Molly K. Macauley Award

2019 Molly K. Macauley Award Winners

Josh Wolny, 2019 Macauley Award winner for the Business and Space Policy track, presents his research at the inaugural Glenn Symposium.

Miguel Ramirez, 2019 Macauley Award winner for the Science and Engineering track, presents his research at the inaugural Glenn Symposium.

The AAS Molly K. Macauley Award honors a national leader in environmental economics who helped for many years to establish, lead and guide research projects combining economics with space research. Her fields of interest and goals were broad, including space related renewable energy, new technologies and natural resources, and helping decision makers understand the economics of space. Molly was tragically murdered in 2016, while out walking her dogs. Her murder is still unsolved today.

The American Astronautical Society (AAS), in cooperation with NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), is hereby issuing a call for abstracts by U. S. university students who wish to attend and present at the Glenn Memorial Symposium, to be held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio during July 14-16, 2020. Selected individuals will be invited to submit a paper and make an oral presentation at a videoconference prior to the Symposium.  The oral presentation and paper will be judged in a competition established by the AAS. The research submitted should be original and unpublished. Winners will receive a financial grant of $2500 to defray cost of attending any future related conference of their choosing.

The award is directed specifically to university undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in helping to achieve similar goals in their future.



The applicants for this award should be university undergraduate and graduate students majoring in science and/or engineering or business and space policy (including law and economics). Applicants should be currently enrolled students from a U.S. college or university. The applications should include the following:

  1. Applications for this award are solicited from all U. S. accredited university undergraduate and graduate students majoring in science, engineering, or business and space policy (including space law and economics). Applications require the following:
    1. An abstract of up to 500 words, outlining their research project.
    2. Selected candidates will be invited to submit full papers and present their work orally to the AAS review committee in a virtual meeting setting.
    3. One paper from each category will be invited to present at the AAS-GRC meeting in July 2020.
    4. Abstract subjects may be either of the following:
      • Technical aspects of a space-related gap in science or engineering
      • Business and space policy aspects including law and economics
    5. A short C.V. of the applicant, listing academic studies
    6. A cover letter up to two pages in length, written by the applicant. This letter should explain the applicant’s interest in one or more of the fields of this grant, and the applicant’s expectations of gaining further experience or work in these fields.
    7. A letter of reference supporting the application from a major professor or senior colleague.

Selected applicants are expected to prepare a paper of up to ten pages detailing the subject of their abstract, and make a 10-15 minute virtual oral presentation of this subject. The paper and presentation will be judged by a panel of experts during the month of April.  It is expected that one applicant from each track will be selected to receive a $2500 award. The award is intended to defray costs of attending any future conference in 2020/2021 that includes topics related to the paper’s subject. Winners of each category are also invited and expected to make a 10-to-15 minute oral presentation at the Symposium.

The five finalists in each category will be offered the opportunity to present their work as a poster at the seminar, a $500 travel grant, and free registration to attend the Symposium.

The link for the abstract submission is:

All student abstracts for the Macauley Award must be submitted to AAS no later than February 1, 2020.

The content of the abstract, oral presentation, and paper will be the basis for invitation to present at the Symposium. The abstracts will be peer-reviewed. Authors will be informed about acceptance for presentation via email in May, 2020.



Abstract Title

Abstract: The body of the abstract begins here. It should be an explicit summary of your presentation that states the problem, the methods used or to be used, and the major results and conclusions expected or obtained. Do not include bullets, lists, graphs, or images in the abstract. The abstract should be a single-spaced document. The abstract is limited to 500 words.

The first part of the abstract should state the problem you propose to solve or the issue you set out to explore. Explain your rationale for pursuing the project. The problem or issue might be a research question, a scientific concern, a business challenge or space policy (including law and economics) challenge. The purpose of your study is to solve this problem and/or add to your discipline’s understanding of the issue. This section of the abstract should explain how you solved or will solve the problem, or explore the issue you identified. Your abstract should also describe your research methods. This section should include a concise description of the process by which you will conduct or have conducted your research.

Next, the abstract should list the results or outcomes of the work you have done so far.

Your abstract should conclude with a statement of the project’s implications and contributions to its field. It should convince readers that the project is interesting, valuable, and worth further investigation. The abstract should be compelling and attract the reviewers’ curiosity.


For more information contact: Patrick Rouin, Events Coordinator for the American Astronautical Society at