The American Astronautical Society (AAS) is offering the opportunity for one of the best poster winners to present their work in a project paper format at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Paris, France (18-22 September 2022).

14th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium

Student Poster Competition



Call for Abstracts Announced

Wednesday, 8/18/21

Abstract Due

Wednesday 9/8/21

Accepted Authors Notified

Monday, 9/13/2021

Poster Due

Monday, 10/04/21

Poster Contest

Tuesday 10/12/2021


The American Astronautical Society (AAS) is pleased to host the 14th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium ( October 12-14, 2021, at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). The Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium brings together high-ranking government officials, industry executives, academia, and others from the aerospace community. The event is organized by AAS in collaboration with UAH and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

Although currently scheduled as a in-person Symposium, we recognize that health concerns may cause us to change this to a virtual conference. That decision will be made closer to the event. Regardless, the event will still be held 12-14 October and the student poster contest will continue with necessary adjustments.

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/Physical Sciences and Liberal Sciences) within two divisions (undergraduate and graduate).

AAS is offering the opportunity for one of the best poster winners to present their work in a project paper format at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Paris, France (18-22 September 2022). 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 2022 IAC through the regular IAC submission process (expected due by the end of February 2022). Those applying and accepted by the IAF for a regular paper and presentation will subsequently develop and provide their presentation and paper to the AAS (in June 2022 – earlier than due to the IAC). AAS will review these and select one student to sponsor for the trip (student registration fee, economy class air travel and hotel accommodation with arrangements to be approved by AAS) to present their work at the IAC. The student will also be asked to give a short talk on their experience either at the 2022 Dr. Wernher von Braun Memorial Dinner hosted by the National Space Club – Huntsville, or at the 15th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium. It is the students’ responsibility to monitor the IAC submission schedule and notify AAS of their submissions to the IAC.

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

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 (i.e. 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.

International submissions will be accepted.

Abstracts are due no later than midnight New York time, Wednesday, September 8 September 2021.No more than 30 abstracts will be accepted for presentation.

Abstracts should be submitted via the online form here:

Lead authors will be notified of acceptance by Monday, 13 September.

The number of abstracts selected for presentation in the Symposium is limited to 30. 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

When posters are presented at the conference, they will be evaluated on the above plus:

  • Visual Presentation
  • Oral Presentation and Response to Questions

The students must work with a faculty/researcher staff advisor. The advisor must be affiliated with their university or college. 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. It is the student’s responsibility to coordinate with the advisor.

A poster template will be provided and must be used. The submission must include five minutes of narration. Further instructions will be provided to successful abstract selectees. Student must present the poster at the Symposium.

Electronic copies (PPT or PPTx only) of posters for the proceedings and sessions must be submitted by 5 PM US Central Time Monday, 4 October 2021, through the online submission process. This date will not be extended because we are printing and mounting the posters for you.

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.

Remember, abstracts are due no later than midnight New York time, Wednesday, 9/8/2021.

If you have any questions, contact Dave Cook at or Alan DeLuna at