The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announced last evening at their Spring Awards Dinner that the NASA/JPL Dawn Program Team has been named as the recipient of the 2015 Robert J. Collier Trophy “In recognition of the extraordinary achievements of orbiting and exploring protoplanet Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres, advancing the nation’s technological capabilities in pioneering new frontiers in space travel.” The Collier Selection Committee, comprised of 32 individuals from throughout the aerospace industry, met earlier in the day to listen to presentations from nine nominees.

The Collier Trophy is awarded annually “…for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.” The list of Collier recipients represents a timeline of air and space achievements, marking major events in the history of flight.

“The Committee reviewed very strong nominations from throughout the aviation and space industry – commercial, military, general aviation, space, and even ballooning,” said Jim Albaugh, Chairman of NAA. “Any one of them would have been a worthy Collier Trophy Recipient, and I want to congratulate our colleagues at NASA and JPL on their great accomplishment with the Dawn Program.”

Other nominees for the 2015 Collier Trophy were: 

– Airbus A350 XWB – Blue Origin New Shepard Team

– C-5M Super Galaxy

– HA-420 HondaJet – ICON A5

– New Horizons Project Team

– Two Eagles Balloon Team

– UCAS-D Autonomous Aerial Refueling Demonstration

Jonathan Gaffney, President and CEO of NAA, managed the selection process. “This was one of the strongest lists of Collier nominations NAA has seen in the past decade, and all who participated in the process can be very proud of their work. I particularly want to thank our Chairman and Selection Committee for all the time and effort they put into this most important and historic task.” 

Jim Albaugh, Chairman of NAA/Chairman of the Collier Selection Committee
Ali Bahrami, Aerospace Industries Association
Mark Baker, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
David Balloff, Embraer
Bob Brown, Academy of Model Aeronautics
Steve Brown, National Business Aviation Association
Steve Callaghan, Chairman of the NAA Events Committee
Brian Chase, Bell Helicopter/Textron Aviation
Leda Chong, Gulfstream
David Coleal, Bombardier
Jack Dailey, Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum
Debbie Gann, Spirit AeroSystems
Randall Greene, Safe Flight Instrument Corp.
T. C. Jones, Northrop Grumman
Tim Keating, Boeing
John S. Langford, Aurora Flight Sciences
Dr. Samantha Magill, Honda Aircraft Company
Sandy Magnus, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Ken McKenzie, Airbus Group
David Manke, United Technologies Corporation
Mary Miller, BBA Aviation
Ken Panos, Aerojet Rocketdyne
Steve Plummer, Rolls-Royce North America
Peter Prowitt, General Electric Aviation
Skip Ringo, The Ringo Group
Jean Rosanvallon, Dassault Falcon
Bob Rubino, Lockheed Martin
John Stammreich, Aero Club of Southern California
Robert Sturgell, Rockwell Collins
Max Trescott, Aero Club of Northern California
Mark Van Tine, Jeppesen
Bruce Whitman, FlightSafety International

Mark Van Tine, Jeppesen Bruce Whitman, FlightSafety International

The Collier Trophy will be formally presented at the Annual Robert J. Collier Trophy Dinner on June 9, 2016 at a location to be determined. For ticket information or to view a complete list of previous recipients of the Collier Trophy, please visit

The National Aeronautic Association is a non-profit, membership organization devoted to fostering America’s aerospace leadership and promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States. #