Grants & Awards

Through its grants and awards, The Lindbergh Foundation has honored many prominent individuals for their contributions to aviation and helped nurture talent and launch careers.

The Lindbergh Foundation has historically provided funds to accelerate progress and the adoption of new ideas in various fields. Over our namesake’s almost 100-year history, many grants have been awarded by The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation in the amount of $10,580 – the same cost needed by the late Charles Lindbergh to develop the Spirit of St. Louis. These awarded funds have helped recipients propel their work forward, and in some cases, helped them launch new careers.

Image from act.mit.edu

Robert Dell - Earth Artist & Environmental Engineer

Today, Geothermal Engineer and Sculptor Robert Dell resides with his wife in New York. Dell began his career as an artist and has created over 100 art installations around the world. Dell began his career in engineering by recirculating waste steam and COGEN heat to warm the soil of green roofs. This accelerated plant growth, extended the growing season, and enabled the survival of cultivars that normally grow in warmer climates. This included a small cotton harvest in New York City, with an oregano and tomato harvest in Iceland. Substantial amounts of drinking water, traditionally used to cool the waste fluid before it is discharged into the sewers, are now preserved.

“The Lindbergh Foundation grant was the first engineering-related grant I received,” said Robert Dell, “This enabled me to establish credibility in the engineering research community and enabled my career in the field of environmental engineering.”

Prof. Dell has taught numerous college courses in engineering and has given open lectures at Harvard, MIT, Columbia University, and many other venues. He was recently elected a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He was the Founding Director of the Center for Innovation and Applied Technology at The Cooper Union, where he is an Adjunct Professor in Mechanical Engineering and the Founding Director of the Laboratory for Energy Reclamation and Innovation. He has authored numerous award-winning, peer-reviewed papers on his heated soil research. He was awarded two Permanent Archives, The Robert Dell Papers at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, for his contributions as a “progenitor of sustainable art”, and The Robert Dell Collection at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prof. Dell is the First Inventor on eleven registered patents.

Learn more about Robert Dells work:

https://vimeo.com/287827739

https://act.mit.edu/event/robert-dell-artists-and-archives/

https://engfac.cooper.edu//rdell

“The Lindbergh Foundation grant was the first engineering-related grant I received,” said Robert Dell, “This enabled me to establish credibility in the engineering research community and enabled my career in the field of environmental engineering.”

Prof. Dell has taught numerous college courses in engineering and has given open lectures at Harvard, MIT, Columbia University, and many other venues. He was recently elected a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He was the Founding Director of the Center for Innovation and Applied Technology at The Cooper Union, where he is an Adjunct Professor in Mechanical Engineering and the Founding Director of the Laboratory for Energy Reclamation and Innovation. He has authored numerous award-winning, peer-reviewed papers on his heated soil research. He was awarded two Permanent Archives, The Robert Dell Papers at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, for his contributions as a “progenitor of sustainable art”, and The Robert Dell Collection at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prof. Dell is the First Inventor on eleven registered patents.

Learn more about Robert Dells work:
https://vimeo.com/336923443
https://act.mit.edu/event/robert-dell-artists-and-archives/
https://engfac.cooper.edu//rdell

Tierney Thys – National Geographic Explorer, Marine Biologist, Science Educator, & Filmmaker

In 2003, The Lindbergh Foundation awarded Tierney a grant to gather vital conservation information on the giant ocean sunfishes. Tierney’s grant provided funds for high-tech satellite tags to track several ocean sunfish off the coast of California. Data gathered helped inform fisheries managers and played a significant role in stopping the use of harmful drift gillnets, wherein hundreds of individual fish are caught as bycatch.

TIerney Thys Sunfish

Image from Mike Johnson

Tierney recollects it was the first meeting where she presented her work and received the Lindbergh grant that acted as a catalyst for her conservation career. Her work impressed a former Lindbergh board member who nominated Tierney to present at a TED conference. Tierney later joined the TED Braintrust alongside influential leaders in tech and philanthropy. With that exposure, Tierney caught the attention of National Geographic and became one of six National Geographic Emerging Explorers. The National Geographic Society has since awarded her ten additional conservation grants, and she now serves as an expert on Nat Geo expeditions around the globe each year. 

“The Lindbergh Foundation’s mission of using technology to live in greater harmony with the non-human world deeply resonates with me, and the ripple effect of receiving a Lindbergh grant has been immense,” Tierney explained. “To this day, I continue to carry the torch of using science to protect nature.”

As a National Geographic Explorer and Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences, Tierney continues work on ocean sunfish and recently collaborated with 60 scientists to publish the first- academic book on sunfishes.  Her diversified research, which includes studying impacts of nature imagery on human wellbeing, yielded a project listed as one of TIME Magazine’s Top Inventions of 2014. Most recently, Tierney cofounded an educational non-profit, Around The World in 80 Fabrics, to raise awareness of microplastic pollution from fast fashion and celebrate biodiverse alternatives to petroleum-based fabrics. 

To learn more about Tierney Thys’ work, please visit:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/expeditions/experts/tierney-thys/

https://www.ted.com/speakers/tierney_thys

https://www.atw80fabrics.com/

Grant Recipients

Through its grants, The Lindbergh Foundation has helped nurture talent and launch promising careers:

  • Robert Dell
  • Tierney Thys
  • Gordon Hempton
spirit of st louis
sally ride

Sally Ride - Notable Award Recipient

Award Recipients

Through its awards, The Lindbergh Foundation has honored many prominent individuals for their extraordinary contributions to aviation and the environment:

  • Harrison Ford
  • Sally Ride
  • Jacques Cousteau
  • Burt Rutan
  • Thomas Lovejoy
  • Russel Train
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