Lassonde School of Engineering Professor Michael Daly has been awarded the 2018 CASI McCurdy Award from the Canadian Aeronautics & Space Institute. The award is presented for outstanding achievement in the science and creative aspects of engineering relating to aeronautics and space research.
Daly received the award for his academic work, and for his role as a pioneer and leader in space science as someone has made outstanding contributions to the field of aeronautics and space research. He was lauded for his role and impact on Canada’s space robotics and planetary science programs.
The award citation highlights Dalyʹs achievements during the recent decades, many of which have enabled some of Canada’s most ambitious initiatives in space to succeed. His influence has uniquely changed the direction of Canada’s space program. Built on his concept for a novel instrument (an asteroid mapping LIDAR), Daly is the lead scientist for Canada’s newest space instrument: the OSIRIS‐Rex Laser Altimeter (OLA) that launched to asteroid Bennu in September 2016. He also successfully engineered Canada’s first instrument to operate from the surface of a solar system body other than the Earth. His work has created new opportunities for Canadian Space industry and improved Canada’s competitiveness internationally.
The McCurdy Award was introduced in 1954 by the Institute of Aircraft Technicians, one of the aeronautical groups that amalgamated to form the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute. The award commemorates the many engineering and other contributions made by John A.D. McCurdy during the first stages of the development of an aviation industry in North America.
To receive the McCurdy Award, the nominee’s achievement must constitute the most significant contribution made in recent years toward the advancement of science and technology in aeronautics and space exploration and must be worthy of special recognition. The contribution may be administrative in nature, but it must be directly related to science and technology and have been sustained over several years at an imaginative and creative level above what would normally be considered a competent and successful performance.