CU-Boulder Faculty, Students Win 2010 Space Research and Education Awards

January 15, 2010

Five University of Colorado at Boulder faculty members and students were honored with prestigious research awards from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the organization's 2010 meeting held this month in Orlando.

University of Colorado at Boulder Professor Daniel Baker was honored with the prestigious James A. Van Allen Space Environments Award for excellence and leadership in space research. Baker, director of CU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, was cited in particular for "the study of the magnetosphere and its consequences for radiation effects on earth-orbiting satellites." Baker also is a professor in the astrophysical and planetary sciences department and the department of physics.

The 2010 Losey Atmospheric Sciences Award was presented to Professor Jeffrey Forbes of the aerospace engineering sciences department. Forbes, who is chair of the department and holds the Glenn Murphy Endowed Chair, was cited for his "extensive contributions to our knowledge and understanding of the re-entry, aerobraking and orbital drag environments of the Earth, Mars and Venus."

Of the four AIAA Foundation Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Awards awarded to graduate students participating in research endeavors as part of their engineering and science studies, two went to CU-Boulder doctoral students: Jason Roadman and David Wiese of the aerospace engineering sciences department.

In addition, the 2009 Willy Z. Sadeh Graduate Student Award in Space Engineering and Space Sciences was presented to CU-Boulder doctoral student Carl Seubert of the aerospace engineering sciences department.

Baker earned his doctorate at the University of Iowa working under Van Allen, an internationally renowned space scientist who was the lead researcher on 24 NASA space missions and who discovered the radiation belts encircling Earth that bear his name.

Baker is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the International Academy of Astronautics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2006, Baker chaired a committee for the National Research Council that issued a report titled "Space Radiation Hazards and the Vision for Space Exploration," which probed the physical risks and technology obstacles of extended human space journeys.

Forbes earned his doctorate from Harvard University in 1975 and is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He received the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal in 1991 and the Air Force Commendation Medal in 1974. His research interests include remote sensing of the upper atmosphere environments of Earth, Mars and other planets as well as geomagnetic storm effects on satellite drag variability.

AIAA is the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide and 90 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space and defense. For more information visit www.aiaa.org.

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