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AFIT Faculty Receive AFA Sponsored Awards

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  • Air Force Institute of Technology

During a virtual ceremony on Feb. 25, four Air Force Institute of Technology faculty members received awards sponsored by the Wright Memorial Chapter 212 of the Air Force Association.  

The awards recognize faculty who advance aerospace power and technology through innovative efforts in education and research.  The AFA has sponsored the awards since 1982.

One part of the AFA mission is to promote aerospace and STEM education and professional development.  “Our sponsorship of these awards is a great opportunity to celebrate the amazing achievements of those professionals who contribute so much to our shared values and goals,” said David Babcock, executive vice president of the AFA Wright Memorial Chapter.

“The recognition by the Air Force Association is a high point for us as they help recognize our outstanding individuals in the service of our Air Force and country,” said Dr. Todd Stewart, AFIT director and chancellor.



Dr. James Petrosky received the General Bernard A. Schriever Award.  This award is given in recognition of a person who advances aerospace power, technology, doctrine, or the Air Force as a profession.  The award is named in honor of Gen. Schriever, an AFIT alum from 1941, who organized and formed the Air Force’s ballistic missile and military space program.

Petrosky is a professor of nuclear engineering in AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management responsible for teaching and research in nuclear weapons effects.  In 2019 he spearheaded the development of AFIT’s Nuclear Expertise for Advancing Technologies Center focused on solving key strategic national security problems related to nuclear survivability, surety, and security.  Additionally, he stood up a cutting edge nuclear professional continuing education program where he delivered over 6,000 man hours of in-residence instruction to nuclear warfighting leadership.



Maj. James Bevins received the Colonel Charles A. Stone Award.    This award is given in recognition of an individual who accomplished specific achievements that furthered the AFIT mission through new and innovative efforts involving demonstrated personal leadership.  The award is named in honor of Col. Stone, the dean of AFIT’s School of Systems and Logistics from 1962-1966, who was instrumental in the school receiving accreditation to award master of science degrees.

Bevins is an assistant professor of nuclear engineering in AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management where his research interests include radiation transport modeling, radiation detection and analysis methods for nuclear security applications.  In 2019 he led a robust research group of nine master’s students, four doctoral students, and one research faculty member while directly executing over one million dollars in nuclear focused research.  Under his leadership, the group published six journal articles with five more in review, 13 conference papers, and two provisional patents.



Maj. Paul Weskalnies received the Professor Ezra Kotcher Award.    This award is given in recognition of an individual who made significant contributions to curriculum development within AFIT.  The award is named in honor of Col. Kotcher, the first director of AFIT and an aeronautical engineer who worked on inflight fueling and directed the development of the X-1 and X-2 jet planes.  

Weskalnies is an instructor in AFIT’s Civil Engineer School teaching courses on mechanical systems and energy management.  In 2019 he transformed the school’s six-week distance learning heating, ventilation and air conditioning design course by using virtual reality to introduce students to facility systems.  He also expanded the use of online seminars to create student activities and provided a question and answer forum to deepen student learning.



Dr. Julie Jackson received the Gage H. Crocker Outstanding Professor Award.    This award is presented to the individual who made the most significant contribution to the AFIT mission through excellence in teaching, curriculum development, educational innovation, consulting, or research.  The award is named in honor of Col. Crocker who served as the dean of AFIT’s School of Systems and Logistics from 1971 – 1972 and was a coauthor of papers on turbulence associated with blunt body flow.

Jackson is a professor of electrical engineering in AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management where she teaches courses on advanced radar system analysis, multidimensional signal and image processing, and random signal and system analysis.  In 2019 her unique innovations made her an international leader in radar research as evidenced by her recognition as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer’s top young radar engineer in the world with the Fred Nathanson Memorial Radar Award for her innovative systems engineering advancements in the exploitation of scattering phenomena for the next generation passive and active imaging radars.

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