Long wins 2017 AIAA Aerospace Software Engineering Award


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Lyle Long has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerospace Software Engineering (ASE) Award.

Long, Distinguished Professor and director of the Graduate Minor in Computational Science and Undergraduate Minor in Information Systems and Technology for aerospace engineering at Penn State, will receive a medal and certificate of citation for the award in January, 2017.

The ASE Award commends those who have demonstrated “outstanding technical and/or management contributions to aeronautical or astronautical software engineering.” The award honors Long’s "inspiration, innovation and enormous dedication to modernizing aerospace engineering education and research over several decades.”

“I’m really excited about the award,” said Long. “I’ve been trying to call for change in education for a long time, and it’s really great to see people appreciate that effort.”

Long’s most recent research focus is artificial intelligence, wherein he works to develop aspects of emotion in cognitive robots using mathematical models and the “happiness equation.” Additionally, Long works with very large-scale neural networks, solving neuron equations using massively parallel computers. He incorporates his research into his teaching whenever he can, and he strives to connect future industry and government needs to Penn State’s current education plan.

Modernizing aerospace education to change past and current curriculums has been among Long’s most focused efforts. He has created his own courses at Penn State, including one in advanced programming and another in software engineering, later incorporating each into the curriculum. He also developed both graduate and undergraduate minors. Long expresses gratitude for the award to his colleagues, conveying that their “recognition and support is much appreciated.”

As an AIAA member for 40 years, Long has been involved with both the Computer and Software Technical committees where he helps organize conferences, journals and other academic materials aiding the society. Long also established a new AIAA publication, the Journal of Aerospace Information Systems, which he describes as a “recognition that computers and software are very important areas in aerospace engineering (and all disciplines).”

Long has previously been recognized with multiple awards and honors, including the AIAA Sustained Service Award in 2010, a Lockheed Corporation award for research and development in 1987, the Caltech Moore Distinguished Scholar award in 2007 and the Gordon Bell Prize for fastest computer program in the world in 1993. He has also been inducted as both an AIAA and an American Physical Society Fellow, in 2005 and 2007, respectively.

Long will be honored at a recognition luncheon and reception on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine, Texas, in conjunction with the AIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition 2017.


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Lindsay Edling


Lyle Long, Distinguished Professor of aerospace engineering

Lyle Long, Distinguished Professor and director of the Graduate Minor in Computational Science and Undergraduate Minor in Information Systems and Technology for aerospace engineering



The Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, established in 1961 and the only aerospace engineering department in Pennsylvania, is consistently recognized as one of the top aerospace engineering departments in the nation, and is also an international leader in aerospace education, research, and engagement. Our undergraduate program is ranked 15th and our graduate programs are ranked 15th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, while one in 25 holders of a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in the U.S. earned it from Penn State. Our students are consistently among the most highly recruited by industry, government, and graduate schools nationwide.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry. Through an innovative curriculum and world-class instruction that reflects current industry practice and embraces future trends, Penn State Aerospace Engineering graduates emerge as broadly educated, technically sound aerospace engineers who will become future leaders in a critical industry

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