Alumni Michelle Banchy Recognized with the 2024 Lawrence Sperry Award

U-M Aerospace Engineering alumna recognized by AIAA for contributions towards the development and application of natural laminar flow systems

It is without a doubt that Michigan Aerospace alumni go on to do incredible things around the world and in a variety of different areas. This statement rings true for U-M Aerospace alumnus Michelle Banchy who has recently been recognized with the 2024 Lawrence Sperry Award from the AIAA. 

This annual award recognizes young professionals under the age of 35 for their notable contributions towards the advancement of aeronautics or astronautics. Banchy is receiving this award for her contributions towards the development and application of natural laminar flow systems in the field of aerodynamic design.

Branchy stated to Aerospace America that her love of anything that flies started when she was young, and thanks to her passion for math and science, she was drawn to aerospace engineering during her undergraduate years. Once she completed her Masters in Aerospace Engineering from U-M with a focus on gas dynamics, she quickly joined the NASA Pathways Program. It was through this program that she was hired on as a research aerospace engineer in the Configuration Aerodynamics Branch at NASA Langley Research Center. 

During her time at NASA, Banchy has focused her research on a wide range of natural laminar flow wing design efforts. This research aims to address historic challenges related to natural laminar flow and enable large extents of natural laminar flow on the wings of transport vehicles. Additionally, Banchy has set herself apart as an internationally-recognized subject matter expert in aerodynamic design.

AIAA will present the 2024 AIAA Premier Awards, including the Lawrence Sperry Award, during the AIAA Awards Gala on Wednesday, 15 May, in Washington, DC. The Institute also will recognize its Class of 2024 Honorary Fellows and Fellows at the AIAA Awards Gala.