Outstanding Aerospace Engineers Award 2011

The Purdue University designation Outstanding Aerospace Engineer recognizes the professional contributions of graduates from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics and thanks them for the recognition that their success brings to Purdue and the School.

The School is pleased to honor ten graduates of AAE with the designation "Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Award." The award banquet will take place on Friday October 21, 2011.

Criteria for the Award state that recipients must have demonstrated excellence in industry, academia, governmental service, or other endeavors that reflect the value of an aerospace engineering degree. The 149 OAE's represent just over 1% of the more than 7000 alumni of the School.

Congratulations to our 2011 Outstanding Aerospace Engineers

A. Dwight 

General Manager, Systems Engineering ~ The Aerospace Corporation (Retired)

"I have had the unusual fortune of being a 40-plus year participant, since the dawn of the space age, in working at the forefront of aerospace technology development and applications with the finest engineers on unprecedented space programs. Purdue provided me with the engineering foundation and business world springboard that made my achievements possible.""

Dwight Abbott graduated from Purdue in 1958 with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering. He earned a master's degree in industrial administration from the Krannert Graduate School in 1965.

Abbott spent 40 years at The Aerospace Corporation before retiring in 2000. He was responsible for directing systems engineering support to all the company's space programs. Before that, he directed activities in design engineering, space transportation development and space technology applications. Abbott also was responsible for several advanced systems planning studies for the U.S. Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

After graduation, Abbott's first employment was with the Northrop Corporation in Los Angeles as an aerodynamicist on the T-38, the U.S. Air Force's first supersonic trainer.

Abbott has served on the National Academy of Science's Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, the Visiting Committee of the Purdue Dean of Engineering, and the Public Policy Committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, where he is an associate fellow. Abbott is a patentee in the field. He has been a private pilot since 1959.

Michael J. Corso

Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, Board Certified Business Litigation Lawyer

"Over 40 years ago, I made the decision to attend Purdue University because I wanted to be part of the best aerospace engineering program in the country. Even though circumstances led me to a different career path, my Purdue education was the foundation upon which I have been able to build a successful career and to take full advantage of the opportunities that I have been given."

Mike Corso graduated from Purdue with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering in 1971. He went on to earn a Juris Doctor (law) degree from Villanova University in 1974.

During law school, Corso worked for the Naval Air Engineering Center in Philadelphia, Pa. Upon graduation from law school, and after a short period of private practice in law, Corso entered active duty in the Air Force JAG program. Ultimately, he was appointed as one of only six trial counsel assigned to prosecute the Air Force's most serious cases worldwide.

After completing his military obligations, Corso joined the Henderson Franklin law firm in Fort Myers, FIa., where he has maintained a statewide civil trial practice, primarily defending product manufacturers and non-medical professionals, including lawyers, design professionals (engineers) and accountants. He is a member of many law-related associations and also of the Florida Engineering Society and American Institute of Architects.

Robert J. Flemming

Technical Fellow, Research and Engineering Department, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

"With a lifelong interest in airplanes, I pursued that dream further while attending Purdue. I chose Sikorsky Aircraft to apply the skills I had learned. To quote the angel Clarence in 'It's a Wonderful Life', 'One man's life touches so many others,' I feel that my Purdue professors have, through me, touched the thousands of people I've known throughout my career."

Robert Flemming earned a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue in 1967. He received a master of science in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1970.

With an impressive 44-year Sikorsky career, Flemming today serves in the role of engineering mentor and advisor as a technical fellow, while also serving in his technical specialty as the chief of Sikorsky's icing research, development and certification activities. As an internationally recognized aircraft icing expert, referred to as 'Dr. Ice' by his Sikorsky coworkers, he has authored or coauthored over 90 technical reports, conference publications and other documents.

Previously, he was in charge of the research laboratories at Sikorsky and earlier had significant roles in the aerodynamic design and wind tunnel and flight testing of the Black Hawk, Comanche and S-92A helicopters, and other research aircraft such as the Sikorsky X-Wing helicopter.

Flemming has previously been honored as an American Helicopter Society Technical Fellow and honored with the Sikorsky Donald L. Ferris Lifetime Achievement Award. He was awarded two patents for aerodynamic designs and has four icing design patents pending.

