The Award RTCA annually presents the William E. Jackson Award to an outstanding student in the field of aviation electronics and telecommunications. This award, which is a memorial to William E. Jackson – a pioneer in the development and implementation of the nation's air traffic control system and an enthusiastic supporter of student engineers – includes a personalized plaque and a $5000 honorarium. The William E. Jackson Award is presented at a special banquet during the RTCA Annual Symposium.


Any graduate student studying for a degree in the field of aviation electronics or telecommunication systems is eligible.


Submissions must be in the form of a thesis, project report or technical journal paper. The work on which the submission is based must have been completed within the three years preceding the closing date and the papers submitted for consideration must be written in English and provided without publication restrictions. Joint authors may compete if both or all qualify as students and candidates for graduate degrees in this field. Joint authors would share the $4000 award. In addition to the paper (electronic submission preferred), candidates for the award must submit: (1) a one- or two-page summary of the written material; (2) a biographical sketch of the candidate; and (3) a letter of endorsement from the candidate's instructor, professor or department head. Submissions received after the closing date will not be considered.

Judging Criteria

The basis for selection will be the submitted written report (electronic submission preferred). Candidates will not be interviewed. The life-long dedication of William E. Jackson to aviation systems, rather than to particular techniques or equipment, will be a standard guiding the evaluation of the submissions. Therefore, Jackson's career, as described in the enclosed biography, serves as an additional guide for contributors.

Closing Date

Submissions for the William E. Jackson award are accepted through December 2, 2019 and can be sent to:

William E. Jackson Award Committee
c/o RTCA, Inc.
1150 18th Street, NW, Suite 910
Washington, DC 20036


Submission Requirements

NOTE: Please submit one electronic copy of all items.

  1. Report/Submission: In the form of a Thesis, Project Report or Technical Paper
  2. Executive Summary of the Report; include a statement of applicability to the aviation community
  3. Biographical sketch of the candidate
  4. Letter of endorsement from the candidate's instructor, professor or department head; the endorsement may identify the significance of the research/project, the applicant's creativity/innovation and the level of technical merit.


For questions about the Jackson Award, contact Karan Hofmann.