Press Release: Vertical Flight Society Announces 2023 Lichten Award Winners




Julie M. Gibbs

(703) 684-6777

Vertical Flight Society Announces 2023 Lichten Award Winners 
Selected for Technical Excellence from First-Time Technical Paper Presenters

Fairfax, Virginia, March 28, 2023 — The Vertical Flight Society today announced the winners of its prestigious Robert L. Lichten technical award. The overall winner will be recognized at the Grand Awards Breakfast on Thursday, May 18, 2023, during the Society’s 79th Annual Forum & Technology Display in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. 

2023 VFS Lichten Award Winners
Jessica Beyer, Lichten Award Winner in 2023

2023 VFS Lichten Award Runner-up
Giuseppe Bucciaglia, Lichten Award Runner-up in 2023

Ms. Jessica Beyer from Pennsylvania State University was selected as the overall Lichten Winner. Her winning paper, “Individual Blade Pitch Control (IBC) for Vibration Reduction of Lift-Offset Coaxial Rotor Vehicles with Auxiliary Propulsion,” will be presented at Forum 79 on Wednesday morning, May 17, during the Dynamics I session. Ms. Beyer was also the winner of the VFS Mideast US Region Lichten Competition. 

Mr. Giuseppe Bucciaglia from Leonardo Helicopters was selected as the Lichten Runner-up for his paper, “Correlation and Accuracy Quantification of Proprotor Loads between Predictions of Comprehensive Aeroelastic Software and Experimental Data.” His paper will be presented during the Dynamics II technical session on Wednesday afternoon, May 17 and Mr. Bucciaglia will receive a runner-up certificate. He was the VFS Europe/Africa Region Lichten winner. 

The other regional winners, who were finalists for the competition, were as follows:

  • Mr. Daniel J. Boyd of Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Co., was the winner of the VFS Northeast US Region with his paper, “Special Considerations for Distributed Complex IMA Systems.”
  • Mr. Matt Arace of University of Maryland, was the winner of the VFS Southeast US Region with his paper, “Fundamental Understanding of Hybrid-Electric Power.” His paper will be presented during the eVTOL Session III on Thursday, May 18.
  • Mr. Vishnu Saj of Texas A&M University was the VFS Southwest US Region winner for his paper, “Robust Reinforcement Learning Control Strategy for Vision-based Ship Landing of VTOL UAVs”.
  • Ms. Demi Outman of The Boeing Co. was the VFS Western US Region winner for her paper, “Management of System Complexity through Model-Based Systems Engineering.”

The Robert L. Lichten Award was established in 1976 to encourage VFS members who have not previously presented the results of their work at a technical meeting to begin to do so through presentations at local and regional VFS meetings. Each of the ten regions around the world is eligible to select a regional winner to enter the international competition, from which an overall winner and runner-up are selected. The overall Lichten Award Winner is invited to present his/her technical paper at the Forum and receives complimentary travel to and lodging at the Forum, as well as a $500 honorarium, sponsored by Bell. The runner-up is also invited to present at the Forum and receives a certificate and complimentary Forum registration.

The Lichten Award honors the memory of Robert L. Lichten, an outstanding rotary-wing engineer and the 22nd VFS President (1965-1966). Lichten was a skilled and dedicated innovator who spent much of his career championing early tiltwing and tiltrotor concepts. He was considered the “Pioneer of Tilt Rotor Technology” for his work at Bell, where he became the director of advanced technology. 

Information about VFS’s 79th Annual Forum & Technology Display is available at

Founded as the American Helicopter Society in 1943, the Vertical Flight Society is the global non-profit society for engineers, scientists and others working on vertical flight technology. For more than 80 years, the Society has led technical, safety, advocacy, and other important initiatives, and has been the primary forum for interchange of information on vertical flight technology.

This press release is also available as a pdf.

The Vertical Flight Society
2700 Prosperity Avenue, Ste. 275, Fairfax, VA 22031, USA
phone: 1-703-684-6777; fax: 1-703-739-9279
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