The American Astronautical Society (AAS) and The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) are pleased to host the 13th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium ( October 26-28, 2020 on the UAH campus. The Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium brings together high-ranking government officials, industry executives, academia, and others from the aerospace community. The event is organized by AAS in collaboration with UAH and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

Although currently scheduled as an in-person Symposium we recognize that health concerns may cause us to change this to a virtual conference. That decision will be made closer to the event. Regardless, the Student Poster Contest will be a virtual event. We have designed this Student Poster Contest such that it will be unaffected by changes to the primary conference.

We are releasing this Call for Abstracts for student (undergraduate and graduate) design and research projects for the Student Poster Competition - Virtual, 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 work are acceptable. Current undergraduate and graduate students from all institutions of higher learning are eligible to participate. Best posters will be selected in two categories (Engineering/Physical Sciences and Liberal Sciences) within two divisions (undergraduate and graduate).

AAS is offering the opportunity for one of the best poster winners to present their work at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (October 25- 29, 2021). For this, the first and second place winners for each category in both divisions will be invited to develop a revised abstract and submit it to the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) for inclusion in the 2021 IAC through the regular IAC submission process (expected due by the end of February 2021). 

Those applying and accepted by the IAF will subsequently develop and provide their presentation and paper to the AAS (in June 2021 – earlier than due to the IAC). AAS will review these and select one student to sponsor for the trip (student registration fee, economy class air travel and hotel accommodation with arrangements to be approved by AAS) to present their work at the IAC. The student will also be asked to give a short talk on their experience either at the 2021 Dr. Wernher von Braun Memorial Dinner hosted by the National Space Club – Huntsville, or at the 14th

Abstracts for the student poster competition should be a brief summary of the focus of the project (250 words maximum). They should show an explicit connection to aerospace systems. Areas of work could include atmospheric science, earth observation, space life sciences, space health, aerospace systems engineering and design, astrophysics, optics, economics, business, program management, space policy, sustainability, history, international relations, education, Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach initiatives, or other aerospace related areas.

The primary author must submit the abstract. A student may submit only one abstract as the primary author (but may be a contributing author on other posters). A different author may be the presenter but also cannot present more than one poster in the competition (i.e. they can be a non-presenting team member on other projects). By submitting an abstract, you are committing to creating and presenting a poster if selected. International submissions will be accepted.

Abstracts are due no later than midnight New York time, Monday, 9/1/2020.
Abstracts should be submitted via the online form here:

If you have any questions, contact Dave Cook at or Alan DeLuna at

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