Published: March 27, 2023 By

The Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences is honoring seven graduates for achievements in industry, research, and public service.

The 2023 AeroBuffs Club Alumni Academy inductees are being recognized for work in business, government, and major research contributions to aerospace.

“These outstanding graduates are being honored for being visionaries in aeronautics and astronautics and leaders in their fields,” said Hanspeter Schaub, chair of Smead Aerospace. “We are pleased to recognize outstanding careers in aerospace engineering sciences, as well as early career achievements.  These individuals are solving big challenges and are leading the industry towards new frontiers.”

Honorees are being recognized in three categories:

Outstanding Alumni for Excellence in Commercial Enterprise

  • Daryl Bahls (AeroEngr'77) (Over 40 Category) - Bahls retired from a 37-year career at Boeing and Martin Marietta, where he made major contributions to interplanetary mission design to solar system bodies, gravity assist flybys, and atmospheric entry. He also designed large-scale and specialized satellite constellations for geosynchronous and low-Earth orbits.
  • Kenneth Center (AeroEngr'89, MS'91, PhD'93) (Over 40 Category) - Center founded a small business that created scientifically grounded computer animations for aircraft accident investigations. He is now director of advanced programs at Orbit Logic, where he specializes in autonomous flight software and modular space architecture technologies.
  • Bradley Cheetham (MAeroEngr'11) (Under 40 Category) - Cheetham is the co-founder and CEO of Advanced Space, where he has led the successful lunar orbiter CAPSTONE along with a portfolio of commercial and government space projects. He also played a central role in bringing an FAA Center of Excellence in Commercial Space to CU Boulder.

Outstanding Alumni for Excellence in Public Service

  • Kyle Kemble (AeroEngr'13, MS'13) (Under 40 Category) - Kemble is a leading figure for the development and use of small satellite technologies and has made important contributions to the United States Space Force in the Space Warfighting Analysis Center.
  • Tim Straube (AeroEngr'91, MS'93, PhD'10) (Over 40 Category) - Straube is a leader for NASA’s Orion program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, with key roles in the production of the Software, Guidance, and Navigation systems for the Artemis I mission around the Moon, completed in December 2022, and earlier Orion flight tests. He previously had leadership and critical technical roles on the Autonomous Landing Hazard Avoidance Technology, Space Shuttle, and International Space Station programs.

Outstanding Alumni for Excellence in Research

  • Daniel Kubitschek (MechEngr'90; MAeroEngr'94, PhD'97) (Over 40 Category) - Kubitschek was a major contributor to autonomous navigation for the Deep Impact comet mission, aero braking on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and led attitude determination and control and flight dynamics for the Emirates Mars Mission.
  • Gary Wick (AeroEngr'88, MS'90, PhD'95) (Over 40 Category) - Wick, an internationally recognized expert in the NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory, has made advancements in the application and evaluation of remote sensing for oceanic and atmospheric research.

All of the honorees will be officially recognized at the 2023 AeroBuffs Club alumni banquet and awards ceremony on April 21. Registrations are still being accepted for CU Boulder aerospace alumni who would like to attend.