G. Wayne Hawk G. WAYNE HAWK

Chairman and CEO (Retired), Acme Electric Corporation

"I have always been proud of my Purdue education and share what I believe is industry's view that it is the #1 engineering school in the nation, if not the world."

Wayne Hawk graduated from Purdue University in 1951 with a B.S. in aeronautical engineering. He followed up with an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California on a fully funded Hughes R&D Lab Fellowship.

Hawk served as Acme Electric Corporation's Chairman and CEO until retiring in Oct. 1994. Acme designed and manufactured switch mode power supplies for the computer industry and zero maintenance sealed nickel cadmium batteries for the aerospace industry.

Prior to that, he was chairman and board member of Comptek Research Corp. (1983-87), and executive vice president and director of Moog Inc. and president of controls group for Moog Inc. (1957-81). During his tenure, Moog grew from $5 million in annual sales to over $200 million. Among other products, Moog designed and manufactured electrohydraulic, electropneumatic and electromechanical control systems for aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, ships and ground vehicles. From 1956-57, Hawk worked at Goodyear Aircraft Corp., where he was project engineer on the Wright Field-sponsored project to develop the first clamshell thrust reverser. First demonstrated on a G.E. J-47 in summer 1956, it is now used on all passenger jets.

Hawk's patents and inventions include control valves for satellites, missiles and machine tools. Besides those already listed, he has held corporate directorships for Manufacturer's Hanover Bank, Astronics Luminescent, Learfan Corp. and Century Aircraft.

Stephen S. Kress STEPHEN S. KRESS

Director of Advanced Air and Missile Defense, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (LMMFC)

"I have spent the predominant part of my career working on systems that protect the nation and those in the armed services who put their lives at risk every day to further freedom. The opportunities afforded by my parents, mentors at Lockheed Martin and the faculty and staff of Purdue University have permitted me the honor of contributing toward making this world a safer place."

Steve Kress graduated from Purdue in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in aeronautics and astronautics. In 1976, he enrolled in graduate classes at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) to expand his knowledge in thermal sciences and fluid dynamics, leading to a master of science in aerospace engineering in 1981.

In 1975, he started his career at LTV Aerospace and Defense (now Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control) as a specialist in propulsion and thermodynamics. In 1997, he became Deputy Director for Combat Maneuver Systems; in 2000, Director, Advanced Concepts ; in 2004, Director of Advanced Concepts and Directed Energy ; and in 2005, director of activities supporting the Multiple Kill Vehicle Program. -->

In 2008, Kress became Director for Advanced Air and Missile Defense, responsible for new product development. Current thrusts include a miniature kinetic energy missile system supporting the Army's Indirect Fire Protection Capability, network-enabled air defense systems for domestic and international markets, and next-generation missiles for intermediate range air defense and air platform self-defense.-->

Gary E. Mitchell

Vice President Europe Operations (Retired), The Boeing Company

"An engineering background provides a capability that greatly enables all management functions, especially at executive levels. Witnessing and participating in the team approach to problem solving was rewarding and a tribute to the concept of team problem focus and planning. Plan preparation should receive far more emphasis in engineering education. My hope for the future is that more executives will lead and push development. We are where we are due to individual initiative and vision of great leaders."

Gary Mitchell completed a B.S.A.E. (aeronautical engineering) at Purdue in 1960. He later attended Washington University, where he received an M.S.M.E. (mechanical engineering) in 1967.

Mitchell was Boeing's Vice President Europe Operations (London, England) from 1997-99, responsible for the development of the Boeing Military Aircraft Products Division presence in Europe and coordination with Boeing Commercial Products activities.

From 1960-97, he served in a number of positions with McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo. He came up through the ranks as engineer, branch manager, director, vice president program manager and finally vice president general manager, with total responsibility for the cost, schedule and quality management execution of the F/A-18 C/D Hornet fighter jet program. This included all international programs and new business acquisition.

He is a member of the Industry Advisory Council of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Michael P. Moses

Vice President of Operations, Virgin Galactic

"My Purdue education has been a cornerstone that allowed me to make it to where I am today, both professionally and in my home life."

