Public Release: 

Aerospace accolade for aviation medical specialist

Monash University

A prominent aviation medical specialist has been honoured by the world's leading aerospace medical organisation.

Associate Professor David Newman received the 2014 John Paul Stapp Award at the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) conference in San Diego on May 15.

The award was established by AsMA in 1993 to recognise people who have made outstanding contributions in the field of aerospace biomechanics and to promote progress in protection from injury resulting from ejection, vibration, or impact.

The eponymous award is named after a US Air Force Officer, Col. John Paul Stapp. A pioneering flight surgeon, Stapp later became known as "The fastest man alive", after riding a rocket-powered sled at a speed faster than a .45-caliber bullet in an experiment to test the limits of human endurance.

Aviation medicine is a specialist field that focuses on the interaction between the flight environment and human physiology, particularly in terms of pilot fitness to fly and aviation-related health issues. A critical part of aviation safety, it relates to pilots, air crew and passengers.

Associate Professor David Newman, from the Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine, said he was delighted to receive the award.

"It's quite an honour to receive this award because it's a reflection of all the work I've done over the years in aviation medicine. It's always nice to be recognised by one's peers," Associate Professor David Newman said.

With a career spanning over 20 years, Associate Professor Newman is a world leader in aviation medicine. Based at Monash since 2000, he is Head of the Aviation Medicine Unit, and coordinates the Australian Certificate of Civil Aviation Medicine course.

Previously he was a medical officer and aviation medicine specialist in the Royal Australian Air Force. His RAAF career saw him serve in both Australia and the UK, and included two years as Chief Instructor at the RAAF Institute of Aviation Medicine.

Associate Professor Newman is also an active pilot and has flown a wide variety of civil and military fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, including more than 150 hours in high performance fighters as the F/A-18 Hornet, the Hawk and the Harrier.

A Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association, the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Australasian College of Aerospace Medicine, Associate Professor Newman has received numerous national and international awards, including the AsMA Arnold Tuttle Award in 2000, the Royal Aeronautical Society's 2000 Buchanon-Barbour Award for outstanding contributions to civil or military aviation medicine and the Stewart Memorial Prize from the RAF School of Aviation Medicine in 1997.


The Aerospace Medical Association is the world's largest professional membership organization in the fields of aviation, space, and environmental medicine. The umbrella group provides expertise on a broad range of issues, including aviation and space medical standards, the aging pilot, and physiological stresses of flight.

Members include aerospace medicine specialists, flight nurses, physiologists, psychologists, human factors specialists from industry, civil aviation regulatory agencies, defence and military services, airlines, space programs, and universities.

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