|Sevada Chamras, PhD|
Established in 1993, the mission of the AESA Research and Education Committee (REC) is to sponsor the publishing of science and technical texts in Armenia, provide grants to scientists and engineers in Armenia to generate technical products, and promote the advancement of science and engineering education in Armenia.
There is critical shortage of technical and academic texts written in the Armenian language due to lack of funds to pay authors for writing new books. The Armenian books that are available are either outdated or falling apart due to their age. Since students are forced to use books written in Russian and English, the Armenian technical literary base is under threat of becoming extinct. The Research and Education Committee (REC), in conjunction with the Armenian Ministry of Higher Education and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, is helping to rectify this problem by providing funding to engineers, scientists, and architects in Armenia to author and publish their academic texts in Armenia.
The REC was instrumental in awarding grants to Armenia’s top scientists, who have significant contributions to Armenia’s technology development. AESA sponsored the publication of dozens of research level and academic textbooks for universities in Armenia. These books are currently being used at universities and technology institutes all over Armenia. Thousands of students study more of their engineering and science courses now in their native Armenian language.
The REC created a local technological and industrial network providing grants to scientists and engineers in Armenia to generate technical products. Funds provided buy AESA helped reduced the “Brain Drain” problem that resulted from the breakup of the Soviet Union and collapse of economy that immediately followed.
The Victor Hambartsumyan Award
In March 1994, AESA established the Victor Hambartsumyan Award for technical excellence. Victor Hambartsumyan was the first to receive this award, which was bestowed upon him in Armenia. Later that year, in November, AESA bestowed the award to three more scientists in Armenia. Throughout the years that followed, a total of 15 awards were given to scientists in Armenia. The Research and Education Committee also sponsored the printing of a pamphlet, which is handed out to visitors at the Victor Hambartsumyan museum in Armenia.
AESA President 1994,
(Center Left) and
talk during the AESA
in Armenia 1994.
From 1995 to 2000, the Research and Education Committee awarded 3 Armenian scientists annually with AESA’s Scientist of the Year $300 honorarium.
For a variety of reasons, this tradition lapsed and the award was not given in nearly a decade. The improved Armenian economy and rising value of the Dram in comparison to the American dollar are perhaps among the reasons to blame. On the Silver Anniversary of AESA and 100th birthday of Victor Hambartsumyan, the AESA Council and Past Presidents Committee (PPC) found the occasion most fitting to revive this tradition and honor individuals who have dedicated a lifetime to serving the Armenian engineering and sciences community. A banquet will be held in honor of the award winner,who will receive a certificate and the AESA Victor Hambartsumyan medalion.
The inscription on the medallion is:
“Victor Hambartsumyan Award bestowed by AESA in recognition of sustained excellence and outstanding contributions to the advancement of Engineering and Sciences in the Armenian community”
Past recipients of the Victor Hambartsumyan Award since its re-installment in 2008
|| Award Winner
|2008|| Prof. Mihran Agbabian
Dr. Hagop Panossian
|2009||Prof. George K. Chilingarian|
|2010||Dr. Ara Chutjian|
|2012||Dr. Vaughn Gregor|
Computer and Software
Since 1993, the Research and Education Committee has arranged software research assignments between Armenian-American firms and university students (software specialists) in Armenia. By 2003, nearly $100,000 was provided to these students. With their computer programming skills, students were able to produce software customized for the needs of these companies. AESA also sponsored the preparation of an Eastern Armenian spell check program, which contained a database of about 50,000 words.
Activities in the US
AESA scientists have participated regularly in the California State Science Fairs where they judge projects from high school and junior high school students throughout the State of California. In addition, AESA members have mentored science students and judged science projects for local Armenian schools for over a decade. The REC members have prepared and presented software-marketing workshops to hundreds of university students in Armenia. Members also have presented science industry workshops at Rockwell International Aerospace for local Armenian teachers and principals.