Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

2023 Women in Emerging Aviation Technology Awards set for historic, new location

The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is set to be the site of something huge for the trailblazing women of the drone industry. The 2023 Women in Emerging Aviation Technology Awards will be held there.

The 2023 Women in Emerging Aviation Technology Awards is not a new program, but it’s gone through quite the evolution. It started as simply a drone-focused awards ceremony but — as drones have morphed to encompass similar tech like air taxis — the awards program also grew to encompass general ’emerging aviation technology.’

The program, which was launched in 2017, is designed to recognize women who have made major contributions to areas including business, policy-making, engineering, teaching and research within the emerging aviation industries.

The physical ceremony itself has also become bigger and better each year. In its early years, it was held as part of the now-defunct Interdrone conference. But after Interdrone was cancelled in 2021, it nabbed a prominent spot at the Las Vegas Convention Center as part of CES 2022, which is largely considered the largest tech trade show in the world. The awards ceremony was held once again at CES 2023, but once again in a bigger and better way, thanks to the addition of the inaugural Hall of Fame. (Full disclosure, yours truly, Sally French, was named to the Hall of Fame in 2023 for creating The Drone Girl).

And this year’s 2023 Women in Emerging Aviation Technology Awards are set to be more historic than ever, give its new spot in quite literally historic venue.

2023 Women in Emerging Aviation Technologies Awards Smithsonian

About the 2023 awards at the Smithsonian

The 7th Annual Global Awards is headed to an entirely new venue this time around: the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. It’ll be held on October 25, 2023. The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum maintains the world’s largest and most significant collection of aviation and space artifacts, including the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the Bell X-1 (which broke the sound barrier), the starship Enterprise model (used in the Star Trek TV show), and the Wright brothers’ Wright Flyer airplane.

The whole thing is coordinated by Women and Drones, and online and in-person community centered around supporting women in the industry.

Of course, there’s more than just some awards being doled out in D.C. that weekend. Women and Drones will partner with Commercial Drone Alliance to host the Emerging Aviation Technologies Thought Leaders’ Summit the day before on Tuesday, October 24. That summit is intended to focus on building a framework to reshape the opportunities for a path forward in the UAS/AAM industry.

Inside the 2023 Emerging Aviation Technologies Summit

How to win a Women in Emerging Aviation Technology Award

To earn recognition, you must be nominated, in a period that’s open now through June 16, 2023. To nominate someone, you’ll have to fill out a form explaining why they deserve too be selected, how they’ve shaped the industry and what they’re doing to drive change, among other application questions.

Nominees must be employed in the UAS/AAM industry or have made a significant impact on the industry through their leadership, research, teaching, or advocacy. Winners are selected based on their experience “driving change and leading the way toward greater female participation in the uncrewed aviation industry.” There are a few other criteria, such as that nominees must be at least 18 years old. And yes, self-nominations are allowed.

Nominate someone here.

Looking for other summits, workshops and drone events in 2023? Check out my guide to the top drone events of 2023 around the world.

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