Call for Abstracts

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is hosting the 10th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium ( October 24-26, 2017. The event is organized by the American Astronautical Society (AAS) in collaboration with UAH, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and the National Space Club - Huntsville.

The Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium brings together high-ranking government and corporate officials from the aerospace community. We are releasing this Call for Abstracts for student (undergraduate and graduate) design and research projects for the Student Poster Competition, which will be a centerpiece of this year’s symposium. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to submit an abstract. Individual and group projects of ongoing or completed research are acceptable. Current UAH undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to participate. The student(s) must be working under the mentorship of a faculty member or professional researcher.

This year, we are also pleased to announce that, for the first time, AAS will be offering the opportunity for one of the poster competition winners to present their research at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Bremen, Germany (October 1-5, 2018).

First and second place winners in each category (Engineering and Physical/Liberal Sciences), for both undergraduate and graduate, will be invited to develop an abstract, a paper and a presentation, and submit their abstract to the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) through the regular IAC submission process by the end of February 2018.

Among those applying AND accepted by the IAF, AAS will review their papers, and select one student to sponsor for the trip (student registration fee, air travel and hotel accommodation) to present their research at the IAC. The student will also be asked to give a short talk on their experience either at the 2018 Dr. Wernher von Braun Memorial Dinner hosted by the National Space Club – Huntsville, or at the 11th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium.

Abstracts for the student poster competition should include the title of the design or research project and a brief summary of the focus of the project (250 words maximum) – the project should show some explicit connection to aerospace systems. The areas could include research in atmospheric science, earth observation, space life sciences, space health, aerospace systems engineering and design, astrophysics, optics, economics, business, policy, sustainability, history, international relations, education, STEM outreach initiatives, or related areas.

The number of abstracts selected will be limited. AAS will collect all submissions of abstracts and make final determinations regarding which abstracts will be selected for the competition. The student is required to work with his or her faculty/researcher staff advisor; the advisor should give guidance and advice, and is responsible for approving the accuracy and content of the abstract and poster. The student(s) should be first author(s) and the advisor’s name must appear as a co-author or in the Acknowledgments.

More information can be found at The head author should submit the abstract, and a student can submit only one abstract as the head author (an author cannot present more than one poster in the competition, though they can be a non-presenting team member on other projects). The abstract should be submitted online at the website. By submitting an abstract, you are committing to creating and presenting a poster, if selected. Accepted students must create a poster via a template, which will be provided. Further, the student(s) must present the poster at the Poster Competition. There is no cost to a student to submit an abstract or participate in the poster competition should they be selected.

Abstracts are due no later than Friday, September 8th at 5PM(CDT). All submissions will be reviewed and selections for participation made by AAS. Authors will be notified of acceptance soon after the deadline. A poster template (must be used), and further instructions along with a schedule will be provided to successful applicants.
The completed poster must be submitted by Noon (12PM CDT) on Friday, October 13th.

In addition, the Office of Vice President for Research and Economic Development has kindly offered to pay the registration fee for a limited number of current UAH students who would like to attend the Werner von Braun Memorial Symposium (official registration includes all sessions, continental breakfasts, break refreshments, two lunches and two receptions). This opportunity is open to all current students and is not connected to participation in the poster competition. Students interested in attending the proceedings should apply in person at the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (324A Student Services Building), no later than Friday, September 8th. Students who participate in the Student Poster Competition may attend the Opening Kick Off and Reception, even if they do not register for the full symposium.

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Robert Griffin at or Dave Cook at