Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute Announces 2017 Senior Award Honourees

April 3, 2017


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Dr. Ian Fejtek, President of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute for 2016-17, has announced the recipients of the 2017 CASI Senior Awards.

The Awards and the recipients are:

The Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy
Mr. Chuck Ellis and Mr. Andy Litavniks, Bombardier Aerospace

CASI McCurdy Award
Mr. David Reist, Bombardier Aerospace

CASI C.D. Howe Award
Dr. David Kendall, Canadian Space Agency (retired)

CASI Roméo Vachon Award
Mr. Ian Glenn, ING Robotic Aviation

The criteria for each of the Senior Awards and summaries of the credentials of the recipients are found below.

Presentation of the Senior Awards will be made during the CASI AERO 2017 Conference and 64th Annual General Meeting at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel from 16-18 May. The Senior Awards Reception and Gala Dinner will take place on Wednesday 17 May at the Hotel.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the Senior Awards Reception and Gala Dinner, contact the headquarters of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute at (613) 591-8787.

The Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy

The Trans-Canada Trophy, generally known as the McKee Trophy, is the oldest aviation award in Canada. It was established in 1927 by Captain J. Dalzell McKee. In 1926 McKee, of Pittsburgh, Penn. accompanied by Squadron Leader Earl Godfrey of the RCAF, flew from Montreal to Vancouver in a Douglas MO-2B seaplane. McKee was so impressed by the services provided by the RCAF and the Ontario Provincial Air Service that he established an endowment by means of which the greatly coveted McKee Trophy is awarded to the Canadian whose achievements were most outstanding in promoting aviation in Canada.

The Trophy was deeded to the Crown in the person of the Minister of National Defence – in the days when the Department of National Defence controlled all flying, military and civil. It was retired in 1964 and reinstated in 1966, and in 1971 administration of the Trophy was transferred to the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute. From 1964 until its move to Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983, the Trophy was on display at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa.

The Trophy is awarded for outstanding achievement in the field of air operations. The achievement for which the Trophy is awarded may be a single brilliant exploit within the past year, or a sustained high-level performance in recent years; pioneering of new areas of air operations and advancement of the use of aviation shall receive consideration over achievements serving no useful end. Qualifications as aircrew shall be a prior claim to consideration. The recipient shall have been a Canadian citizen at the time of the achievement.

Mr. Chuck Ellis and Mr. Andy Litavniks

Test pilots Charles (Chuck) Ellis and Andris (Andy) Litavniks have been nominated for their accomplishments as Bombardier flight test team leads for the Bombardier CSeries 100 and 300 model aircraft.

The Bombardier CSeries is a very significant aircraft from a Canadian perspective. It is the largest airliner produced since the Canadair CL-44, the first Canadian-produced aircraft with underwing engines, the first with Fly By Wire flight control systems, a large geared turbo-fan engine, electric brakes, etc. It is clearly the most significant Canadian aircraft since the Canadair Challenger.

The numerous novelties in the design necessitated that Bombardier develop many new-to-them flight test capabilities. The pressure on the team was immense and unrelenting, as the cost of the program threatened the continued solvency of the company and competitors were quick to pounce on any sign of difficulties.

Chuck Ellis and Andy Litavniks were intimately involved in the design process from the very start. They tested numerous engineering prototypes of flight control laws, flight control inceptors, cockpit display concepts etc in the Reconfigurable Engineering Flight Simulator. Their inputs on system operating logic, cockpit layout, cockpit display design, crew warning system, flight control systems and many other factors enabled the design team to produce an aircraft with an industry-leading human interface and an extremely low crew workload.

Large flight test programs require large, multi-talented flight test teams. Chuck and Andy quickly recruited experienced flight test personnel from around the world to build a first-class CSeries flight test team, including a new flight test organization at Mirabel Airport north of Montreal. Their leadership was instrumental in allowing the teams to focus on the task at hand, despite immense management and commercial pressures and their contribution to the success of the CSeries program cannot be overestimated.

The CASI McCurdy Award

The McCurdy Award was introduced in 1954 by the Institute of Aircraft Technicians, one of the aeronautical groups that amalgamated to form the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute. The award commemorates the many engineering and other contributions made by John A.D. McCurdy during the first stages of the development of an aviation industry in North America. The award is presented for outstanding achievement in the science and creative aspects of engineering relating to aeronautics and space research. The achievement must constitute the most significant contribution made in recent years toward the advancement of science and technology in aeronautics and space exploration, and must be worthy of special recognition. The contribution may be administrative in nature, but it must be directly related to science and technology, and have been sustained over a number of years at an imaginative and creative level above that which would normally be considered a competent and successful performance. The recipient shall have been a Canadian citizen at the time the contribution was made.

Mr. David Reist

In the early 1990s Bombardier Aerospace (BA) was considering the application of Fly by Wire (FBW) technology for its future aircraft developments. Mr. Reist had already amassed extensive experience in Avionics, Software, and Flight Sciences. As a result, David was chosen to spearhead the development of control laws for BA’s future FBW equipped aircraft and to build a team of control law specialists from scratch. David became the de-facto FBW specialist resident at BA and represented BA during the development of FBW regulations and rulemaking by the authorities.

In 1997, David and his team became a key part of an Advance Design Project to study Active Control Technology (ACT), investigating fly-by-wire and side-stick control. During the ACT program, extensive simulation and flight tests were performed. Numerous developments to the CLAWS were made and several iterations of the FBW control laws were evaluated on the aircraft. David supervised the CLAWS team and approved all aspects of the evolving design. David and the team championed the use of desktop simulation tools, BA’s Reconfigurable Engineering Flight Simulator (REFS) and the Engineering Simulator ESIM “pilot in the loop” simulators; not only in the development of the tools but also in the application of the tools for system development and technical problem solving. The ESIM was a fixed base “pilot in the loop” simulation tool with stimulated hardware. The REFS and ESIM facilities have been developed over several years into world-class facilities.

