By Cindy Basha
By Cindy Basha
Rabat – Moroccan citizen Dr. Othmane Benafan received the 2015 Glenn Research Center Agency Honor Award on October 10, 2015 for his contributions to NASA’s research.
Benafan was recognized for his scientific contributions in the field of aeronautics and mechanics research.
Benafan attended Moulay Youssef Technical College in Tangier, graduating in 2001. He later completed his Bachelor in Science, Master’s degree, and Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Central Florida.
The Glenn Research Center Agency Honor is one of the aeronautics industry’s most prestigious awards, given to over 700 of the NASA’s most valuable scientists. The winners are selected by NASA director Jim Free and Rear Admiral Fred M. Midgette, according to the company’s official website.
“Those honored made a dramatic impact in executing the mission of NASA and have distinguished themselves”, said Free.
Benafan will join a restricted group of Moroccans who have made it to NASA.
Kamal Oudrhiri, a Moroccan-American engineer at NASA, became a household name in Morocco in 2012 when integrated the American agency’s monitoring mission in charge of observing traces of life on Mars.
Oudrhiri was the first person to have announced the landing of the robot “Curiosity” on Mars, which is the most advanced gear ever sent by NASA on another planet.
Another Moroccan, Casablanca native Asmaa Boujibar, joined NASA in 2014 as post-doctorate researcher. Boujibar completed her Master’s degree at Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand II in France.
Boujibar was selected among hundreds of doctoral candidates internationally to complete her research in the Houston, Texas NASA branch.
Boujibar is currently a post-doctorate researcher with NASA. She will be researching the formation of planets in the solar system. Her other areas of focus include geology and chemistry.