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The Lew Allen Award for Excellence Recepients

Lew Allen Award for Excellence - Past Recipients

Year Name Area of Achievement
1986 Graeme Aston Development and advocacy of electric propulsion technology
1986 Lee-Lueng Fu Analysis of ocean satellite altimetry data
1986 Paula J. Grunthaner Studies of the chemical structure of interfaces in metal-semiconductor and insulator-semiconductor systems
1986 Stanley P. Sander Development of experimental techniques and scientific contributions to the study of tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry
1987 Robert H. Brown Outer planet satellite studies
1987 Margaret A. Frerking Millimeter and submillimeter wavelength heterodyne receivers
1987 Joseph Katz Optoelectronic devices
1987 Paul M. McElroy High accuracy, light weight, graphite-epoxy panels, LDR feasibility
1988 Brian C. Beckman Computer technology, simulation, concurrent processing
1988 Michael H. Freilich Satellite oceanography, NSCAT
1988 Jakob J. van Zyl Radar scattering, imaging radar polarimentry
1988 Howard A. Zebker Radar polarimetry and its application to studies of surface roughness, multiple scattering, and other geophysical parameters
1989 Bonnie J. Buratti Photometric function studies of planetary and planetary satellite surfaces
1989 Geoffrey Blewitt Long-baseline geodesy using GPS
1989 Henry Le Duc NbN-based Josephson-junction mixers for submillimeter astronomy
1989 Joseph W. Perry Organic non-linear materials research
1990 Robert W. Fathauer and True-Lon Lin Development of Si-based MWIR and LWIR detectors
1990 Randall R. Friedl Kinetics and photochemistry of Earth’s stratosphere and the phenomenon of polar ozone depletion
1990 Brian D. Hunt Thin film deposition technology and high-temperature superconductors
1990 William R. McGrath Submillimeter wave superconductor-insulator-superconductor tunnel junction heterodyne receivers
1991 Michael H. Hecht Photovoltaic effects in metal-semiconductor systems
1991 Kevin J. Hussey Computer animation of remotely sensed data
1991 Randy D. May Laboratory and atmospheric tuneable laser spectroscopy
1991 David P. Miller Artificial intelligence for microrobotics and planetary rovers
1992 Lloyd D. Bell II Scanning tunneling microscopy-related technologies
1992 Edward T. Chow Sequence alignment coprocessors Biological Information Signal Processor
1992 James L. Fanson Articulating Fold Mirrors for the Wide Field/Planetary Camera-II
1992 Eric R. Fossum Focal Plane Signal Processing and High Performance Image Sensors
1993 Pierre F. Baldi Theory and Applications of Artificial Neural Systems
1993 Usama M. Fayayad Pioneer work in machine learning/advanced S/W technology to support development of scientist-trainable automated image analysis systems
1993 Seth R. Marder Science of organic materials for nonlinear optics
1993 Patrick J. Smyth Pattern recognition, learning and classification for the analysis of planetary images
1994 Rajiv S. Desai Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Technology
1994 Sarath D. Gunapala QWIP Long Wavelength Focal Plane Arrays
1994 David C. Redding Complex Optical Systems
1995 Steve A. Chien Computer Science
1995 George A. Hajj Theoretical Physics
1995 Michael E. Hoenk Physics
1995 Gloria L. Manney Atmospheric Physics
1996 Yi Chao Ocean Circulation model and in situ and satellite observations
1996 Alexander S. Konopliv Innovative gravity data analysis techniques and creation of high-resolution gravity field models for the Moon, Mars, and Venus
1996 W. Thomas Pike Development of the microseismometer for planetary exploration
1997 Shouleh Nikzad Fundamental understanding and development of advanced scientific low-energy particle detectors
1997 Bedabrata Pain Maintaining and expanding JPL’s lead role in advanced solid state imagers, particularly the Active Pixel Sensor
1997 Paul Stolorz Data mining, image analysis, and massively parallel computing for the automated analysis of very large scientific data sets, and in the pioneering of concepts for onboard analysis of science data
1998 Michael E. Ressler Scientific utilization of satellite radar interferometry to study the stability and mass balance of the great polar ice sheets at their junction with ocean waters
1998 Eric J. Rignot Satellite radar interferometry to study the stability and mass balance of the great polar ice sheets at their junction with ocean waters
1998 Simon H. Yueh Research of passive microwave polarimetric remote sensing to Earth Science investigations
1999 James Bock Low-background SPIDER bolometer arrays, whose extremely low noise characteristics and large array sizes enable a significant step forward in submillimeter astronomy
1999 Son van Nghiem Polarimetric scatterometry for Earth science remote sensing investigations and contributions to future spaceborne advanced instrument concepts
1999 Adrian Stoica Evolvable hardware & for creating a world-class research center in this rapidly emerging field.
2000 Richard Dekany Development of the Palomar Adaptive Optics System which provides a dramatic new capability for the 5-m telescope & opens new areas of astrophysical research such as the search for planets
2000 Andrea Donnellan New computational methods in the field of scientific data understanding systems, with applications to complex & varied natural phenomena in numerous scientific fields
2000 Sabrina M. Grannan (Feldman) MECA Wet Chemistry Laboratory and the development of critical microfluidics technologies, which are enabling important new in situ measurement capabilities for NASA
2001 Ayanna Howard Autonomous systems development, including innovative real time software tools for spacecraft precise and safe entry descending and landing applications
2001 Ian Joughin Interferometric SAR for polar ice sheet topography and motion; development of remote sensing techniques for vector measurement of ice flow; contributions to Earth Science missions
2001 Victoria S. Meadows Bringing to JPL an important new research endeavor in the now-evolving area of detection of biosignatures from extrasolar planets by spectroscopic observations with space-based astronomical instruments
2001 Juergen Mueller Development of miniaturized thrusters and feed system components, a new area of propulsion engineering which is critical to the development of highly capable microspacecraft
2002 Serge Dubovitsky Interferometric & formation flying technologies & space missions, and developing highly innovative optoelectronic concepts including dual target metrology and the Modulation Sideband Technology for Absolute Range (MSTAR) sensor.
2002 Andrew Edie Johnson Machine vision algorithms for safe and precise landing.
2002 Dmitry Strekalov Quantum Lithography, and creating the quantum internet tested and the single-photon quantum optics technology capabilities at JPL, which form the keystone for the larger JPL quantum Technologies, thrust area.
2002 Daniel Wilson Fabrication of diffractive optics by electron beam lithography, particularly as applied to convex gratings for imaging spectrometers.
2003 Jennifer Dooley Singularly responsible for establishing a significant new area of nanolaminate reflector technology at JPL and is now leading the technology effort on the large aperture technology development.
2003 Christophe Dumas In the application of adaptive optics to astrophysical problems. Effectively combined the techniques of diffraction-limited imaging and infrared spectroscopy to provide multispectral views of small bodies in the solar system and nearby young stars at high spatial resolution.
2003 Eui—Hyeok Yang Developed several significant areas of research in MEMS-based actuators for space applications, utilizing MEMS actuators for the development of high-pressure, low leak-rate microvalves, continuous membrane deformable mirrors and inch-worm devices for segmented mirror assembly and control for large aperture, space-based telescopes.
2004 Andrey Matsko For seminal and unique theoretical contributions in quantum optics, in particular the nonlinear interactions of crystalline whispering gallery mode resonators.
2004 Alina Moussessian Outstanding leadership and technological innovation that has enabled a new capability using lightweight active membrane antennas for space-based radar and for helping build a strong technology program.
2004 Charles Norton For demonstration of unique talents as a technical leader in the field of advanced parallel computing which has enabled high fidelity, efficient simulations of physical systems.
2004 Michael Seiffert Leadership in establishing dark energy as a new field of research at JPL and for breakthrough developments in mass-producible cryogenic radiometer arrays.
2005 Daniel Stern (aka Stevens) For revealing the early history of the Universe. Finding one of the most distant galaxies known, he inferred that the Universe remains ionized to an earlier epoch than previously believed.
2005 Linda del Castillo For the work in development of high temperature resistant electronics and the associated electronic packaging to be used in hostile environments such as encountered on the surface of the planet Venus.
2005 Lorene Samoska For the development and fostering of millimeter-wave power amplifier technology. This technology has become mission enabling for passive and active science observations in the frequency range 90-2500GHz.
2006 Amanda Hendrix For outstanding scientific leadership and major contributions to the field of ultraviolet spectroscopic research of planetary bodies.
2006 Harish Manohara For advancing the performance of carbon nanotube-based field emitters and Schottky diode high-frequency detectors as enabling technologies for miniature science instruments and nanoelectronics.
2006 Adrian Ponce For pioneering work on chemical and biological detection and instrumentation, which meets critical needs in astrobiology, planetary protection and national defense.
2007 Jason Rhodes

For outstanding scientific leadership in the field of weak lensing which enabled the first large-scale measurement of the three-dimensional distribution of dark matter in our universe.

