Virginia Tech® home

The Academy of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Excellence

Academy of AOE Excellence awards

The Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and the members of its advisory board established an Academy of AOE Excellence in 2016.


Membership in this academy is reserved for individuals who have made sustained and meritorious engineering and/or leadership contributions during their careers. While many of the inductees will be alumni of the AOE department, being an alumnus is not a requirement. It is expected that members have reached the pinnacle of their professional achievements and the department can recognize their accomplishments by membership in this academy. There is also an expectation from the department that academy members serve as our most esteemed ambassadors in advancing our mission and goals.

Alumni Awards and Departmental Honors

In addition to our academy membership, the department recognizes achievements and accomplishments of our alumni in all stages of their careers, and honors contributions of faculty and staff.

Emerging Leaders Award: Recognizing alumni in the early stages of their career (been in the workforce no more than 10 years). Nominees are on the “fast track” and have made rapid advancement within their organizations, or have been recognized for early professional achievements by others within their profession, field, or organization. They are considered to be future leaders in their profession.

Award for Service and Engagement: Presented to alumni who have furthered department projects and activities through generously giving of their time and efforts as a volunteer to the department and University.

Distinguished Faculty Award: In recognition of faculty members for lifelong contributions to the profession, field, University or society at large. Nominees have brought distinction to the department, evidenced by activities that extend beyond normal expectations, unique contributions, or long standing leadership and impact on the University and beyond.

Meritorious Staff Award: Honoring staff members for their commendable service to the department and University. Nominees have demonstrated their commitment to excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service.

The Academy of AOE Excellence Honors:









After the large inaugural class of 2016, the AOE Department and the advisory board anticipates inducting no more than five-six individuals annually. Initiates are selected from about 5,400 living alumni of the AOE Department and the many friends and faculty who have demonstrated a dedication to the Virginia Tech core values throughout their careers. These core values are etched on the pylons above the War Memorial: Brotherhood, Honor, Leadership, Sacrifice, Service, Loyalty, Duty, and Ut Prosim.    

Nominations for the academy and alumni awards  will be sought annually at the Spring meeting of the AOE Advisory Board.  An announcement to initiate the annual process will be sent by the Department Head each January, with the deadline for receipt of nominations in late March.  Nominations may be submitted by AOE Alumni, members of the AOE Advisory Board, the AOE Department Head, the Dean of the College of Engineering, and the AOE faculty.   Other constituencies may develop a nomination and submit in collaboration with the aforementioned nominators.

All nominations will be reviewed by the Advisory Board Committee on Leadership and Recognition. The committee will then submit its recommendations for Academy membership to the Department Head and AOE faculty for a final decision on newly-elected candidates and honorees.  After the large inaugural class of 2016, no more than 5 members may be inducted in any single year.  Newly-elected members will be notified and asked to accept membership before any public announcement is made.