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Friday, January 25, 2013

AIAA Honors Draper Engineers as Associate Fellows

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) honored Draper engineers Neil Adams, Linda Fuhrman, Lauren Kessler, and Leena Singh as Associate Fellows for 2013 during the 51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting in Grapevine, Texas on Jan. 7.

The distinction is awarded to individuals who are AIAA Senior Members with at least twelve years of professional experience, outstanding work or contributions to the field of aeronautics or astronautics and recommendations from at least three current Associate Fellows. AIAA is the largest aerospace technical society in the world.

Neil Adams is currently the director of Tactical Systems at Draper. He has been involved with the design of Guidance, Navigation, and Control Systems for over 25 years, the development of autonomous technology for over 15 years, and previously served as Draper’s director of algorithms and software engineering. In 1995, he received Draper’s Distinguished Performance Award for development of the Space Shuttle Flight Control System for operations involving the Russian MIR Space Station.




Linda Fuhrman is currently the Technical Director for Draper’s efforts in support of the Dream Chaser Commercial Crew Development Program. She has worked over 25 years in developing, managing, and implementing space flight systems for NASA, with 13 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and over 10 years at Draper Laboratory. She has led numerous program developments and marketing efforts for space-based science missions and instruments and support for the manned space flight program. She has received numerous Group Achievement Awards from NASA and received AIAA’s New England Engineer of the Year Award in 2005.



Lauren Kessler specializes in the cross-fertilization of human-in-the-loop, autonomy, and avionics technologies among the aerospace, undersea, biomedical and energy domains. She has worked at Draper for the past nine years, and is Division Staff for the Information and Decision Systems (IDS) division. She is currently working on the development of advanced clinical decision systems as well as novel methods for test and evaluation of intelligent autonomous systems. She is a commercially rated helicopter pilot, and is the Civil Air Patrol Assistant Inspector General for Massachusetts.




Leena Singh is Draper’s group leader for strategic and space guidance & control efforts. Over the past 10 years at Draper, she has worked on the control of autonomous systems and has expertise in a range of guidance and control theory methods including Model Predictive Control. She has developed feedback control solutions for autonomous control for an Army parafoil program, investigated and flight tested control systems for small autonomous helicopters, and developed control algorithms for autonomous spacecraft rendezvous and docking, and missile avoidance. Leena is a member of the AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Technical Committee and served as the Conference Technical Chair of the 2011 AIAA-GNC conference.

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