ISE Distinguished Alumni Award
Dr. Wanda M. Austin
Dr. Wanda M. Austin is an American businesswoman who is internationally recognized for her work in aeronautics and systems engineering. She is co-founder of MakingSpace, Inc, a systems engineering and leadership development consultant and motivational speaker. She served as interim president of the University of Southern California for the 2018-2019 academic year, and led the institution through a crucial transition period. She is the former president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the application of science and technology toward critical issues affecting the nation's space program. From January 2008 until October 2016, Austin led the organization's 3600 employees and managed annual revenues of $950 million at 17 U.S. locations. As the sixth president, she was the first woman and the first African American in the 57-year history of the organization.
Austin served on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology until January 2017, advising the President of the United States in areas where an understanding of science, technology and innovation was key to forming effective U.S. policy. Austin is a member of the Defense Science Board and the NASA Advisory Council. She is an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a counselor of the National Academy of Engineering, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a life trustee for the University of Southern California and on the Board of Directors for the Chevron Corporation, Virgin Galactic and Amgen.
Growing up in New York City, Austin attended The Bronx High School of Science, then earned a B.A. in mathematics from Franklin & Marshall College, M.S. degrees in systems engineering and mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in systems engineering from the University of Southern California.
Austin professional achievements and honors include the National Intelligence Medallion for Meritorious Service, the Air Force Scroll of Achievement, the National Reconnaissance Office Gold Medal, the AIAA Godard Astronautics Award, the Career Communications Group Black Engineer of the Year Award, the Horatio Alger Award, the Bob Hope Distinguished Citizen Award, the National Defense Industrial Association Peter B. Teets Industry Award, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. The University of Southern California awarded her its Distinguished Alumni Award, an honorary doctorate, and its highest honor, the Presidential Medallion.
Daniel J. Epstein
Dan Epstein is the Executive Chairman and Founder of the ConAm Group headquartered in San Diego. ConAm is among the top privately owned apartment management/ownership firms in the country and presently operates a total of approximately 55,000 apartments throughout the United States. In addition to its management activities, ConAm is developing apartments and mixed-use projects in Seattle and Portland.
Dan serves on the USC Board of Trustees and is a member of the Executive Board. He is on the executive committee of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate Development and also serves on the advisory committee of the USC Viterbi School’s Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. Recently Dan was awarded USC’s Asa V. Call Alumni Achievement Award. In addition, Ernst & Young named him San Diego's Entrepreneur of the Year for the Real Estate Industry. He graduated from USC in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering.