The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics awarded Robert Stengel its 2012  Pendray Aerospace Literature Award at an awards ceremony during the 50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting this month in Nashville.

John Valasek, director of the Aerospace Engineering Department at Texas A&M University, said in his nomination of Stengel that his  newest textbook, Flight Dynamics, is a landmark in its field.

In an interview with AIAA, Stengel offered advice to students:

“Recognize that your undergraduate education provides a unique opportunity for learning a broad variety of skills, for appreciating the context within which engineering contributes to society, and for understanding what interests you. Identify the topics that are the most fun for you, and then learn enough about those topics to assure that you can earn your living doing what you like to do. Enjoy your social and athletic activities, but know that too many college graduates look back and say, ‘If only I had paid more attention to the fundamentals, had taken that technical elective course, or had drilled deeper into my senior research project.'”

Stengel, who is professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton, earned his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1968. Stengel is also director of the Program on Robotics and Intelligent Systems. In case you missed it, here is a terrific Princeton Alumni Weekly piece from a couple of months ago featuring Stengel and Princeton’s robo shop.