AIAA to Host Forum on Training and Retaining Aerospace Workers


The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce that it will host Inside Aerospace – An International Forum for Aviation and Space Leaders on May 12 and 13, at the Doubletree Hotel Crystal City, Arlington, Va.

The forum will bring together leading representatives of academia, government, and industry for a candid discussion on building and retaining the aerospace workforce, focusing on two major themes:

  • Preparation and Motivation: How can teachers in grades K-12 prepare and motivate their students to pursue aerospace studies in college? And what can universities do to ensure students have the skills and experience necessary upon graduation to make a meaningful contribution to the aerospace industry?
  • Professional Development: What are the professional development needs of those workers already in the industry, and what can the industry do to maximize retention of those workers?

Keynote speakers include Dr. Charles M. Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering, and Joanne M. Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. Among the many notable panelists are:

  • Scott Pace, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University
  • Brig. Gen. Paula Thornhill, commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology
  • Carl B. Mack, executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers
  • James McMurtay, executive director of the National Alliance of State Science and Mathematics Coalitions
  • Ian Waitz, Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor and head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Clarance A. Johnson, principal director of the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity Policy, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel Readiness
  • Robert Lindberg, president and executive director of the National Institute of Aerospace
  • Steve Cook, Group Captain, National Security Space Office, Australian Air Force
  • Carole Richard-Hedden, president of The Write Stuff, and project leader, AVIATION WEEK Workforce Study
  • Wilson Felder, director of the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center

David Thompson, chairman and chief executive officer of Orbital Sciences Corporation, and AIAA president-elect, is the forum’s general chair. Inside Aerospace is presented by AIAA in partnership with the Aerospace Industries Association, the Aerospace Department Chairs Association, the Air Force Association, and SAE International. Lockheed Martin Corporation will sponsor a keynote speaker luncheon on Wednesday, May 13. Aerospace America and Aviation Week & Space Technology are the official media sponsors.

For more information about the conference, or to register, visit, or contact Duane Hyland at 703.264.7558 or [email protected]. Media registration is complimentary for credentialed members of the press.

AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and 90 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit