Aviation Week’s 55th Annual Laureate Awards

Boeing 787 team, Virgin Australia, Antarctic rescuers, and military cadets among honorees

Aviation Week Laureate Awards honor extraordinary accomplishments in exploration, innovation, and heroism Aviation, aerospace and defense leaders in 10 categories were honored last night at Aviation Week’s 55th Annual Laureate Awards, a black tie awards gala recognizing the year’s most remarkable individuals and teams for their extraordinary achievements in operations and technological advancement.

Created half a century ago, the awards ceremony is the industry’s premier event—attracting scores of industry pioneers and thought-leaders from around the world.

“The Laureate Award winners consistently set high standards of excellence for our industry,” said Greg Hamilton, president, Aviation Week. “It is truly awe-inspiring to be in their midst and bear witness to their heroics, innovations, and achievements.”

The 10 category winners include:

* Philip J. Klass Award for Lifetime Achievement: Pete Rustan, Former Director for Mission Support, U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, for pioneering  numerous technical advances in space and aviation

* Aviation Week Heroism Award: C-17 Globemaster III Aircrew Members of “Ice 68” from the 62nd and 446th Airlift Wings of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., who performed a life-saving rescue of a government contractor from McMurdo Station, Antarctica in June 2011

* Aeronautics/Propulsion: The Boeing 787 Dreamliner Team, for combining advanced aerodynamics, new composite materials, and more-electric systems to bring the first new commercial jet of the century to market

* Business/General Aviation: Preston Henne, SVP, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., for his role in designing, developing, and testing the Gulfstream 650 on-schedule, despite setbacks

* Commercial Air Transport: John Borghetti, CEO, Virgin Australia, for leading one of the airline industry’s most dramatic transformations and cementing Virgin Australia as a major international player

* Defense: The Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) Satellite Recovery Team, for rescuing the U.S. Air Force’s $2-billion AEHF satellite after its main propulsion subsystem failed

* IT/Electronics: Swedish Air Force Team Members and the Danish Military, for successfully and quickly integrating Link 16 on the Saab JAS-39 Gripen in support of NATO operations over Libya

* Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO): Patrick Doyle, Senior Manager, Hangar Maintenance (Avionics and Powerplants), FedEx Express, for his efforts to identify common causes of avionics failures

* Space: Kepler Mission Team, for searching the Milky Way for Earth-like planets in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars, leading to the discovery of 1,235 exoplanet candidates—68 of which are similar to Earth

* Workforce: Paul Graziani, Founder and CEO, Analytical Graphics Inc., for donating software licenses to educational institutions and encouraging students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math