Ball Aerospace Leaders Named AIAA Associate Fellows

January 28, 2020

BOULDER, Colo., Jan. 28, 2020 — The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has honored three Ball Aerospace employees among its 2020 class of Associate Fellows. Dr. David Kaufman, Tracy Copp and Dr. Joseph Footdale earned the designation, which is reserved for  professionals who demonstrate notable contributions and leadership in furthering the advancement of aerospace science and technology.

"Beyond technical excellence, the designation of Associate Fellow recognizes service and commitment to the broader aerospace community,” said Rob Strain, president, Ball Aerospace. “Throughout their careers, David, Tracy and Joseph have demonstrated true leadership in their fields, both in their contributions to programs of national importance and in how they have shared their knowledge with others through institutions like AIAA.”

David Kaufman is the Chief Operating Officer for Ball Aerospace, responsible for the mission partner commitment Ball makes to its customers and for guiding the company’s strategic business units as they focus on execution and growth. Since joining Ball Aerospace in 2000, Kaufman has served in leadership positions for a variety of space system programs. He earned a Ph.D. and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology along with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Willamette University.

Tracy Copp is a senior project engineer leading a Ball initiative that provides programs an internal resource for help when they need alternate execution strategies, processes and tools. Copp joined Ball Aerospace in 2007 as a materials and processes engineer working on the James Webb Space Telescope program. Previously, Copp was a materials and processes engineer at United Space Alliance on the Space Shuttle Program. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in materials science and engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

Joseph Footdale is a principal mechanical engineer and a leader within Ball’s mechanisms group supporting multiple flight programs, research and development and new business. He joined Ball in 2018 bringing more than 14 years of experience in the invention and development of advanced deployable structure systems, with a focus of high strain composite components. Footdale earned a Ph.D. and Master of Science in aerospace engineering sciences from the University of Colorado, and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Loyola Marymount University.

Kaufman, Copp and Footdale accepted the honor during the AIAA Associate Fellows recognition ceremony on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020 at the AIAA SciTech Forum in Orlando, Florida. 

Powered by endlessly curious people with an unwavering mission focus, Ball Aerospace pioneers discoveries that enable our customers to perform beyond expectation and protect what matters most. We create innovative space solutions, enable more accurate weather forecasts, drive insightful observations of our planet, deliver actionable data and intelligence, and ensure those who defend our freedom go forward bravely and return home safely. Go Beyond with Ball.® For more information, visit or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Ball Corporation

Ball Corporation supplies innovative, sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for beverage, personal care and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 17,500 people worldwide and reported 2018 net sales of $11.6 billion. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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