We are thrilled to share that Professor Ella Atkins has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the President’s Award for National and State Leadership!
Professor Atkins was selected from all U-M campuses, schools, colleges and units for her success in “carrying out the mission of the university by providing extensive national or state leadership and service… with proven impacts on society at large.”
Dr. Ella Atkins is a Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, where she founded and directs the Autonomous Aerospace Systems (A2SYS) Laboratory and serves as Associate Director of Graduate Programs for the Robotics Institute.
She has established a distinguished record of service and participation in university, government, and professional capacities. At the University of Michigan, she serves on the College of Engineering’s Executive Committee and chairs the Robotics Program’s Graduate and Curriculum Committee. She served two terms on the National Research Council (NRC) Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board during which she was a member of the Aeronautics Roundtable. She co-authored the NRC report “Autonomy Research for Civil Aviation: Toward a New Era of Flight” describing barriers, research needs, and opportunities for autonomy research in civil aviation. She is a member of the AIAA Intelligent Systems Technical Committee and AIAA Software Technical Committee and serves as a longtime Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal of Aerospace Information Systems (JAIS).
Dr. Atkins has worked with U-M lobbyists Kristina Ko and Rebecca DeVooght to inform national and state legislators of issues regarding aviation and its regulation (FAA). In particular, she has met with legislators to discuss how UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) might be introduced into public airspace while assuring safety and respecting citizens’ rights to immediate reaches airspace. She regularly interacts with the media to explain matters related to aviation safety, autonomy, and Aerospace systems.