Reed Kakuska (BS Mech Egr '81) received a 2010 RNASA Stellar Award for his “unwavering pursuit of innovative approaches to complex propulsion issues enabling sustained mission success for Atlas V and Delta IV upper stage launch vehicles.” Kakuska is the chief engineer of the RL10C-1 Rocket Engine Program at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.
Each year the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement solicits nominations for Stellar Awards for individuals and teams from the government, military, and industry. In order to ensure recognition of individuals at all stages in their careers, nominations are solicited in four categories—Early Career, Middle Career, Late Career, and Teams. Kakuska won a middle career individual award.
The winners were announced at an awards ceremony held at the Hyatt Regency in Houston, Texas. The keynote speaker at the award ceremony was NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. The awards were presented by Shuttle astronauts Captain Michael Foreman USN (ret.) and K. Megan McArthur, PhD.