About the Humanitarian STAR Awards

Board Of Advisors

David A. Bearden, PhD
General Manager of NASA & Civil Space Division of the Aerospace Corporation

Joel W. Burdick, PhD
Caltech Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Bioengineering; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Scientist

Andrew Shapiro PhD
Manager, Early Stage Innovation, Space Technology Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Marie Csete, M.D., PhD
Principal, Marie Csete Consulting, Professor, USC Anesthesiology, Visiting Associate, Caltech Medical Engineering, Research Coordinator, Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania

The Honorable Lance A. Ito
Retired Judge for the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles

Dr. Chad A. Mirkin, PhD
Northwestern University.  Director of the International Inst. for Nanotechnology and the George B. Rathmann Prof. of Chemistry.  Professor of: Chemical and Biological Engineering,  Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science and of Medicine.

Dr. Mihri Ozkan, PhD
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of California-Riverside, Frontier Fellow of National Academy of Engineering.


The Rigel Humanitarian STAR (Science, Technology, Aerospace, Robotics) Awards, recognizes outstanding scientific and technological achievements with significant humanitarian benefit.


To honor and bring to light achievements to support, advance and inspire humanitarian accomplishments, the Rotary Club of Sierra Madre in conjunction with other Rotary clubs, embodying the pursuit to serve humanity, offers the Rigel Humanitarian STAR Awards.

Within today’s science and technologically advanced society, public focus can become dominated by searches for information and entertainment, while previously inconceivable innovations addressing our most crucial humanitarian needs remain unknown.

Beyond screens and devices are creative minds discovering ways to explore oceans and skies, methods of information sharing, disaster relief, and healing for overcoming obstacles to personal and planetary well being. From outer to inner space; from satellites to robotics and microchips, the impossible becomes our promise for the future.

“I’m awed and inspired each year by both the nominees and recipients of these awards. They give me hope for our world.”

Joan Riback, President, Rotary Club of Sierra Madre