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SFTE Call For Nominations- 48th Annual Symposium

Every year, at this time, the SFTE Board of Directors (BoD) requests your nominations for our annual awards program. We have three significant SFTE annual awards: the “’Kelly’ Johnson” Award for individual achievement, the “James S. McDonnell” award for team achievement, and the Director’s Award for service to the Society. We also solicit nominations for SFTE Fellow, the highest level of membership in the Society. Candidates for all awards/Fellows may be nominated by individual society members or SFTE chapters.

Deadline for submissions of nominations for all awards and Fellows to the International Headquarters in Lancaster CA is Monday, August 21, 2017. Any award for which no acceptable nominations have been received by this date will not be granted. The awards will be presented at the 48th Annual International Symposium Awards Banquet in Destin, Florida. Attached to this message is a complete list of previous winners for reference. A brief description of each award, the requirements for Fellows, and the Scholarships are as follows:


The annual SFTE award recognizing excellence and outstanding achievement in flight test engineering is known as the “Kelly” Johnson Award. The initial award was presented to the legendary engineer of the Lockheed Skunk Works, Clarence L. ‘Kelly” Johnson, at the 1973 SFTE Symposium. The most recent recipient of this prestigious award was Alan Lawless, Chief of Flight Test Engineering at Honda Aircraft Company, during 2015.

Please note that since 2006 nominations for the Kelly Johnson Award have been restricted to individuals only. Eligibility is not contingent on SFTE membership.


This prestigious award was named for Mr. McDonnell because of his strong and enduring emphasis on the Team as exemplified in his many messages to employees over the intercom which always started with “This is Old Mac calling all the Team”. The 2016 Award went to the F/A-18 Block H12 Point Mugu Detachment Flight Test Engineering Team comprised of the F/A-18 and EA-18G Advanced Weapons Lab, the VX-31, the VX-9, the NAWCWD China Lake VX-23, the VX-20 NAS Patuxent River, the VX-30 NAX Point Mugu, the VFA-15 NAS Oceana, and Boeing St. Louis.

A nominated Team shall be or have been active in flight test engineering. Eligibility for the award shall not be contingent on SFTE membership or affiliation. Only Flight Test Teams may be nominated. The JSM Award is another major award with international recognition which has been awarded since 2006.


Recognition for exceptional dedication and service to the Society of Flight Test Engineers is provided by the SFTE Directors Award. Members who have provided significant and lasting contributions toward the welfare, stature, leadership, or membership of the Society are eligible for nomination. Nominations for this award must be made by a chapter or a member of the SFTE BoD. If you know of a deserving person who has gone “above and beyond” to serve SFTE, please contact your local chapter officers and encourage them to nominate that person. If you are currently a “member-at-large” (i.e. with no chapter affiliation) and you wish to nominate any individual, please contact one of the chapters, through contacts provided on the SFTE web page or through the chapter addresses in the Flight Test Newsletter, and request the chapter to endorse your nominee.


The highest grade achievable in the Society of Flight Test Engineers is that of a Fellow. To be considered for the grade of Fellow, an SFTE member must have been a Senior Member in good standing for at least two years and have attained a position of notable distinction in the field of flight testing. A Fellow is awarded automatic lifetime membership in the Society along with the distinction and responsibility associated with this honor. The general society membership and/or individual chapters may nominate fellows. Following receipt of your nominations and verification of their SFTE standing, the existing Fellows will vote to select a new Fellow. The BoD strongly encourages each chapter to submit a nomination for each award, including a candidate eligible for Fellow. Nominations should be in the form of a one to two page narrative justifying why the nominee should be the next recipient. Nominations which include a resume, letter of recommendation, and how the individual has positively impacted the flight test community are encouraged.


Dependents of Society Members in good standing or Student Members in good standing for at least 6 months may apply for a scholarship from SFTE. The student must have completed their college freshman year and be pursuing their first undergraduate degree majoring in engineering, computer sciences, mathematics, physics, or other technical discipline related to the aerospace field. Further scholarship Information and the application are available on our website. Applications are due by August 21, 2017 with the transcripts received either electronically or by mail by September 4, 2017.

Nominations may be submitted via snail-mail at the address in the header of this message, through e-mail to sfte@sfte.org, or by using the online Nomination Form at http://www.sfte.org/about-sfte/awards-a-recipients/award-nomination-form.

I sincerely hope you will take the time to consider these awards. If you know of a qualified individual, team, or project, please help them be recognized by submitting individual or chapter nominations. Again, Award nominations need to be received at SFTE Headquarters by 21 August 2017 (post or electronic). We look forward to seeing each of you at the 48th Annual Symposium when we announce the winners!