Frank E. Sorenson Award for Excellence in Aviation

Dr. Frank E. Sorenson was a pioneer in the field of aviation education since its early beginnings. A renowned educator and prolific writer, Sorenson contributed not only aviation education texts to the field, but also served as a consultant and innovator throughout the expanding realm of aviation education, research, and scholarship while serving as Director of the University of Nebraska Aviation Education Research Group.

Dr. Sorenson’s aviation impact and potential were recognized early in his career by the National Aeronautics Association when he received the Frank G. Brewer Trophy in 1946 for the most outstanding contribution to the development of youth in the field of education and training for his work in aviation education during critical years of World War II. In 1958, the University Aviation Association honored him with the William A. Wheatley Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to aviation education as a member of the Association. These were the first of many awards and citations he would earn on a national level as he continued his active involvement in the field of aerospace education until his death in 1977.

Through his involvement with the University of Nebraska, Dr. Sorenson generated some of the earliest teaching materials for aviation education and textbooks for military aviators during World War II. Throughout the course of his career, he contributed over forty articles and publications related to the field of aviation education and numerous others in related disciplines. His efforts led the way for extensive aerospace research and scholarship from the grassroots to the global level through his participation in the Civil Aeronautics Association, the World Congress on Air Age Education and UNESCO.

He served as chairman of the Air Force Association’s Aerospace Council, the Aerospace Education Forum at the First World Congress of Flight, the U.S. Air Force’s Air Training Command, the Men in Space book series, and NASA’s Aerospace Education Advisory Committee. As a result of his visionary involvement and development of the Link Foundation, the organization has gone on to provide grants now totaling over a half million dollars a year to support and advance aerospace education and training in aeronautics.

Nominations for this award should reflect substantial scholarly contributions to the field of aviation research and scholarship comparable to the scope of research, scholarship, and publications attained by Dr. Sorenson.

The Frank E. Sorenson Award was established by the UAA Board of Trustees in 1999. The Award is sponsored by the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The first award was made at the 2000 Fall Education Conference.