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This year at the Engineering Excellence Awards gala, ACEC presented its most prestigious individual award, the Distinguished Award of Merit.  The Award of Merit is given to an individual for exemplary achievement in engineering, pure or applied natural science, or an educator in one or more of these fields, either American or foreign. The nominee must have unquestioned integrity and have displayed initiative, inventiveness, exceptional industry, individuality, cooperativeness, and leadership, resulting in a preeminently high measure of accomplishment in the field of the nominee’s activities, according to the judgment of the associates of the nominee and other specialists in the same field. The nominee must be of such stature and renown to continue the prestige and purpose of the award.

Since 1952, ACEC’s Distinguished Award of Merit has been bestowed annually upon leaders in government, education, science, and business, including former Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Herbert Hoover, along with General Lucius Clay, Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, Carl Sagan, W. Edwards Deming, and Astronaut Neil Armstrong.

This year’s recipient is Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA’s first female Launch Director. Thompson leads the launch operations for NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems and Orion’s first test flight, called Artemis I. Artemis is NASA’s robotic and human Moon exploration program and the first step in the next era of human exploration, establishing a sustainable presence on the Moon to prepare for missions to Mars.

Watch the presentation from this year’s EEA gala here:

YouTube video

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July 13, 2023



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