Saturday, March 13, 2010

Schmitt honored with inaugural Columbia Medal

The Aerospace Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will award Harrison Schmitt, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE with the inaugural Columbia Medal, which recognizes individuals who have made significant advances in the fields of aerospace engineering, science and technology. ASCE President Blaine D. Leonard, P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE will present the award at the Earth and Space 2010 Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii on March 16.

Schmitt was a member of the Apollo 17 flight crew and is one of the few people to walk on the moon. He has logged more than 300 hours in space, including 22 hours and 4 minutes on the lunar surface. He was also a member of the U.S. Senate from 1977 to 1983, representing the state of New Mexico.

Schmitt has a bachelor's degree in science from California Institute of Technology and a doctoral degree in geology from Harvard University. He has received over 25 special honors and recognitions, including a Fullbright Fellowship from 1957 to 1958, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 1973 and he was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1977.

The Columbia Medal was originally named to honor the first space shuttle, but it also pays homage to the crew that perished when the spacecraft broke-up on reentry in February, 2003.

In addition to the Columbia Medal, ASCE will present Wendell Mendell, Ph.D. of NASA's Johnson Space Center and Prof. Walter Boles of Middle Tennessee State University with an award for Outstanding Professional Service. Prof. Haym Benaroya of Rutgers University and Gerald Sanders of NASA Johnson Space Center will be presented with an award for Outstanding Technical Contribution. The Journal of Aerospace Engineering will present the best paper award to Jifeng Xu, Abe Askari, Olaf Weckner, and Stewart Silling (2008) and Takashi Matsushima, Jun Katagiri, Kentaro Uesugi, Akira Tsuchiyama, and Tsukaka Nakano (2009) as well as honorable mention to Bret Stanford and Peter Ifju (2009).

The Earth and Space 2010 Conference invites engineers from all corners of the world to tackle the issues facing construction and operations in challenging environments, space exploration, and sustainable development on earth, in space and other planetary bodies.

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 144,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society.

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