The 33rd Annual

Award Ceremony & Banquet

Thursday, 6 p.m., November 8, 2018

Reception 6:00 p.m. & Banquet 7:00 p.m.

Cocktail/Business attire

The Athenaeum at Caltech
551 S. Hill Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106
(626) 395-8200
Valet parking available 
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Parking and Directions (pdf)


Jean-Yves Le Gall

Jean-Yves Le Gall

President, Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES)

A. S. Kiran Kumar

A. S. Kiran Kumar

Former Chairman, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)


Hosted Reception 6:00 p.m.
Banquet 7:00 p.m.


Lt. Gen. Larry James
Master of Ceremonies, JPL Deputy Director

Thomas F. Rosenbaum
President, California Institute of Technology
Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair; Professor of Physics

Michael Watkins
Director of JPL, Caltech VP, Professor of Aerospace and Geophysics, Caltech

Ares J. Rosakis
Chair, Aerospace Historical Society
Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering
Historical Remarks and Presentation of Student Scholarships

James Bridenstine
NASA Administrator
Congratulatory Remarks Video

Speakers honoring Jean-Yves Le Gall

Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund
Chair of the Executive Board, German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Dr. Charles Elachi
Emeritus Professor, Electrical Engineering and Planetary Science, Caltech
Former Director of JPL and Caltech VP

Presentation of the International von Kármán Wings Award to Jean-Yves Le Gall
by Ares J. Rosakis

Speakers honoring A.S. Kiran Kumar

Ms. Suhasini Seelin and Mr. B.N. Chandrakanth 

Edward C. Stone
David Morrisroe Professor of Physics and Vice Provost for Special Projects
Voyager Project Scientist, Caltech

Presentation of the International von Kármán Wings Award to A.S. Kiran Kumar
by Ares J. Rosakis

Dr. Jean-Yves Le Gall

Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES)

Jean-Yves Le Gall is President of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency, since 2013. In this capacity, he is Interministerial Coordinator for satellite navigation programs and Chair of the Administrative Board of the European GNSS Agency. He is also Co-Chair of the Council of the European Space Agency (ESA) and President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).

Born in 1959, Jean-Yves Le Gall is a qualified engineer and scientist who has devoted his entire career to the European space program, holding positions within the French national scientific research agency CNRS, several French ministries, at Novespace and a first stint with CNES before joining Starsem and Arianespace for 12 years, where he was CEO then Chairman & CEO.

He received the Astronautics Prize from the French Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AAAF) in 2001. He was named Via Satellite magazine’s 2005 Satellite Executive of the Year and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 from the Asia-Pacific Satellite Communications Council (APSCC). In 2011, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SPPI). In 2014, he received a Laureate Award from Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine.

Jean-Yves Le Gall holds the rank of Officer in both the Legion of Honor and the National Order of Merit in France. He has also been awarded the Order of Friendship by the Russian Federation and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, by the government of Japan.

A. S. Kiran Kumar

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)

A. S. Kiran Kumar is Vikram Sarabhai Professor, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). From January 2015 to January 2018, he served as Secretary of the Department of Space, India, as Chairman of the Space Commission, Government of India, and as Chairman of ISRO. He obtained his Physics Honors Degree from National College, Bangalore, in 1971, M.Sc. Electronics from Bangalore University in 1973, and MTech. Degree in Physical Engineering from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore in 1975.

He implemented applications-oriented space programs, which facilitated rapid development of the country in many important spheres of earth observation, communication, navigation, meteorology and space science. He played a crucial role in Chandrayaan-1 moon mission, the Mars Orbiter Mission, and Reusable Launch Vehicle–Technology Demonstrator.

He was conferred Padma Shri award by the President of India in 2014 in recognition of his contributions. The Government of Karnataka honored him in 2015 for his contribution to space science and technology, and received Lifetime Achievement Award from Karnataka Science and Technology Academy in 2016. He is a recipient of the IISc Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2015, Gujarat Ratna ‘Life for Innovation’ Award in 2014, Lifetime Achievement Award by Andhra Pradesh Academy of Sciences in 2016, Bharat Ratna Award for Innovation in Technology conferred by University of Mysore in 2016, G.M. Modi Science Award in 2016, 19th SIES Chandrasekarendra Saraswati National Eminence Award in 2016, H K Firodia Vijnan Ratna Award in 2017, and Santokbaa Award in 2018.