T. Kent Pugmire , Standex ETG Technical Representative, was recognized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) as ‘Rocket Scientist’ of the Year with his selection to receive the prestigious 2018 Wyld (Rocket) Propulsion Award.

The annual award honors ‘outstanding achievement in the development or application of rocket propulsion systems’ and is named after James Hart Wyld. Pugmire received the award on July 11, 2018 at the AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum in Cincinnati, Ohio. The award citation reads: “For pioneering contributions to the design and development in-space propulsion systems including the creation of electro-thermal ammonia/hydrazine propulsion systems used in hundreds of spacecraft.”

The first spacecraft, Sputnik 1 (Dec 1959) and Explorer 1 (Jan 1960) were placed in elliptical orbits with very limited life. Neither had in-space propulsion to control or change position. This quickly led to the development for in-space propulsion. Initially this was accomplished with containers of pressurized nitrogen or helium which had short life and low propulsive efficiency. Within 10 years liquid fueled propulsion was implemented on small, limited mass spacecraft which had only a few watts electric power for communication and instruments.

During this period, Kent Pugmire was developing very low thrust (~.000,001 pounds thrust) liquid fueled ammonia electro-thermal propulsion systems for NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory. These developments provided the first spacecraft based, operational Global Positioning System (GPS). Some ten years later Kent’s developments produced the first operational electric (several kilowatts power) propulsion spacecraft. Use of this electric propulsion extended operational life of communication, weather, DOD spacecraft about 35% over the standard chemical engines in use at that time. Some applications are continuing today (1980s – 2018).

“Another prestigious honor for a longtime friend and colleague,” said Standex ETG’s Rich Morganti, VP Advanced Engineering & Technology. “It is not surprising given Kent’s passion and dedication to the industry. For those of us who have had the opportunity and pleasure to work with Kent, we are very fortunate indeed.”

Pugmire has worked with Spincraft / Standex ETG for 20+ years as Technical Representative and Consultant to the Space Systems market. Members of the ETG team were on hand for the award, joining several of Pugmire’s family members and business associates.

Pugmire was previously recognized by AIAA, having been inducted to the AIAA Class of 2016 Fellows. AIAA Honorary Fellows and Fellows represent the best of the aerospace community. These individuals have advanced the state of the art of aerospace science and technology, making unique contributions to the profession.
AIAA is the largest aerospace professional society in the world, serving a diverse range of more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 corporate members.


Milwaukee WI: Oct 27, 2018:

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, Milwaukee Bucks, WI Economic Develop Corp (WEDC), and WI Aerospace Partners joined forces to host the second Aerospace Jam on Oct 27, 2018. This year’s event was held at the new Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee.
Aerospace Jam was created to provide students an opportunity to learn more about Wisconsin’s aerospace industry and local businesses. The half-day event drew over 300 STEM students, ranging from middle school to college seniors.

Spincraft WI participated for the second year, welcoming the chance to speak with students about manufacturing at their New Berlin facilities. Spincraft Engineering Manager, Jeff Dudzik, fielded questions ranging from the very basic to highly complex, with subjects covering Spincraft processes, technologies, products and applications. Dudzik found it refreshing and rewarding to connect with the enthusiastic students, stating it gave him a ‘new perspective and appreciation’ for the variety of interesting projects and development work Spincraft has been a part of for so many years.
Spincraft Engineering Intern Michael Mueller offered his insight to those students inquiring about intern duties, and HR Manager Jamie Martin spoke of various career opportunities within the plant.
Below: Mueller, Martin and Dudzik at the Spincraft display, ready for Aerospace Jam to begin.