Adam Cowling, a recent master's graduate of Virginia Tech's Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department in the College of Engineering, is the 2009 recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Abe M. Zarem Award for Distinguished Achievement in Astronautics.

Cowling, of Chesapeake, Va., received the award for his student paper presented at the Region I-MA Student Conference earlier this year.

Cowling is now employed as an aerospace engineer at NASA Langley Research Center. AIAA will arrange for Cowling to attend the 2010 Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 4-7, 2010, where he will be presented with the bronze Zarem Medallion.

Additionally, Cowling is invited to present his work at the 60th International Astronautical Congress, Oct. 12-16, 2009, in Daejeon, South Korea. The paper, titled "Pitch-Control Predictor-Corrector and Neural Network Ascent Guidance," involved development and application of candidate ascent guidance algorithms to be used with the Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories II (POST2) in conceptual vehicle design tools.

Cowling's research was advised by Jeffrey S. Robinson at NASA Langley Research Center. The research was performed as part of a graduate research assistantship through the National Institute of Aerospace. Chris Hall and Craig Woolsey of the aerospace and ocean engineering department served on Cowling's graduate committee.