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Nominations are Open for the Charles F. Kettering 'Bug' Award

June 8, 2018

trophyThe award is named in honor of Mr. Kettering, who, in partnership with Orville Wright, was the driving force behind the design and successful flight testing of the U.S. Army Signal Corps’ first Aerial Torpedo, known today as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

Kettering 'Bug' Award
Criteria, Submission, Judging, and Nomination Guidance 


The award is given to an individual or to a team of named individual’s demonstrating outstanding achievement in the practical application of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) principles.

All entries will be judged on the four Kettering “Bug” Award criteria: Concept, Value, Delivery and Impact. UAS scope, against which the criteria will be applied, includes all system elements: vehicle, ground station, control, and operations. Key aspects of these system elements to be assessed by the award process will include: integrated capability, profound impact on UAS systems or operations, and technology incorporation. 

Concept (25%) - Opportunity, conception, method, and development

In the spirit of Charles F. Kettering, we are looking for innovations that not only address a need and solve a problem, but also seize an opportunity and create a new market or industry. True to Kettering’s work, we are interested in the overall method and development of the concept and opportunity. We desire to understand how discovery, collaboration, iteration, prototyping, etc., contributed to the conception and development of the innovation as it progressed from genesis to design and implementation.

Value (25%) - Need/desire, differentiation, cost, and advantage

For Charles F. Kettering, value was a primary driver for his innovations. We want to understand how the innovation satisfies an existing or emerging need or desire. We are seeking evidence for how the offering is different and whether it has distinct, game-changing advantages over any alternatives. We also want to evaluate the value proposition in terms of its uniqueness and the relationship between its cost and benefits.

Delivery (25%) - Message, engagement, availability, and achievement

Charles F. Kettering was not only an accomplished innovator but also a great communicator, marketer and master of delivery. We would like to understand how the message and broader story of the innovation is communicated in clear and compelling ways. We are looking for nteresting examples of how stakeholders have been engaged and how the offering has been delivered and made available to the marketplace. Finally, we are interested in how the value proposition of the offering is being achieved, fulfilled and validated in the marketplace.

Impact (25%) - Sustainability, social responsibility, and potential

Charles F. Kettering devoutly believed that real innovation not only demonstrated commercial success, but also sustained sensitivity to broader implications. We want to understand the immediate and longer term impact the innovation has on society as a whole. We are also interested in how the offering may establish a vision or be the basis of a larger system or platform of innovations and how it might be an inspiration to future innovation and innovators.


Nominations may be submitted via email or through the mail.

The point of contact at the Engineers Club of Dayton is Mr. Ted Fecke, who is available via email at or through the USPS at Engineers Club of Dayton 110 East Monument Ave., Dayton Ohio 45402.


All completed nominations will be reviewed by the members of the Kettering “Bug” Awards Steering Committee. The Committee will include professionals with expertise related to UAS.


  • In the case of projects submitted, the entry must be an original work or an adaptation of another, within the elements defined in the scope.

  • The nominator and nominee of the entry must not be involved in, or have any knowledge of, any possible litigation or allegations of corruption (project/Initiative/person), dispute or claim involving the entry.

  • Submitted material becomes the property of Dayton Engineers Club.

  • Projects entered in the competition may have been executed anywhere in the world but must have been substantially performed by and under the direction of the firm’s USA office.

  • Entries may be submitted jointly by two or more UAS firms if the project involved significant participation by more than one firm in the aspects to be considered by the judges. Team Nominations may include individuals from multiple entities: (firms, agencies and universities).

  • If the effort is controlled by International Traffic in Arm Regulations (ITAR), then a statement of acceptance is required.


The call for nominations opened on June 1, 2018 with submissions due to the Engineers Club of Dayton by July 15, 2018.

The nominations will be evaluated by volunteering experts by August 15, 2018 and the formal announcement made by September 1, 2018.  The inaugural presentation will be made on October 2, 2018 coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the “Bug’s” first flight.

You will need the following information to submit an award nomination: 
  • Full contact information for nominee (including email address)

  • A concise (30-word or less) suggested citation

  • A narrative, describing significant aspects of the nominee's career, not to exceed one page for an individual, or 3 pages for a team.

  • Optional supporting documents such as a full patent and/or publication list, will be accepted.

  • Names and contact information (including email addresses) for 4 (four) references, who you have already contacted and asked to provide a reference

  • Executive summary of the project of no more than 200 words, that is publicly releasable.

  • The total nomination package must not exceed 10 pages.

  • All files will be submitted as a PDF document to the Committee.

  • Photos: a minimum of 5 or maximum of 20 high resolution photos are required for each entry. All photos used must be titled correctly.