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Boothby-Edwards Award

June 28, 2019

Boothby-Edwards Award

Established in memory of Walter M. Boothby, M.D., pioneer aviation medicine researcher, and Howard K. Edwards, M.D., clinical practitioner of aviation medicine, this award is presented annually for outstanding research and/or clinical practice directed at the promotion of health and prevention of disease in professional airline pilots. (The separate Boothby and Edwards Awards were given annually 1961–73, and then alternately until 1985.) Sponsored by Harvey W. Watt and Company.

   Eduard Ricaurte, M.D., M.S., FAsMA, was the 2019 recipient of the Boothby-Edwards Award for his contribution to safety risk management of medical record review of hundreds of selected pilots and Air Traffic Controllers, with specific medical conditions with the inclusion of disabilities while working for the FAA. He has also contributed to writing a report entitled “Medical Certification Strategies in Response to Technologically Advanced Prosthetic Devices.” This work, released in 2018 by the Federal Aviation Administration, discusses a few advanced technologies to illustrate some of the challenges associated with the use of new technologies and devices in a high-stress environment with the purpose of proposing recommendations pertaining to the evaluation of advanced neuroprosthetics and aeromedical certification of amputee pilots. This work raises the importance of investigating human performance in unusual operational settings in aviation in the context of great technological progress of medical devices.
   A native of Colombia, South America, Dr. Ricaurte earned an M.D. at the University of Cartagena School of Medicine in 1989 and served a 1-year internship at Colombia Navy Hospital in Cartagena from 1988–1989. He completed the primary course in Aviation Medicine at the National University of Colombia in Bogota in 1992. He served in a Fellowship in Aviation Medicine and Aircraft Accident Investigation at FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) from 1996–1997. During his training in aerospace medicine and human factors engineering at Wright State University from 2001–2004, he was involved in research projects to determine the usefulness of electro-tactors embedded in a vest as a countermeasure to spatial disorientation. 
   Dr. Ricaurte left the FAA after 14 and is currently providing system safety at the Boeing Corporation in Oklahoma City, OK. He previously supported FAA CAMI Safety Risk Management for projects assigned through the Operational Analysis Program Directive to CAMI. Previously, he contributed to the design, development, and administration of the Aviation Accident Injury and Autopsy Database (AAIADS) to reduce injuries in aircraft accidents and improve occupants’ survivability.

Michael Berry (center) accepts the Boothby-Edwards Award for Eduard Ricaurte, who could not be at the meeting, from Charles DeJohn (left), representing Harvey W. Watt & Co., the sponsor, as Roland Vermeiren (right), AsMA President, looks on.
   Dr. Ricaurte is the co-author of an accident investigation chapter in the fourth edition of the guide text book: Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine. He has also conducted studies on aviation related safety issues, published scientific manuscripts, made recommendations, delivered reports, briefings, and presentations to technical groups and organizations, and provided research-project leadership for highly complex and challenging activities. His new challenges include the support of projects for safety risk management to evaluate aeromedical certification criteria and policy development in pilots with previously identified medical conditions. 
   Dr. Ricaurte is a member of the Aerospace Human Factors Association, where he has been Newsletter Editor and Member-at-Large; the Iberoamerican Aerospace Medicine Association, where he has been President; the Colombian Aviation Medicine Association, where he has been Vice President; and the Colombian Aviation Safety Council; and an elected member of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine. He is a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association, where he has been Chair of the Aerospace Safety Committee, a member of the Scientific Program Committee, and the coordinator and co-editor of a Spanish panel.
   Dr. Ricaurte has received the Outstanding Service Award  from the Colombian Civil Air Patrol, and Outstanding Service Award from the Colombian National Police, a Certificate of Recognition for Aeromedical Education Accomplishments from the Colombian Congress’s House of Representatives, and an Academic Scholarship from the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine. He is the recipient of the John A. Tamisiea Award, John Paul Stapp Award, and Arnold D. Tuttle Award from the Aerospace Medical Association.