Crassidis receives Atwood award for aerospace engineering education

Students working on building a microsatellite.

Students of John Crassidis building a microsatellite. Credit: Douglas Levere.

Release Date: January 6, 2017

Portrait of John Crassidis.

John Crassidis

“John’s sustained excellence in research, education, and dedication to our students has been exemplary. ”
Kemper Lewis, professor and chair
UB Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

BUFFALO, N.Y. — John L. Crassidis, PhD, CUBRC Professor in Space Situational Awareness in UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has won the 2016 J. Leland Atwood Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

The national award, cosponsored by AIAA and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), recognizes individuals for their “commitment to excellence in aerospace engineering education.”

Crassidis is a faculty member in the engineering school’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and director of the Center for Multisource Information Fusion (CMIF), a research partnership between UB and CUBRC. He will receive the award at a ceremony Jan. 10 in Grapevine, Texas.

His recent work has focused on tracking space debris. As director of CMIF, he leads a team of researchers focusing on basic and applied research in multiple-source information processing environments, such as in multiple-sensor or multiply-instrumented systems.

Crassidis is also principal investigator for UB’s participation in the Air Force’s University Nanosat Program and NASA’s CubeSat Initiative. He has supervised more than 60 graduate students, many of whom have gone on to become professors and government program managers.   

“John’s sustained excellence in research, education, and dedication to our students has been exemplary,” said Kemper Lewis, professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “The UB nanosat lab he established continues to be recognized nationally in scholarship, broader impact, and student involvement. Many students have said that their experience in the program was the highlight of their time at UB.”

A three-time UB alumnus — PhD ’93, MS ’91 and BS ’89 — Crassidis joined the UB faculty in 2001. His past honors include UB’s 2014 Richard T. Sarkin Award for Excellence in Teaching; the 2012 AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Award; a 2006 AIAA Sustained Service Award; and the Society of Automotive Engineers’ 2006 Ralph T. Teetor Educational Award. He was named a fellow of AIAA in 2015 and a fellow of the American Astronautical Society (AAS) in 2014.

The J. Leland Atwood Award annually honors an aerospace engineering educator, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the profession. Atwood played a major role in the development of aviation and aerospace technologies for more than 50 years.

AIAA is the world’s largest aerospace professional society, serving a diverse range of more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and nearly 100 corporate members.

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