Fellow Nominations

Thank you for your interest in nominating an AAS member colleague to be an AAS Fellow. Please see the important information below on qualifications, requirements, and evaluation of candidates.

Nominations are closed for the 2023 cycle.

AAS Fellow Qualifications:

  • AAS Fellows shall be members of the Society who have made significant scientific, engineering, academic and/or management contributions to astronautics and space. In addition, contributions to AAS will be considered.
  • The number of AAS Fellows elected each year shall not exceed 1% of the total membership, and, more typically, should be 4 to 6. The unsuccessful applications will be automatically considered for an additional year.
  • Only current AAS Members will be considered for AAS Fellows, and only AAS Members may nominate a fellow candidate.
  • The nominee must have 15 or more years of professional experience after a bachelor’s degree.
  • In addition to the professional experience, a nominee must have either sustained regular membership for at least 10 years  or participation in AAS-sponsored events or have shown exemplary leadership and service to the astronautics field.
  • Letters from each referee must clearly show direct knowledge of the candidate’s significant professional achievements and AAS related activities and indicate why these individual merits elevation to the rank of AAS Fellow. It is encouraged to seek letters from a diverse group of people (academia, industry, different institutes).
    • References should avoid generic and overly expansive language in their letters (examples: the candidate is a prolific author; the candidate is highly respected in the field). Reference letters should present their unique interpretation of the Fellow candidate’s contributions. While references are expected to reinforce the major items from the nomination, citing verbatim from the nomination document is to be avoided

Nomination Requirements

  • In order to help you prepare your nomination in advance, the linked nomination submission form will require the following information:
    • Proposed Citation – Input a proposed citation to accompany the AAS Fellow nomination. (AAS reserves the right to modify the citation submission.) Maximum 50 words.
    • Technical Contributions – Include details of the nominee’s technical contributions and/or administrative/leadership role. The nominator should include enough background material about the outstanding contributions of the nominee within the astronautics field. Any specific material cited within the nomination statement must be accompanied by a description of why those items are cited and how they may have a durable impact. This should include a discussion of the state-of-the-art prior to the nominee’s contributions and highlight how the nominee’s work may impact future advances. Maximum 500 words.
    • Service to AAS Community – Include details of the nominee’s record of professional service to the AAS community, including a summary of the nominee’s AAS related participation, service, and leadership activities (such as participation as Board of Directors-sponsored activities, general or technical chair for AAS conferences, plenary or invited speakers, technical or program committee membership, conference administration etc.) Maximum 500 words.
    • Service to Broader Astronautics Community – Include details of the nominee’s service to the astronautics community (not counting AAS service). Maximum 500 words.
    • Curriculum Vitae / Résumé – Upload the nominee’s curriculum vitae or résumé. Should not exceed three pages, with no more than a one-page list of patents or publications. Formats accepted: .doc; .docx; .pdf.
  • Supporting Letters – Supporting letters are due October 31 – Instructions on submission of letters will be included in your nomination confirmation email.
    • Letters of Reference – At least four, but no more than five. All references must be AAS members, and at least three must also be AAS Fellows who are able to assess the quality of the Fellow candidate’s contributions and their durable impacts. The nominator cannot serve as a reference. Organizational diversity among the references is strongly encouraged.  It is the responsibility of the nominator to ensure that the supporting letters reach the AAS Office no later than October 31. These letters should address the criteria for Fellow selection described above.
    • Letters of Endorsement – OPTIONAL – No more than three. In addition to letter of references, endorsement letters supporting the nomination can also be submitted. Any person (including a non-AAS member) may serve as an Endorser. Endorsements are optional, and a maximum of three may be submitted for a Nominee. An Endorsement strengthens the nomination only when it supplements the nomination with specific evidence highlighting the Nominee’s contributions and their impact on the profession and/or society at large, without merely reiterating items given in the nomination. Endorsements are not pseudo-References and are designed to be used when they can provide an additional and unique perspective on the Nominee’s work not publicly available. This is especially useful if the Nominee worked on proprietary or classified projects.


  • Research/Scientific/Technology/Administration Contributions and their Impacts – 40%
  • Technical/Administrative Leadership – 15%
  • Peer Recognition (external awards for research/technical excellence, best paper awards, academic or teaching honors, fellowship in other professional societies and national academies) – 15%
  • Service: – 15%
    • Service to AAS
    • Service to general astronautics community
  • Quality of References (strength, quality, and diversity) – 15%