Press Release: Forum 78 Gessow Best Paper Winner


July 19, 2022 


Julie M. Gibbs

(703) 684-6777

The Vertical Flight Society Announces Winner of 
2022 Alfred Gessow Best Paper Award 

Selected from 21 Finalists for Best Paper from Forum 78

Fairfax, Virginia — The Vertical Flight Society (VFS) announced today the winner of the Society’s prestigious Alfred Gessow Award for the best overall technical paper presented at the 78th Annual Forum and Technology Display. This year’s winning paper is from the Handling Qualities session entitled, “Toward a UAS Handling Qualities Specification: Development of UAS-Specific MTEs,” by Dr. Christina Ivler and Kate Russell of the University of Portland; and Drs. Anthony Gong, Tom Berger and Mark J.S. Lopez of US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC).

Christina Ivler- Gessow Award Winner 2022Dr. Ivler is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Portland. Her research interests are in rotorcraft system identification, control and handling qualities. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of California Davis and her doctorate in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. The winning Forum 78 paper highlighted key outcomes of the University of Portland’s unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including proposed UAS-specific maneuvers as mission task elements (MTEs), the validation of performance specifications, and validation of the Froude-scaled ADS-33E-PRF Level 1 attitude bandwidth metric as a predictive metric.

The selection process, which began in October 2021, was very rigorous. Out of 285 abstracts received, Forum 78 committee chairs selected 219 papers for publication. During the Forum, the session and technical committee chairs selected the best papers from each of the 21 technical papers for final consideration. Then the Society’s Deputy Technical Directors for Aeromechanics, Vehicle Design, Vehicle Integrity, System Integration, Systems Engineering, and Operations and Product Support winnowed that number down to seven finalists. Following that, the VFS Technical Director and a committee of technical experts reviewed and ranked the papers, and in that ranking, determined that the selected paper was the best of the best. All of the best papers are available for purchase in the Vertical Flight Library & Online Store (

The full list of all Forum 78 best papers (with links):

In addition, the History Committee recognized God’s Machine: The Miracle at Gander, by Paul J. Fardink, US Army (Ret.) as the winner of the Bernard Lindenbaum Best Historical Paper.

This year’s Forum 78 was held in May in Fort Worth, Texas. Next year, the Society’s 79th Annual Forum & Technology Display will be held May 16-18, 2023, in West Palm Beach, Florida. As the Forum 78 Alfred Gessow Best Paper Award winner, Dr. Ivler will present the paper at the 48th Annual European Rotorcraft Forum (ERF) on Sept. 7, 2022, in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Founded in 1943 as the American Helicopter Society, the Vertical Flight Society today is the international organization that advocates, promotes and supports global vertical flight technology and professional development. For nearly 80 years, the Society has provided global leadership for the advancement of vertical flight.

This press release is also available as a pdf.

The Vertical Flight Society
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