Aerospace engineering professor to receive 2022 AIAA Sustained Service Award

Carlos Cesnik is recognized for contributions to organization’s leadership, technical conferences, and journals.

Carlos Cesnik
Carlos Cesnik

Aerospace Engineering Professor Carlos Cesnik was one of nine individuals selected to receive a 2022 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Sustained Service Award. Cesnik is recognized for three decades of meritorious service to AIAA members through a variety of leadership roles within its Technical Activities Division. 

“I’m honored and humbled by this recognition,” said Cesnik, the Clarence L. (Kelly) Johnson Professor of Aerospace Engineering. “AIAA has been a key part of my professional home and network for over 30 years, and I look forward to continuing my engagement with the society and our colleagues there.”

One of his major contributions to the organization began about a decade ago when Cesnik was part of the AIAA leadership team that reorganized multiple long-running AIAA technical conferences into four major rejuvenated forums. One of those forums is the popular SciTech Forum, the world’s largest event for aerospace research, development, and technology.  

In fact, Cesnik served as technical chair for the inaugural SciTech Forum in 2014, which drew more than 3,000 individuals from more than 1,600 institutions and included more than 1,400 technical papers. 

From 2006 until 2015, Cesnik served as associate editor of the AIAA Journal, the flagship and longest running peer-reviewed publication from AIAA. He played a key role in supporting the reorganization of the journal’s review process. He also introduced the new field of integrated structural health monitoring and management to the journal. 

Cesnik was elected to AIAA’s Council of Directors (CoD) in 2017 and he and his fellow CoD officers helped develop and implement the Institute’s new strategic plan while addressing the needs of members, technical committees, and working groups. He also recruited and mentored a new generation of young professionals to serve in AIAA leadership positions. 

Although he is transitioning away from leadership roles, AIAA tapped him recently to serve on an eight-person Blue Ribbon panel that is supporting the organization’s Board of Trustees as they reorganize around three domains—aeronautics, space, and research and development (R&D). 

Cesnik is the second U-M aerospace engineering faculty member to win this award—Professor Tony Waas, the Richard A. Auhll Department Chair of Aerospace Engineering, was a recipient in 2006. Cesnik will formally receive the award at the AIAA Aviation and Aeronautics Forum in Chicago in late June 2022.