Dr. James D. Raisbeck BSAE'61; DEA'79; OAE'99; HDR'05

Event Date: November 7, 2013
Dr.James D. Raisbeck was back on the Purdue campus to take part in the Symposium: "Leading the Future of Aviation" held by the College of Technology October 16 and 17. The Symposium was held as part of the 50th anniversary of the College.

Dr. James D. Raisbeck was back on the Purdue campus to take part in the Symposium: “Leading the Future of Aviation” held by the College of Technology October 16 and 17. The Symposium was held as part of the 50th anniversary of the College.

The following week, Leah Jamieson the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering, Dr. Stephen Heister the Raisbeck Engineering Distinguished Professorship for Engineering and Technology Integration, Head of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics Dr. Tom Shih, and Director of Development Rita Baines, represented Purdue University at the thirty-second Annual Museum of Flight Pathfinder Awards on October 26, 2013 in Seattle, WA. The awards honor pioneering achievements in flying, education, operations, manufacturing, and an at-large category. During this visit, they were given a tour of the new Raisbeck Aviation High School.

A graduate of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, James D. Raisbeck is CEO of Raisbeck Engineering Inc. and its subsidiary Raisbeck Commercial Air Group Inc. He has distinguished himself in aviation by combining a keen engineering ingenuity with a spirit of entrepreneurship that is unique in the modern-day aerospace industry. The two companies focus on integrating advanced technology into existing aircraft in ways that increase their productivity and profitability.

Raisbeck earned his Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical and aerospace engineering from Purdue in 1961 after spending parts of three years (1955-58) as a flight engineer for the U.S. Air Force. Soon after graduation, he went to work for the Boeing Airplane Company in Seattle as a research aerodynamicist, designing flaps. In 1969, Raisbeck left Boeing when he was offered a job as president, chairman and chief engineer for Robertson Aircraft Corporation, where he teamed up with other former Boeing engineers to design single- and twin-engine Pipers and Cessna’s.

Four years later, he founded his first company, Raisbeck Engineering, Inc., which has shaped several business turbine aircraft designs, including designing and producing the first supercritical wings to be used in general and commercial aviation. Raisbeck Engineering has equipped more than 3,000 business aircraft currently in service. In 1996, he started Raisbeck Commercial Air Group, which specializes in designing noise-reduction systems for commercial aircraft needing to meet stiffer federal regulations. Shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, the company began producing armored cockpit security systems that could be installed in existing commercial airliners.

Raisbeck serves on the boards of the Museum of Flight, the Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and The Seattle Arts Fund as well as on several corporate boards.  Seattle's Hope Heart Institute honored Raisbeck and his wife, Sherry, an artist and former special education teacher, with its "Wings of Hope" 2003 annual award for their leadership in philanthropy. The Raisbeck’s were selected as the 2007 Seattle-King County First Citizens for their generous support of local arts, education and medical research organizations

Dr. Raisbeck has been honored many times for his professional accomplishments and philanthropy and Purdue has honored him with a Distinguished Engineer Award in 1979, an Outstanding Engineer Award in 1999, and a Honorary Doctorate Degree in 2005. He was made Fellow of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) in 2013

The Raisbeck Engineering Distinguished Professorship for Engineering and Technology Integration - Prof. Alten “Skip” Grandt was named as distinguished professor in 2000 and Prof. Stephen Heister named in 2010.

The Raisbeck Engineering Design/Build/Test web site can be found here.

Photo Caption L~R Dr. Stephen Heister, Dr. James Raisbeck, Dr. John Sullivan and Dr. Tom Shih