The developed CLAWS contained vast amounts of sophisticated code that permit good aircraft handling and performance while protecting the aircraft from risks of exceedance of limiting airspeeds, structural loads and high angles of attack and the stall. FBW equipped aircraft are consequently safer than their conventional counterparts. BA was thus well equipped with advanced control law technology for aircraft developments into the 21st century. The next generation of BA business aircraft, the Global 7000 ultra long-range high speed business jet will incorporate the FBW system architecture developed for the CSeries.

The CLAWS developed for the CSeries aircraft have proven very robust and effective. The handling of the aircraft has received praise from flight crews that have flown the aircraft. Reviewing pilots have praised the flight controls, which allow “more precise control while mitigating flight envelope excursion risks”. David and the CLAWS team have been instrumental in guiding Bombardier in the direction that will result in next generation aircraft with safer state-of-the-art system designs.

The CASI C.D. Howe Award

In 1966 CASI introduced the C.D. Howe Award in honour of The Right Honourable C.D. Howe. The Award is presented for achievements in the fields of planning and policy making, and overall leadership in Canadian aeronautics and space activities. The achievement for which the award is given shall be of permanent significance, and its benefits to aeronautics and space activities in Canada shall have been unquestionably established. To this end, the recipient shall have sustained an outstanding personal performance in these fields for at least ten years and it shall be reasonably certain that the merits of his achievements will be unassailable in the light of history. The recipient shall have been a Canadian citizen and resident during the time the contribution was made.

Dr. David Kendall

Dr. David Kendall is the current Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space – UN COPUOS. He retired from the Canadian Space Agency in 2015 after more than 32 years, having held a number of positions including as Senior Executive Advisor to the CSA President and as Director General of the Space Science and Space Science and Technology branches. He is also a faculty member of the International Space University (ISU) based in Strasbourg, France.

Born near London, England and having obtained his undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Wales, Dr. Kendall obtained both Masters and Doctoral degrees in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Calgary, Canada. After his Ph.D. he worked in private industry with ABB (then BOMEM) as an R&D scientist specializing in Fourier Transform Spectroscopy. Since the early 1980s, he has worked for the Canadian federal government, first with the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa as a program scientist and, since 1989, with the newly created Canadian Space Agency. One of his signature achievements during his time at the CSA was the creation and management of a number of broad scientific advisory committees covering all of the scientific discipline areas of interest to the CSA that provided plans and advice to the agency on its future investments in space science activities.

Dr. Kendall’s scientific interests include upper and middle atmospheric chemistry and physics, atmospheric spectroscopy, Michelson interferometry, space environment interactions and space debris, authoring or co-authoring over 35 peer-reviewed scientific publications, several book chapters and over 200 conference presentations, panels, etc. In 1984 he was the Principal Investigator of an experiment that flew on the Space Shuttle and has served on several science teams involved with space science experiments devoted to the atmospheric sciences. In 2000, he spent four months as a visiting scientist at the French space agency, the Centre nationale d’études spatiales (CNES).

Dr. Kendall is an academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and has served on numerous national and international advisory committees and working groups including as a Vice President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Head of Delegation at the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee and main Committee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS), is a past Canadian delegate to the European Space Agency Council.

He is past-chair and member of the Steering Group of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), a past co-chair of a subgroup of the international ad hoc Group on Earth Observations (GEO) as well as a past Bureau and Council member of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). He has also held many roles with the International Space University including Director of the Space Physical Sciences Department, chairman and member of ISU’s Academic Council, member of the ISU Board of Trustees and Director of the Space Studies Program in both 1999 (Thailand) and 2014 (Montreal, Canada). In 2002 Dr. Kendall was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his significant contributions and achievement to Canada. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union and is listed in Canadian Who’s Who.

The CASI Roméo Vachon Award

The Roméo Vachon Award was introduced in 1969 by the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute in memory of one of Canada’s outstanding bush pilots. It is presented for outstanding display of initiative, ingenuity and practical skills in the solution of a particular challenging problem or series of challenging problems in aeronautics and space activities in Canada. The achievement for which the award is given shall be of technological nature, particularly practical skills, not necessarily in the scientific or engineering fields. The recipient shall have been a Canadian citizen at the time the contribution was made.

Ian Glenn

Ian has led the creation of Canada’s most dynamic growth sector – unmanned aviation. His leadership in the field started over two decades ago, driving the creation of national drone standards with Transport Canada to enable the creation of the industry. Along the way he launched UVS Canada, the organization that grew into Unmanned Systems Canada which is Canada’s national sector organization. As the Chief Executive and Chief Technology Officer of his company, ING Robotic Aviation, over the past 15 years he has developed and integrated UAV systems and provided services across the globe in harsh conditions including war zones. ING Robotic Aviation often has undertaken technically difficult projects that moved the regulatory yardstick forward by demonstrating safe, robust, and validated results that served to expand the operational envelope for all the civil and commercial sector. ING has also been highly and consistently visible as a sponsor of student activities.

As a pioneer of industrial drones, he has created new markets and capabilities introducing UAVs to the resource, agriculture, forestry, utility, film, construction, and defence and public safety sectors. Ian is a true pioneer in a technology and aviation emergence that will happen only once in our professional lifetime. He has grasped this evolution, and expended considerable energy in guiding it for the benefit of all Canada.