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IAWA Honors Dr. Christine Darden with 2020 IAWA Woman of Excellence Award

The International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA), a global association committed to connecting, inspiring and leading women in the aerospace and aviation industries, is pleased to announce Dr. Christine Darden as the recipient of the 2020 IAWA Woman of Excellence Award.

MOUNT ROYAL, NJ - October 20, 2020 - The International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA), a global association committed to connecting, inspiring and leading women in the aerospace and aviation industries, is pleased to announce Dr. Christine Darden as the recipient of the 2020 IAWA Woman of Excellence Award. This award recognizes women who are leaders in aerospace and aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industries and are respected by men and women alike. As a woman who epitomizes these attributes, IAWA is honored to recognize Dr. Darden as the ninth recipient of the Woman of Excellence Award.

Dr. Darden has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the advancement of women in the aerospace industry and to IAWA. In 2007, after nearly 40 years of service, she retired as a member of The Senior Executive Service, NASA Langley Research Center, where she was hired in 1967 as a Computer/Data Analyst in the Re-Entry Physics Branch. Her final assignment at Langley was as Director of the Office of Strategic Communications and Education (OSCE). In that position she was responsible for the Center's external and internal communications, community outreach, governmental relations and educational outreach. Prior to the OSCE position, Dr. Darden served as the Langley Assistant Director for Planning, responsible for the Langley strategic planning process, and oversight of the Center's delivery on commitments. She served as Director of the Aero Performing Center Program Management Office (APCPMO) where her office had oversight of NASA Langley's work in Rotorcraft, Efficient Engine Technology, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and Air Traffic Management, as a Senior Program Manager in NASA's High-Speed Research (HSR) Program Office, and for nearly 30 years as an internationally known researcher in high-speed aerodynamics and sonic boom research. In 2018, NASA signed a contract with Lockheed Martin Palmdale for the build of a full-size supersonic low-boom X-plane to demonstrate both low-boom performance and supersonic efficiency-a continuation of the sonic boom work performed and led by Dr. Darden.

On November 8, 2019, Dr. Darden was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for her service to the United States an aeronautical engineer. This medal is bestowed by the United States Congress and honors those who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient's field long after the achievement."

Dr. Darden is a current or former member of several professional or honorary societies, including: Past National Secretary of the National Technical Association, Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Past Secretary of the AIAA Technical Committee on Aero-Acoustics, Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society, Kappa Mu Epsilon Honorary Mathematics Society, Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society, Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Society, and Kappa Delta Pi Educational Honor Society.

During her NASA career, Dr. Darden authored more than 57 technical papers and articles, primarily in the areas of sonic boom prediction, sonic boom minimization, and supersonic wing design. She is recognized as an international expert in these areas-having given technical presentations in Germany, England, France, Greece and Japan. Dr. Darden has been recognized with dozens of awards and honors-including two NASA Medals, one for her work and leadership of the Sonic Boom Program, and the other for her active involvement in working with and encouraging students to pursue careers in math and science. In addition, she received the Black Engineer of the Year Outstanding Achievement in Government Award and the Women in Science & Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Darden is featured in the 2016 published book, "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race," by author Margot Shetterly as one who stood on the shoulders of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson, NASA's "Human" Computers" who as members of the segregated West Computers contributed to the NASA Space Program in the early 1960s and who in 2016 were featured in the Twentieth Century movie of the same name.

Dr. Darden and her husband of 58 years, Walter, are the parents of three daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Dr. Christine Darden's achievements exemplify all for which the IAWA Woman of Excellence Award stands for - leadership, commitment and respect. She is highly regarded throughout the aerospace community for her professionalism, grace and selfless commitment to the betterment of the equality and inclusivity in the aviation and aerospace industry.

About the International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA)
IAWA is a nonprofit association providing a worldwide network dedicated to promoting the advancement of women in the aviation and aerospace industries at all levels across the globe. IAWA sponsors informative meetings, hosts receptions and connects, publishes newsletters, and keeps its members updated on the latest industry developments. Information related to the Association, its programs, studies and NextGen opportunities can be found at IAWA.org.

Submitted: 10/10/20
Article By: not specified