James Webb Space Telescope Team Earns the 2022 Robert J. Collier Trophy

James Webb Space Telescope Team Earns the 2022 Robert J. Collier Trophy

Aviations greatest award will be given to ground-breaking space observatory

WASHINGTON, DC April 5, 2023—It is with great excitement that the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) shares that the James Webb Space Telescope Team has earned the 2022 Robert J. Collier Award.

“The James Webb Space Telescope is one of the greatest achievements in aerospace history. In a matter of months, Webb has changed our understanding of the universe, and many more discoveries lie ahead,” said Kathy Warden, Chair, Chief Executive Officer and President at Northrop Grumman. “We dedicate the Collier Trophy to the
Northrop Grumman employees and our industry partners who delivered humanity an extraordinary observatory to explore the universe and inspire future generations.”

The Robert J. Collier Trophy has been awarded annually since 1911 for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.

“The James Webb Space Telescope is nothing short of a scientific feat, and is a shining example of what NASA can accomplish when we push the boundaries of space exploration,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “From discovering some of the earliest galaxies ever observed to delivering a more detailed view of exoplanet
atmospheres than ever before, it’s all due to the hard work and dedication of the exceptional Webb team. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!”

The list of Collier recipients represents a timeline of the most groundbreaking aviation achievements that created today’s aerospace industry. Previous recipients include momentous people and achievements such as Orville Wright (1913), Chuck Yeager (1947), and NASA/JPL Ingenuity Team (2021). The James Webb Space Telescope
is appropriately placed among these history makers for its unprecedented discovery mission to explore, identify and photograph what lies beyond what is currently known and to seek what is unknown.

“The James Webb Space Telescope integrates multiple advanced technologies into a system with unprecedented capabilities,” stated NAA Chairman, Jim Albaugh. “ Its use will accelerate humankind’s understanding of the world we live in and help unlock the mysteries of the universe. The team is truly deserving of this great honor.”

On July 11, 2022, President Biden shared the first images delivered by the James Webb Telescope at a public event at the White House.“These images are going to remind the world that America can do big things, and remind the American people – especially our children – that there’s nothing beyond our capacity,” said President Biden in remarks during the event. “We can see possibilities no one has ever seen before. We can go places no one has ever gone before.”

The James Webb Team will be celebrated at the Collier Award Dinner on June 15th, 2023. The event will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City, Washington, D.C.. While sponsorships will be available, they will be limited as a sell-out is anticipated in honor of this remarkable achievement. To learn more, please contact Tina Wu.

The Collier Selection Committee is composed of a diverse group of experts representing every facet of American aviation.

Members of the Selection Committee

  • Jim Albaugh, NAA Chair
  • Samantha Magill, NAA Vice Chair
  • Nicole Alexander, Aero Club of Wichita
  • Matt Byrd, Hillwood Aviation
  • Leda Chong, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
  • James Darcy, Airbus Americas, Inc.
  • J. Ray Davis, Rolls-Royce
  • Robert DeForge, Raytheon Technologies
  • Jana Denning, Aero Club of Washington
  • Gary Dunn, Aviation Partners
  • Ted Ellett, NAA General Counsel
  • Andrew Gappy, Leonardo Helicopters USA
  • Sierra Grimes, National Business Aviation Association
  • Lauren Haertlein, Zipline
  • Chris Hart, Hart Solutions, LLC
  • Duane Hawkins, Spirit Aerosystems
  • Richard Kane, VeriJet
  • Dick Koenig, New England Air Museum
  • Ben Kowalski, Cirrus Aircraft
  • Charles Lyon, Northrop Grumman
  • Faye Malarkey Black, Regional Airline Association
  • Brad McKeage, Embraer
  • Mary Miller, Signature Flight Support
  • Mary Claire Murphy, Textron Aviation
  • Scott Neumann, NAA Contest and Records Board
  • Mark Ofsthun, Honda Aircraft Company
  • Ken Panos, Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Eric Pierce, Lockheed Martin
  • Martiqua Post, U.S. Air Force Academy
  • Skip Ringo, The Ringo Group
  • Yvette Rose, Cargo Airline Association
  • Stacey Rudser, Asso. for Women in Aviation Maintenance
  • Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic
  • Bob Stangarone, Stangarone and Associates
  • Tonya Sudduth, Bombardier
  • Goodloe Sutton, The Boeing Company
  • Brad Thress, Flight Safety International
  • Read Van De Water, Safran USA, Inc.
  • Tony Velocci, Aviation Week & Space Tech. (Ret.)
  • James Viola, Helicopter Association International
  • Patty Wagstaff, Patty Wagstaff Aerobatic Instruction
  • Carl Wolf, Garmin International

About the NAA – Since 1905, the NAA has been the official record keeper of aviation achievement in the United States as well as administrator of the nation’s most prestigious aviation awards including the Robert J. Collier Trophy and the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy. In 1922, the entity was incorporated with the mission of advancing the art, sport, and science of aviation and space flight by fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and by promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States.