The Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America, Inc. (AESA) is a non-profit (501 c-3) non-partisan, and non-sectarian philanthropic organization headquartered in Glendale, California. AESA is primarily focused on promoting science and technology among the Armenian nation, including Armenia and the Diaspora communities. AESA’s mission is to address the professional, technical and scientific needs of fellow Armenians throughout the world. AESA consists of several committees, operating under the auspices and guidance of the AESA Board.
STEM for Armenians!
To become a platform for enabling the Armenian community to address challenges affecting the quality of life for Armenians and the Armenian Diaspora through the execution of STEM-based projects.
Enable and empower the Armenian STEM community worldwide by facilitating progress through STEM education, research, humanitarian initiatives, collaboration, and development.
Dr. Hagop Panossian recalls that the nucleus for creating AESA started first as a dream during his early years in college. He wished for a worldwide Armenian scientific organization with the objective of creating venues for all engineers, scientists and industrialists of Armenian descent so that they might network, interact and help one another. The organization would include all Armenians under its wings, those from Armenia and the rest of the world.
During the late seventies, Dr. Panossian met with his friend, Dr. Stepan Simonian, in UCLA. They discussed the idea of a worldwide Armenian scientific organization to which Simonian expressed his great excitement. Panossian also presented the concept to the late Professor George Adomian who was a well-known mathematician and professor at the University of Georgia, in Atlanta. Panossian was further encouraged by the Professor’s enthusiasm. Upon this, Dr. Panossian and his wife Ani compiled a list of engineers and scientists from all around the world. They sent letters expressing the intent of forming an all Armenian engineering and scientific organization and received numerous positive responses but, of course, not without some negative ones as well.
During one of Professor Adomian’s visits to Los Angeles, Panossian with the help of Stepan Simonian and Misak Apelian contacted nearly 40 Armenian engineers and scientists and organized the first and official founding meeting on June 30, 1983. The founding meeting was held in the Castaways restaurant in Burbank and was attended by 23 people, they are:
Hagop Panossian, Stepan Simonian, Misak Apelian, Khachig Demirjian, Raffi Ohanian, Hrair Jabaghchourian, Varoujan Demirjian, Emil Maghakian, Robert Hartounian, Zaven Guiragossian, Asadour Hadjian, Zohrab Bedrossian, Abraham Bouyadjian, Varoujan Bedoyan, Hagop Bedikian, Alex Grigorian, Harutiun Surmenian, Ara Chutjian, Souren Bouickians, George Adomian, Ed Boyajian, George Mutafian and Vanagan Tatevosian.
The actual name “Armenian Engineers & Scientists of America” was coined at a later time during one of the succeeding meetings of the organization.
Later, in 1984, Panossian appointed an organizing committee consisting of Asadour Hadjian, Dr. Alex Grigorian, Misak Apelian, Dr. Stepan Simonian and Dr. Panossian himself. The organizing committee was tasked to develop the bylaws, obtain an official nonprofit status and organize the operating structure of AESA overall. Dr. Ara Chutjian, Harutiun Surmenian and Hagop Bedikian later joined the committee. The committee used the bylaws of the American Physical Society as a template, made some modifications to them and established a set of bylaws for AESA.
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