2007 Paul Johnson

For research in the areas of atomic and molecular physics, physics and chemistry of planetary ices, and instrument development.

2008 Pekka Kangaslahti For demonstrating world leadership in the fields of monolithic microwave integrated circuit design and millimeter-wave component development, capabilities.
2008 Ioannis Mikellides For the development of outstanding computational models of the plasma physics in electric propulsion hollow cathodes, and of their major wear mechanisms.
2008 Hui Su For major advances in the understanding of water vapor and cloud feedbacks on climate change.
2008 Kiri Wagstaff For advancing the performance and application of machine learning methods to onboard and ground-based space science, Earth science and spacecraft engineering.
2009 Charles Matt Bradford For the development of a novel design for a submillimeter/far infrared grating spectrometer being used for ground-based discoveries and future observation from space.
2009 Cory J. Hill For technical innovation and leadership in developing epitaxial growth processes for advanced Sb-based optoelectronics and long wave superlattice focal plane arrays for remote sensing systems.
2009 Jeffrey S. Norris For exemplary vision, innovation and leadership in fundamentally advancing the capabilities for scientific involvement in planning operations on NASA's missions.
2009 Josh Willis For fundamental contributions to the understanding of global ocean circulation and sea level change from analysis of satellite and in-situ observations.
2010 Shannon Brown For innovations in the field of microwave radiometry as demonstrated on Topex, Jason-I and II and the novel application of radiometers to measure climate change.
2010 Julie Castillo-Rogez For outstanding leadership in establishing the Planetary Tides Simulation Facility and exceptional scientific accomplishments in measuring fundamental ice physical properties under planetary conditions.
2010 Amy Mainzer For her knowledge of solar system minor bodies based on automated methods of analyzing space infrared observations.
2010 Nathan Strange For expertise and innovation in gravity-assist tour design, and for both leadership and creativity in the development of novel advanced mission concepts.
2011 Ken Cooper For the development and demonstration of the world's first THz imaging radar system.
2011 Kevin Hand For outstanding leadership in the field of Astrobiology.
2011 Richard Hofer For outstanding technical contributions and leadership in establishing JPL as a world leader in Hall thruster research and development.
2011 Eric Larour For outstanding accomplishment in developing the Ice Sheet System Model that significantly contributes to our knowledge of Global Change.
2012 Marina Brozović For her exceptional leadership and research roles in both satellite ephemeris development and near-Earth object radar research.
2012 Ian Clark For exceptional leadership and achievement in the development of advanced Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) technologies.
2012 Baris Erkmen For outstanding leadership and technical accomplishments in optical communications and imaging research, especially the establishment of computational ghost imaging as a significant new area of research at JPL.
2012 Christian Frankenberg For quantifying global plant photosynthesis from satellite chlorophyll fluorescence observations, enabling uniquely valuable unprecedented insights into the terrestrial carbon cycle.
2013 Abigail Allwood For geobiology research and scientific leadership in Mars Sample Return impacting direction of the Mars 2020 mission.
2013 Carmen Boening For performing fundamental interdisciplinary research in climate science and coordinating research on sea level rise prediction at JPL.
2013 Michael Mischna For leadership in Mars atmospheric science research that enables improved EDL precision and advances in knowledge of Mars’ climate history.
2013 David Thompson For leadership of machine learning by autonomous robots and intelligent onboard analysis of large datasets.
2014 Rodney Anderson For his exceptional discoveries and leadership in the development of new trajectory design techniques, particularly the lunar low-energy trajectory design.
2014 Michelle Gierach For expanding the scope of JPL oceanography research in marine biophysical interaction, ecosystem dynamics, and ocean salinity science.
2014 Robert Hodyss For pioneering studies of the properties of cryogenic hydrocarbon liquids and critical contributions to the development of the PIXL instrument.
2014 Aaron Parness For development of new climbing robots and robotic grippers with widespread application to space and terrestrial exploration.

NOTE: When the award was founded in 1986, it was called the Director’s Research Achievement Award. After Allen retired as JPL’s director in 1990, it was renamed in his honor as the Lew Allen Award for Excellence.

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