American Institue of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

Written by Paul Wynns

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is a leading professional society for individuals in the fields of aerospace engineering and science. Founded in 1963 through the merger of the American Rocket Society (founded in 1930) and the Institute of the Aerospace Sciences (founded in 1932), AIAA was established to support the professional needs of those working in aerospace and to promote the advancement of the aerospace sector. The organization's headquarters are located in Reston, Virginia, with additional presence in Washington, D.C.

AIAA's membership comprises engineers, scientists, researchers, students, and professionals from the aerospace industry, academia, and government. This diverse membership base reflects the broad scope of the aerospace field, encompassing areas such as aviation, space exploration, defense, and research and development.

The organization plays a vital role in fostering innovation and excellence in the aerospace community. It does so through various activities, including:

  1. Publishing: AIAA is responsible for a range of highly respected technical publications, journals, and books that disseminate cutting-edge research findings and technological advancements in aeronautics and astronautics.

  2. Conferences and Meetings: AIAA organizes numerous conferences, symposia, and workshops annually. These events provide valuable opportunities for professionals to share knowledge, network with peers, and stay updated on the latest industry trends and developments.

  3. Educational Programs: AIAA is committed to educating the next generation of aerospace professionals. It offers educational resources, scholarships, student conferences, design competitions, and other initiatives to support students and educators in the aerospace field.

  4. Technical Committees: The organization has more than 70 technical committees focusing on specific areas within aeronautics and astronautics. These committees are instrumental in driving the technical agenda of AIAA, organizing conference sessions, guiding the publication of technical materials, and setting industry standards.

  5. Advocacy: AIAA serves as the voice of the aerospace industry in policy discussions, advocating for policies and investments that promote the health and sustainability of the aerospace sector at the national level.

  6. Professional Development: AIAA offers professional development courses, webinars, and other resources aimed at helping its members advance their careers and stay at the forefront of their fields.

Through its comprehensive programs and activities, AIAA plays an indispensable role in the global aerospace community, fostering the exchange of knowledge, supporting the professional growth of its members, and advancing the art, science, and practice of aerospace.


AIAA Roger W. Kahn Scholarship

Multiple awards worth
Grade Level
High School Senior

AIAA is awarding up to four $10,000 scholarships to high school seniors who enroll in an engineering major at a college or university!

The Roger W. Kahn Scholarship was created to honor the memory of Roger Kahn (1907–1962) and his passion for...