Faculty Awards & Honors

Our faculty are renowned engineers and educators celebrated locally, nationally, and globally for their achievements and contributions to their respective areas of expertise. Below is a sampling of some of the prestigious awards and honors our faculty have earned that highlight their technical excellence and impact on research, scholarship, and education at MIT and across the aerospace field.

National & International Recognition

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing, and skill development across all engineering disciplines while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. To be named an ASME fellow recognizes one who has attained a membership grade of distinction to recognize their outstanding engineering achievements.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession, bringing together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. AIAA convenes yearly forums; publishes books, technical journals, and Aerospace America; hosts a collection of 160,000 technical papers; develops and maintains standards; honors and celebrates achievement; and advocates on policy issues.

AIAA Honorary Fellows

Honorary Fellow is the highest distinction conferred by AIAA and recognizes preeminent individuals who have had long and highly contributory careers in aerospace and who embody the highest possible standards in aeronautics and astronautics. Honorary Fellows are selected for their eminence in aeronautics or astronautics, recognized by a long and highly contributive career in the arts, sciences, or technology. No more than four are chosen for this recognition each year. In 1933, Orville Wright became the first AIAA Honorary Fellow. Today, AIAA Honorary Fellows and AIAA Fellows are the most respected names in the aerospace industry.

AIAA Fellows

AIAA confers the distinction of Fellow upon individuals in recognition of their notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences, or technology of aeronautics and astronautics. Nominees are AIAA Associate Fellows.

Reed Aeronautics Award

The Reed Aeronautics Award is the highest honor an individual can receive for a notable achievement in aeronautics that represents a significant engineering advancement milestone. The award is named after Dr. Sylvanus A. Reed, the aeronautical engineer, designer, and founding member of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences in 1932. Reed was the first to develop a propeller system composed of metal rather than wood. His aluminum alloy propeller gave Jimmy Doolittle’s plane the speed it needed to win the 1925 Schneider Cup race and brought the inventor much credit and many rewards.

Daniel Guggenheim Medal

The Daniel Guggenheim Medal was established as an international award for the purpose of honoring an individual who makes notable achievements in advancing the safety and practicality of aviation. The Medal recognizes contributions to aeronautical research and education, the development of commercial aircraft and equipment, and the application of aircraft to the economic and social activities of the nation.

National Academy of Engineering (NAE)

Election to National Academy of Engineering membership is one of the highest professional honors accorded an engineer. Members have distinguished themselves in business and academic management, in technical positions, as university faculty, and as leaders in government and private engineering organizations. Members are elected to NAE membership by their peers (current NAE members).

International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE)

The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) is a not-for-profit membership organization designed to connect systems engineering professionals with educational, networking, and career-advancement opportunities in the interest of developing the global community of systems engineers and systems approaches to problems. INCOSE Fellows are individuals with significant verifiable contributions to the art and practice of Systems Engineering in industry, government or academia. This award recognizes practitioners from government and industry applying knowledge and contributing to the practice of systems engineering in designing and acquiring systems, researchers developing new knowledge, pushing the theory forward, and teachers disseminating knowledge and developing the next generation of successful systems engineers.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology in a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers, and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities. IEEE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select IEEE members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation. 

MIT Awards & Honors

Arthur C. Smith Award

The Arthur C. Smith Award was established in 1996 on the occasion of Dean Smith’s retirement from the position of Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs. The award honors his service and is presented to a member of the MIT faculty for meaningful contributions and devotion to undergraduate student life and learning at MIT.

Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching

The Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching is given annually to a faculty member in the School of Engineering whose contributions to education have been characterized by dedication, care, and creativity. Established in 1990, the award stands as a tribute to the late Amar Bose, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and the founder of the Bose Corporation.

Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising

The Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising is given annually to a faculty member in the School of Engineering who has demonstrated a lasting commitment to the personal and professional development of others.

Committed to Caring (C2C)

The Committed to Caring (C2C) program at MIT recognizes faculty members that go above and beyond in their mentorship of graduate students. Every other year since the C2C program was founded in 2014, the Office of Graduate Education solicits nominations from graduate students. A selection committee, made up of graduate students, staff members, and graduate administrators, deliberates and selects the faculty members who have demonstrated a genuine commitment to the success and well-being of their graduate students.

Earll M. Murman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising

Presented to a faculty member who has served as an excellent advisor and mentor for undergraduates and who has had a significant impact on their personal lives and academic success. Named in honor of AeroAstro Professor Emeritus Earll Murman.

Everett Moore Baker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

The Everett Moore Baker Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching is presented to faculty members, in recognition of exceptional interest and ability in the instruction of undergraduates. This is the only teaching award in which the nomination and selection of the recipients is done entirely by the students. The award is given in memory of Everett Moore Baker, Dean of Students from 1947-1950.

Gordon Y. Billard Award

The Gordon Y. Billard award, named in honor of Mr. Billard, a member of the Class of 1924. This individual award (not a team) is made annually to faculty, staff, or an MIT-affiliated individual, who has given “special service of outstanding merit performed for the Institute.” The nominee must have made an impact beyond normal job duties, and created important, lasting, and wide-ranging contributions to the MIT community. These efforts can be broad in scope (affecting many departments, units, or people), and/or significant in duration. Nominees should have sustained contributions for ten or more years to the Institute. Examples include serving as chair of a cross-departmental task force whose findings or actions moved MIT’s mission forward or nurturing a new student program. Past recipients have typically shown a significant portfolio of service to MIT. 

Institute Professor

The title of Institute Professor is the highest honor bestowed by the Faculty and Administration of MIT on a faculty colleague who has demonstrated exceptional distinction by a combination of leadership, accomplishment, and service in the scholarly, educational, and general intellectual life of the Institute or wider academic community. The honor recognizes past contributions and provides the holder with an opportunity for continued and expanded contributions. A person holding an Institute professorship enjoys a unique position of freedom and prestige among the Faculty.

Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellows

Named to honor the life and contributions of the late Margaret MacVicar, Professor of Physical Science and Dean for Undergraduate Education, the MacVicar Faculty Fellows Program recognizes faculty who have made exemplary and sustained contributions to the teaching and education of undergraduates at MIT. MIT President Charles M. Vest established the program in 1991. The MacVicar Faculty Fellows are selected through a competitive annual nomination process. They hail from all corners of the Institute and represent a diverse range of academic disciplines. Together, the Fellows form a small academy of scholars committed to exceptional instruction and innovation in education, embodying through their work the continuing promise of an MIT education for the future. Although a MacVicar Fellow’s active status ends after ten years, he or she remains a Fellow and continues to participate in the Program and its events.

UROP Outstanding Mentor – Faculty

The UROP Outstanding Mentor – Faculty is an award that has been given annually since the 2003-04 academic year. The award recognizes the most outstanding faculty mentor based on the nominations received from undergraduates who have participated in UROP over the past year. The nomination process is run through the UROP office.