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John Ernsting Award

June 28, 2019

John Ernsting Award

Established and sponsored by Environmental Tectonics Corporation in memory of Professor Ernsting. It is given for outstanding research in altitude physiology, and/or longstanding exceptional performance in the education, development, and administration of Aerospace Medicine and related specialties.

John Caldwell (center), accepts the Ernsting award from George Anderson (left), representing Environmen-tal Tectonics Corp., and AsMA President Vermeiren (right).
   John Caldwell, Ph.D., FAsMA, FAsHFA, was the 2019 recipient of the John Ernsting Award. He was honored in recognition of sustained excellence in the advancement of aerospace medicine education. He has contributed significantly to the awareness of relevant fatigue management issues throughout his research career spanning more than 30 years. His research on sleep and fatigue management for operational settings—both military and civilian—is internationally respected within the scientific and operational communities, leading to awareness of the threat of inadequate sleep to operational aviation safety and performance. His hallmark lecture series on Aircrew Fatigue has been presented annually at the AsMA scientific meeting for the past 16 years and has educated hundreds of AsMA attendees.
   Dr. Caldwell is currently an independent consultant and an ORISE Research Fellow working with the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. During his career with the U.S. Army Medical and Materiel Command, he conducted extensive fatigue-countermeasures research with an array of rotary-wing pilots, and during his time with the U.S. Air Force and NASA, he contributed to general and military aviation safety by extending his sleep, fatigue, and safety research
into the fixed-wing and space communities. His work on pharmacological and behavioral performance optimization strategies has been integral to Army and Air Force fatigue-management practices. He holds the U.S. Air Force’s highest award for research and development aimed at enhancing the operational effectiveness of aviation personnel.
   Dr. Caldwell earned a B.S. in Psychology at Troy State University, AL, in 1976, then an M.A. in General Experimental Psychology from the University of South Alabama in 1979. He received his Ph.D. in General Experimental Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1984. From 1986 to 2002, he served as a Research Psychologist at the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory at Fort Rucker, AL. In 2002, he became Principal Research Psychologist at the U.S. Air Force
Research Laboratory at Brooks AFB, TX. In 2005, he transferred to NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, to become Lead Research Psychologist for Fatigue Countermeasures. He returned to the U.S. Air Force Research Lab, now at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, in 2006, where he was a Principal Research Psychologist. In 2007, he moved to Honolulu, HI, to become Chief Science Officer at Fatigue Science, LLC, where he stayed until 2012, when he took a position as Scientific Advisor at Clockwork Research, Ltd., in London, UK. He accepted his present position of Senior Research Fellow at Oak Ridge Associated Universities/USARIEM in Natick, MA, in 2014.
   Dr. Caldwell has authored or coauthored three papers focused on EMS sleep and fatigue issues and taught a series of sleep/fatigue management courses to EMS personnel. He has published over 100 generally-related articles, book chapters, and technical reports on civilian and military aviation fatigue management. He has recently updated his book “Fatigue in Aviation: A Guide to Staying Awake at the Stick,” and his contributions to Ernsting’s Aviation and Space Medicine (Ch 36). He has taught and/or consulted internationally on fatigue and sleep management issues for organizations such as the National Sleep Foundation, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Swiss Aviation Safety Office, Swiss Air Rescue, the Colombian Aviation Authority, United Airlines, Etihad Airlines, and others.
   Dr. Caldwell has been widely recognized for his professional achievements. He has been interviewed by the media over 70 times on sleep, performance, fatigue management, medical interventions, research procedures, and related topics. A Fellow of AsMA, he is also a Fellow in the Aerospace Human Factors Society (2015), and recipient of the William E. Collins Award for Outstanding Human Factors Publication of the Year (2010). He also is a recipient of the AsMA’s Harry G. Moseley Award for the most significant contribution to aviation safety (2007), the Harold Brown Award for research and development in the USAF (2005), the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award (1997), the Army Superior Civilian Service Award (1992), the DOD Civilian Desert Shield/Desert Storm Medal (1992), and the Army Commendation for Dedicated Service in Support of Desert Storm (1991). His outstanding work over the past 30 years in the aerospace and aeromedical communities concerning fatigue management and countermeasures has been of profound importance in enhancing aircrew education, safety and performance.