We’ve featured our rising star Kimberley Clayfield previously, when she won a Women’s Agenda Leadership Award in 2013.

We’ll she’s been honoured again, having just been presented with the Lawrence Sperry Award for 2014, from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

CSIRO's Kimberley Clayfield is presented with her AIAA award.

CSIRO’s Kimberley Clayfield is presented with her AIAA award.

The Award is presented for a notable contribution made by a young person, aged 35 or under, to the advancement of aeronautics or astronautics. According to Dr Michael West, the Sydney Chair of the AIAA, the award recognises her ‘significant and sustained contributions to the development of the Australian aerospace sector through national public policy development, scientific leadership, and educational activities’.

Kimberley, Executive Manager for CSIRO’s Space Sciences and Technology activity, is the first Australian to ever receive this award. Previous recipients have included Gene Kranz (former NASA Flight Director), David Thompson (Founder and CEO of Orbital Sciences Corporation), Sheila Widnall (the first female Secretary of the US Air Force) and Robert Braun (former NASA Chief Technologist).

Well done Kimberley on your recognition!

Interesting Fact:

The award is named after Lawrence B. Sperry, an aviation pioneer and inventor, who died in 1923 following a crash landing while attempting a flight across the English Channel.

Sperry was notable for his 23 patents related to aircraft safety and is credited with inventing the first autopilot, the seat pack parachute as well as retractable aircraft landing gear. He also developed core aircraft instrumentation that is still in use in planes today. You can read more about his pioneering and inventive exploits here.