11th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium

Student Poster Competition


The American Astronautical Society (AAS) is pleased to host the 11th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium October 23-25, 2018 at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). The event is organized by AAS in collaboration with UAH and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

The Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium brings together high-ranking government officials, industry executives, academia, and others from the aerospace community. We are releasing this Call for Abstracts for student (undergraduate and graduate) design and research projects for the Student Poster Competition, which will be a centerpiece of this year’s symposium. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to submit an abstract. Individual and group projects of ongoing or completed work are acceptable. Current undergraduate and graduate students from all institutions of higher learning are eligible to participate. Best posters will be selected in two categories (Engineering and Physical/Liberal Sciences) within two divisions (undergraduate and graduate).

AAS is offering the opportunity for one of the best poster winners to present their work at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Washington, DC (October 21-25, 2019). For this, the first and second place winners for each category in both divisions will be invited to develop a revised abstract and submit it to the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) for inclusion in the 2019 IAC through the regular IAC submission process by the end of February 2019. Those applying and accepted by the IAF will subsequently develop and provide their presentation and paper to the AAS (in June 2019  – earlier than due to the IAC). AAS will review these and select one student to sponsor for the trip (student registration fee, air travel and hotel accommodation) to present their work at the IAC. The student will also be asked to give a short talk on their experience either at the 2019 Dr. Wernher von Braun Memorial Dinner hosted by the National Space Club – Huntsville, or at the 12th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium.

Abstracts for the student poster competition should be a brief summary of the focus of the project (250 words maximum) and show an explicit connection to aerospace systems. The areas could include atmospheric science, earth observation, space life sciences, space health, aerospace systems engineering and design, astrophysics, optics, economics, business, policy, sustainability, history, international relations, education, Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach initiatives, or related areas.


Abstracts are due no later than Friday, September 7 at 5 p.m. (EDT). Lead authors will be notified of acceptance soon after the deadline. A 24” x 36” poster template will be provided and must be used. Further instructions along with a schedule will be provided to successful applicants. Student(s) must present the poster at the Poster Competition. International submissions will be accepted but AAS does not provide visa invitation letters nor any travel related expense coverage for this event.

The number of abstracts selected for presentation in the Symposium will be limited. AAS will collect all abstracts and make final determinations of the abstracts selected. Abstracts will be evaluated on:

  • Content and coherence
  • Mechanics
  • Originality and creativity
  • Relevance to advancing space initiatives or practical applications of space technologies

The student is encouraged to work with his or her faculty/researcher staff advisor. The advisor should give guidance and advice; and is responsible for approving the accuracy and content of the abstract and poster. The student(s) should be listed as the primary (or first) author(s) and the advisor’s name must appear as a co-author or in the Acknowledgments of the final poster, whichever is appropriate.

The primary author must submit the abstract. A student may submit only one abstract as the primary author (but may be a contributing author on other posters). A different author may be the presenter but also cannot present more than one poster in the competition (they can be a non-presenting team member on other projects). By submitting an abstract, you are committing to creating and presenting a poster if selected.

The student is responsible for printing and transportation of the physical poster to the display area. We recommend you check with your institution about support for this function. Some institutions may provide printing services or financial support.

Electronic copies of posters for the proceedings and sessions must be submitted by October 20, 2018, through the online submission process. Failure to do so will invoke the “No Presentation/No Podium” rule and the item will be stricken from the schedule. By submission of an abstract or poster, the author agrees to the inclusion of such in the program and/or Symposium proceedings. The abstracts and posters may be made available to all Symposium attendees or the public electronically.

Posters will be displayed as identified in the final symposium program. There will be designated periods for authors to be present at their posters.

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Robert Griffin or Dave Cook.