35th Annual AESA Gala in The News


Dear AESA Members and Friends,

Here are some links to articles published in the Armenian news media
regarding 35th Annual AESA Gala.










AESA Past President Receives the Rober C. McMaster Gold Medal Award

Dr. Shant Kenderian on the right.

The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) presented Dr. Shant Kenderian with the Rober C. McMaster Gold Medal, during their annual banquet, which took place in Nashville TN on November 1st, 2017.

The purpose of the award:

To provide recognition for outstanding contributions, exceptional meritorious service or significant advancement in any area of nondestructive testing and/or the Society.

Below is the nomination letter, submitted by a former recipient of the Gold Medal.

Education Path

Shant holds a BS degree in Production Engineering and Metallurgy from the University of Technology in Baghdad in 1985, an MS degree in 1996 in Manufacturing Engineering and Technology from the California State University in Los Angeles, a second MS degree and a PhD degree both in Materials Science and Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in 2002.

Career Path

While a PhD student at JHU, Shant invented a new technique for railroad track inspection and another technique for wayside railroad wheel inspections. He also built a working prototype to demonstrate his new technology. The new technique can find flaws in rails that are difficult to detect with other methods and it is being further developed for railroad track inspections. In 2003, after the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, he joined a NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) team called “Super Problem Resolution Team”, which was tasked with developing new Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) techniques to avoid future failures. The team considered several inspection challenges related to the space shuttle program including different inspection approaches for the Sprayed On Foam Insulation (SOFI) that covered the shuttle external tank.  Eventually, the efforts of this team led to the return to flight of the space shuttle program, which was grounded for approximately 2 years. Shant later joined The Aerospace Corporation as a member of the technical staff, and subsequently became a department director. The Aerospace Corporation supports the US Air Force space program, NASA, Missile Defense Agency, and other civil and commercial entities. Shant takes an active role in his department and leads an NDE team that routinely solves inspection problems that are often deemed too complicated or undoable by other experts. Although, most of these challenges are brought to the team with little time remaining for developing a solution, their track record for actually finding a solution is nearly 100%. Some of the cost savings that resulted from the innovative solutions that he and his team have developed are estimated in the millions of dollars, including one evaluated at $25 million in 2010 and another at $100 million in 2011. In recognition for the latter effort, he received multiple corporate awards from The Aerospace Corporation, as well as one from the contractor – Lockheed Martin.

In 2010 Shant discovered a behavior in ultrasonic surface waves that was not known before. He explained this phenomenon theoretically and experimentally in a paper that was published in Research in Nondestructive Evaluation in 2010. The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) selected this paper for its Outstanding Paper Award in 2011.  In 2016, Shant and his team developed a technique to inspect the bond quality for the heatshields that are bonded to a composite substrate on the NASA Orion space capsule. The Orion capsule is intended to carry astronauts to the moon in 2019. NASA had been attempting a solution for more than a year but the inspection problem proved to be too difficult to solve. In a short time, Shant’s team developed a very successful inspection method that is capable of detecting a variety of defects, including the evasive kissing unbonds. The inhomogeneous and highly scattering and attenuating heatshield material makes this inspection particularly difficult. NASA considers this to be one of the primary inspection techniques for the Orion heatshields. In recognition for this effort, NASA presented Shant with an Engineering Excellence award on November 17, 2016 as well as a group achievement award.

ASNT Activities

Shant Kenderian is a Fellow of ASNT and a very active member of the organization. He served on the Board of Directors a total of 6 years, and chaired and served on a number of committees within ASNT. He created the Student Travel Grant to encourage students to attend and present in the Research Symposium, and the Research Council mentoring program, which became a very successful movement in ASNT. He has been a longtime participant in NDT conferences, given 30 presentations, organized and chaired 28 sessions, and was the general chair for 6 national and international conferences. He also participated as the keynote speaker for ASNT in Salt Lake City in 2015, IEEE International Workshop on Metrology for Aerospace in Italy in 2015, and the Nondestructive Testing in Aerospace Industry Conference in Japan in 2016.


Shant Kenderian has a publication record of 18 peer reviewed Journal papers, 22 conference proceeding, 50 Aerospace technical reports, 3 patents, and 2 pending patents.

AESA President Meets Academician Prof. Dr. Yuri Oganesyan

From Left to right: Mr. John Shirajian AESA President, Mr. Vardges Kirakosyan Chairman Advisor to the Republic of Armenia’s State Committee of Science, Prof. Dr. Yuri Oganesyan Scientific Director of the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions.


Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America (AESA) President Mr. John-Emmanuel Shirajian concluded a two-day visit to the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions (FLNR) July 2, 2018. FLNR in the city of Dubna is one of seven major nuclear physics laboratories in the Russian Federation, each administered by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. The complex has eighteen-member states, including the Republic of Armenia. Six of the states have the status of Associate Member.

Mr. Shirajian was invited to FLNR by the eminent physicist Academician Prof. Dr. Yury Oganesyan, who is also Science Director of FLNR. Prof. Oganesyan led Mr. Shirajian on an extensive tour of the facilities. Also present was Mr. Vardges E. Kirakosyan Chairman-Advisor to the Republic of Armenia’s State Committee of Science. Among Academician Oganesyan recent accomplishments, the new element 118 of the periodic table was named after him, being the only living person on the periodic table.

Mr. Shirajian was received by a number of Russian nuclear scientists, including the Director of FLNR, Prof. Dr. Sergey Dmitriev. The Director extended an open invitation to Mr. Shirajian and said that he would like to see him in the near future with a delegation representing AESA.

Academician Oganesyan was presented with an official letter from the AESA Board informing him that he was selected as recipient of the prestigious Victor Hambartsumian Award. The internationally-known leader of superheavy elements research was honored, and graciously accepted the Award. Dr. Oganesyan moreover inquired if he can be a member of AESA, to which Mr. Shirajian answered in the clear affirmative.

After conclusion of the visit Mr. Shirajian – touched by the reception he had received – said, “It was a great honor for AESA that their representative received such an overwhelming reception on the professional level, and warm hospitality on the personal one.” He added that he will always remember the Dubna visit with deep fondness and gratitude.

AESA President Shirajian Meets with Archbishop Nersisyan and Administrators of the Newly Built Krikor Nargatsi School in Moscow

From Left to right: Mr. John E. Shirajian AESA President, His Eminence, Archbishop Yezras Nersisyan Primate of the Russian and New Nakhichevan Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.


The president of the Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America (AESA), Mr. John-Emmanuel Shirajian, met in Moscow with His Eminence, Archbishop Yezras Nersisyan on July 2, 2018. Archbishop Nersisyan is the Primate of the Russian and New Nakhichevan Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The meeting took place in the complex of the Holy Transfiguration Mother Cathedral of Moscow. In attendance were Mr. Vardges E. Kirakosyan, Chairman Advisor of the Republic of Armenia State Committee of Science, and Engineer-Inventor Mr. Gregory V. Seropyan, board member of the State Committee of Science of the Republic of Armenia.

Mr. Shirajian toured the new, state-of-the-art Krikor Nargatsi School located in the Holy Transfiguration complex. Mr. Shirajian was elated and proud of the quality of this modern facility. “This unique institution is an inviting, esthetically-pleasing facility. Moreover, it is a very functional one,” he stated. He commended the principal for equipping the laboratories with the latest computers and robotic kits. In his opening remarks of the meeting Mr. Shirajian also described some of the activities of AESA. The president paid special attention to the Science Olympiad. Mr. Kirakosyan, a physicist by training, committed to participating in the upcoming Science Olympiad in March 2019. His Eminence Archbishop Nersisyan elaborated on how the Christian ethos of persistence, resilience, and dedication to others is the same ethos required to succeed as a scientist. Mr. Shirajian thanked His Eminence for his generous hospitality, and invited him to the 35th Annual Gala bestowing the Victor Hambartsumyan medal upon Dr. Prof. Yuri Oganesyan.

AESA team at the Engineering Expo in Armenia

AESA members were attending the second Engineering Forum-Expo at Vanadzor Technology Center.
Mr. Shirajian talked about the engineering of Armenia: challenges and perspectives. Mr. Thorose had a speech about UAV technology in parallel panel sessions. Mr Gharabekyan introduced his new project related to forestry and implemented by Hi-Tech Gateway.

Mr. Shirajian’s speech at the opening

Speech of Mr. Thorose about the need and importance of UAV TECHNOLOGY and the growth of its industry in Armenia.

Learn more here.

NASA awards its highest honor to Dr. Yervant Terzian

HOUSTON (Cornell Chronicle)—NASA has announced it will award the Distinguished Public Service Medal, its highest honor, to astronomer Dr. Yervant Terzian, the Tisch Distinguished Professor Emeritus. The medal will be presented by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston on Aug. 2. The ceremony will be broadcast live at noon EDT on NASA TV. Read more.