2014: Dr. Wanda M. Austin

Dr. Wanda M. Austin is the recipient of the 2014 Samuel L. Gravely Service & Leadership Award, presented by the Pacific Battleship Center on 20 January 2014.  Dr. Austin is president and chief executive officer of The Aerospace Corporation, a position she assumed on January 1, 2008. 

She is internationally recognized for her work in satellite and payload system acquisition, systems engineering, and system simulation.  Austin served on President Obama’s Review of Human Spaceflight Plans Committee in 2009, and in 2010 was appointed to the Defense Science Board.

Austin is committed to inspiring the next generation to study the STEM disciplines and to make science and engineering preferred career choices.  Under her guidance, the corporation has undertaken a number of initiatives in support of this goal, including participation in MathCounts, US FIRST Robotics, and Change the Equation. Austin was among the first CEOs to commit to Change the Equation. 

Austin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Franklin & Marshall College, a Master of Science in systems engineering and mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Doctorate in systems engineering from the University of Southern California.  Austin is a fellow of the AIAA, and is a member of the Defense Science Board, the National Academy of Engineering, the International Academy of Astronautics, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Space Foundation, and on the Board of Trustees for the University of Southern California and the National Geographic Society.

The Aerospace Corporation is a leading architect for the nation’s national security space programs. The Aerospace Corporation is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the objective application of science and technology toward the solution of critical issues affecting the nation’s space program.  The Aerospace Corporation has nearly 4,000 employees and annual revenues of more than $850 million.