Distinguished Engineering Alumni 2006 - Dr. Allen Novick

For his technical and managerial leadership in the production of commercial aircraft engines, and for his commitment to bettering industry in Indiana.

The title of Distinguished Engineering Alumnus was first given in the Spring of 1964 for the purpose of recognizing special accomplishments by our alumni.

Each year, the College of Engineering recognizes those men and women engineers whose achievements are truly outstanding.

The School of Aeronautics and Astronautics is proud to present our 2006 Distinguished Engineering Alumni recipient, Dr. Allen S. Novick BSAE' 65, MSAE '67, PhD '67

Dr. Allen S. Novick (Ph.D. 1972) joined the Detroit Diesel Allison Division of General Motors in 1972 after receiving his bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University. He progressed through assignments including research and technology, preliminary design, advanced engines, engine development, program management, business development, commercial business, customer operations and supply chain management.

In the mid-1980's, Dr. Novick was assigned the responsibility to lead Allison Gas Turbine Co. into the commercial airline engine business (note that Allison was purchased by Rolls-Royce in 1995). Initial activities centered around PropFan technology for fuel savings. He led the Allison activities in winning the power plant selection on both the Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas offerings for the NASA PropFan Test Assessment program. Lockheed eventually won and used the Allison 501-M78 engine.

Under Dr. Novick's direction this program was successfully executed. In a parallel time frame Dr. Novick led the formation of a partnership with Pratt & Whitney (PW-Allison) to develop full scale PropFan engines for commercial airliners. He was Managing Director of this Partnership. PW-Allison developed a counter rotation pusher PropFan engine, designated 578-DX, which was successfully flight tested on a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft and a candidate for their proposed MD-92.

The PW-Allison team was also working with The Boeing Company in design of the PropFan powered Boeing's 7J7 aircraft. Although the technology was successfully demonstrated and validated, fuel prices did not rise to anticipated levels so the cost savings attributed to the technology did not result in full scale product development at that time. For the successes achieved in the program Dr. Novick was a recipient on Aviation Week's 1987 Laurels for PropFan technology assessment. Also, Allison received its first Collier Award as a member of the NASA PropFan Team.

The Collier Trophy, established in 1912, is given annually "for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, for improving the performance, efficiency, or safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by its actual use during the preceding year." The original Collier Trophy is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. This award is the "Oscar" of Aeronautics and Astronautics achievement.

In the late 1980's, as Vice President of Large Commercial Engines at Allison, Dr. Novick provided insight and leadership in the development of the AE Common Core engine family; i.e., a turboshaft, turboprop, and turbofan engine utilizing the same core engine turbo machinery. This remains a first in the industry whose impetus was to achieve significant development and operating cost benefits to both the manufacturer and operators.

In addition to his responsibility in overseeing AE Engine development activity, Dr. Novick led the commercial activities that culminated in Allison entering the Regional Airline, Business Jet, UAV, and Sea Plane sectors of the market place. The AE 3007 turbofan engine program (powering the Embraer ERJ Regional Jets, Cessna Citation X Business Jet, and Northrop Grumman Global Hawk UAV)has been the manistay of the Rolls-Royce Indianapolis business over the past 10 years. Rolls-Royce, as the AE Engine power plant supplier, was a member of the Cessna team receiving the Collier Award for Citation X aircraft (world's fastest business jet) and the Northrop Grumman team receiving the Collier Award for the Global Hawk (very high altitude, uninhabited electronic surveillance aircraft although still in development was put in to service in both Afghanistan and Iraq).

Dr. Novick personally received the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) Airbreathing Propulsion Award in 1999 whose designation read: "for successfully designing, developing, and producing the world's first family of turboshaft, turboprop, and turbofan engines for military and civil use based on a single common core". The AE Engine family is presently the main stay of Rolls-Royce's Indianapolis site in which the common core engine family deliveries are already over 3500 engines.

Dr. Novick later served as Vice President, Cost Excellence, where he established the Rolls-Royce Cost Excellence philosophy and organizational structure. This position addressed the Rolls-Royce Financial Excellence area of emphasis, which focuses on achieving product cost competitiveness and embedding cost consciousness as a culture and design criteria. In his current position as Vice President, Marketing Intelligence & Support, Novick assesses and analyzes external market issues and dynamics that impact Rolls-Royce Corporation's Capability Center and Customer Facing Businesses. Additionally, Dr. Novick leads the development of winning proposals in support of projects based in Indianapolis.


  • Collier Award
    • Part of the team that won the Collier Trophy for the PropFan Technology
  • "Laurels" – Aviation Week and Space Technology, 1987
    • for his leadership in PropFan technology
  • Air Breathing Propulsion Award – AIAA, 1999
    • For his leadership in designing and developing and producing the AE Engine family, the worlds only turboshaft, turboprop, and turbofan engine utilizing a common core for civil a nd military applications
  • Best Paper of the Year Award – ASME Journal of Engineering for Power Combustion and Fuels, 1982
    • "Design and Preliminary Results of a Fuel Flexible Industrial Gas Turbine Combustor"


Dr. Novick served as a a member of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association Board of Governors and also as Chairman of the Association's Technical Policy Committee. He was also a founding member and Chairman of the Regional Airlines Association, Associate Member Council. Dr. Novick formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors for Purdue Engineering Alumni Association from 19881992. Also, in 2005 Dr. Novick was a co-founder of the Indiana Advanced Aerospace Manufacturing Alliance (IAAMA)