

The Awards Committee would like to see the widest participation from the scientific community in nominating a Distinguished Scientist whose contributions reflect the talents of researchers around the world.

Nominations must be received no later than February 16th, 2024. Questions about the award should be directed to the committee chairs, Joshua Miller and Erkai Watson.

Distinguished Scientist Award Recipients

The award is given for sustained leadership, innovation and technical excellence in hypervelocity research. Each award recipient is also recognized for their specific contributions to the field.

Alexander C. Charters(General Research Corporation), 1989

  • ・Aeroballistic range design
  • ・Spark photography
  • ・Projectile aerodynamics
  • ・Two-stage light-gas gun technology
  • ・Hypervelocity impact
  • ・Terminal ballistics

Alois J. Stilp and Volker Hohler(Ernst-Mach-Institut), 1992

  • ・Hypervelocity launch techniques
  • ・Two-stage light-gas gun technology
  • ・Sabot technology
  • ・Penetration mechanics
  • ・Hypervelocity impact
  • ・Dynamic response of materials

James R. Asay(Sandia National Laboratories), 1994

  • ・Time-resolved shock-wave diagnostics
  • ・Strength of materials at high pressures
  • ・Shock release techniques
  • ・High-pressure solid-liquid phase boundaries
  • ・Kinetics of melting and vaporization

Burton G. Cour-Palais (NASA-JSC), 1996

  • ・Hypervelocity impact
  • ・Meteoroid and orbital debris threat environment
  • ・Meteoroid and orbital debris shielding
  • ・Engineering design equations for shielding
  • ・Developer of the multi-shock shield concept

Hallock F. Swift (Physics Applications, Inc.), 1998

  • ・Aeroballistic range design
  • ・High-speed photography
  • ・Aeroballistic range design
  • ・Two-stage light-gas gun technology
  • ・Hypervelocity impact
  • ・Debris cloud dynamics

Charles E. Anderson, Jr. (Southwest Research Institute), 2000

  • ・Penetration mechanics
  • ・Numerical simulations of penetration
  • ・Modeling dynamic material response
  • ・Terminal ballistics

Dennis L. Orphal (International Research Associates, Inc.), 2003

  • ・Penetration mechanics
  • ・Fundamental studies in hypervelocity impact
  • ・Innovative hypervelocity projectile concepts
  • ・Reverse ballistics experimentation
  • ・Cratering dynamics

Lalit C. Chhabildas (Sandia National Laboratories), 2005

  • ・Experimental shock physics
  • ・High-pressure dynamic response of materials
  • ・Three-stage hypervelocity launcher
  • ・Shock-induced vaporization
  • ・Isentropic and multi-axial loading techniques

Gordon R. Johnson (Southwest Research Institute), 2007

  • ・Large distortion, explicit, nonlinear finite element code development
  • ・Lagrangian meshless methods
  • ・Development of computational material constitutive models
  • ・Dynamic material response
  • ・Armor/anti-armor applications

Peter H. Schultz (Brown University), 2010

  • ・Solar system impact cratering
  • ・Atmospheric effects on impact cratering and ejecta
  • ・Oblique hypervelocity impacts
  • ・Impact flash spectroscopy
  • ・Particle-image velocimetry of ejecta
  • ・Electromagnetic properties of hypervelocity impact

Andrew J. Piekutowski(University of Dayton Research Institute), 2012

  • ・Two-stage light-gas gun experimentation
  • ・Debris cloud dynamics
  • ・Imaging of debris clouds
  • ・Experimental penetration mechanics
  • ・Three-stage light gas gun development

William P. Schonberg (Missouri University of Science and Technology), 2015

  • ・Micrometeoroid and orbital debris impact protection and analysis
  • ・Spacecraft vulnerability and survivability
  • ・Composite material response to hypervelocity impact
  • ・Hypervelocity impact physics

David A. Crawford (Sandia National Laboratories), 2017

  • ・Electrostatic and magnetic properties of hypervelocity impact
  • ・Shock physics analysis tool development and state-of-the-art simulations
  • ・Shock physics stewardship/training/mentoring/collaboration
  • ・Large planetary impact simulations
  • ・Shoemaker-Levy 9 predictions and post-impact analysis

Dennis E. Grady(Applied Research Associates), 2019

  • ・Theoretical description of shock wave structure
  • ・Development of dynamic failure experimental techniques and measurement
  • ・Dynamic failure and fragmentation modeling
  • ・Dynamic response of brittle materials
  • ・Phase transformation modeling
  • ・Analytic description of shock wave propagation in porous materials

Eric L. Christiansen(NASA-JSC), 2022

  • ・Key developer in meteoroid and orbital debris assessment tools for NASA and its partners
  • ・Developed and received numerous patents for low-weight, high-performance meteoroid and orbital debris shields
  • ・Performed as the meteoroid and orbital debris subject matter expert for numerous space programs like the Space Shuttle, ISS, Orion and an array of US commercial vehicles
  • ・Developed and fostered coordinating relationships with the international committee to protect Space Shuttle, ISS and Artemis elements from orbital debris