Michael Moses received a B.S. in physics from Purdue University in 1989. He then went on to earn an M.S. in space sciences from the Florida Institute of Technology (1991) and an M.S. in aerospace engineering from Purdue (1995).

Moses began his career at the Johnson Space Center in 1995 as a Space Shuttle flight controller in the propulsion systems group, eventually serving as the lead of that group as well as the lead of the electrical systems group. In 2005 Mr. Moses was selected as Flight Director and worked Shuttle missions for three years, serving as the Shuttle Lead Flight Director for the STS-123/1JA mission in February of 2008.

In August 2008, Mr. Moses was appointed to be the Space Shuttle Program Launch Integration Manager at the Kennedy Space Center. In this capacity, he was responsible for all shuttle processing activities from landing through launch, including serving as chair of the mission management team and as final launch decision authority for the final 12 Space Shuttle missions.

As of October 1, 2011, Moses joined Virgin Galactic as the Vice President of Operations, where he will be developing and leading the team to begin suborbital passenger spaceflights from Spaceport America, NM.

Jane M. Quirk

Missile Defense Agency, System Engineering Directorate, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, and Acquisition and Contract Management Directorate, Department of Defense

"Neil Armstrong influenced my degree choice. The Purdue AAE degree is so respected and well-known everywhere. I would never consider any other degree or school."

Jane Quirk earned a B.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University in 1984.

Quirk's 30 years of experience in the Department of Defense includes engineering and engineering management, operations research, personnel supervision and organizational development in diverse Defense agencies.

Quirk currently identifies issues, develops alternatives, provides recommendations and implements decisions for critical program issues related to acquisition management operations. She is involved in all phases of the defense acquisition process, including both traditional requirements-based as well as capability-based acquisition. She formulates and articulates policies, procedures, guidelines, alternatives and recommendations related to management of assigned acquisition programs.

She not only develops initiatives to improve the integration and execution of assigned programs, projects and activities, providing senior management with oversight and direction, but also provides senior level direction and policy guidance for program control and business/financial matters.

Quirk has also worked for the National Missile Defense Joint Program Office, the Department of the Air Force, and the Defense Logistics Agency.

Paul L.

Director & Chief Engineer, Directed Energy Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Strategic & Missile Defense Systems

"After 37 years in aerospace and defense, I have come to realize the importance of the engineering foundation that I received while an undergraduate student at Purdue. The disciplined approach to problem solving, combined with the technical background in control systems and applied math, has served me well in every endeavor during my career. I have Purdue to thank for putting me on this rewarding journey."

Paul Shattuck graduated from Purdue in 1974 with a B.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering. He has an M.S. in aerospace engineering sciences from the University of Colorado (1979) and two acquisition management degrees from Defense Systems Management College (1998 and 2000).

He has over 37 years of technical, management and business development experience in the pursuit, capture and development of space, launch, airborne and ground systems.

A focused area of Shattuck's career has been the development and maturation of beam control technologies for High Power Laser Directed Energy Systems. He spent most of the 1980's developing and testing beam control technologies for the Strategic Defense Initiative, culminating in a simulated ground demonstration of a space-based laser engagement of enemy ballistic missiles for President Reagan in November 1987.

The most recent example is his leadership of the team responsible for integration of the Beam Control/Fire Control system on the Airborne Laser Test Bed platform, a highly modified Boeing 747-400F. His leadership of the flight test team culminated in a lethal shoot down of a boosting ballistic missile using the airborne laser in February 2010, a historical first.

Wayne S. 

Director of Flight Sciences, BCA Engineering, Boeing Commercial Airplanes

"I consider myself very fortunate to have been a part of many rewarding and successful programs at the Boeing Company. This would not have been possible without the strong educational foundation and strong alumni bonds I received from Purdue University and the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The future of flight is ours to influence. Go Boilers!"

Wayne Tygert earned a bachelor of science in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University in 1985.

He began his 25-year engineering career at Boeing in 1986 as an entry-level engineer supporting dynamic flight loads analyses for the 747-400 program. He rose through the ranks in positions including lead engineer for the 777 systems structure interaction group (1991-98) and manager of the structures rotor dynamics group (1997-98). He then moved into managing the static loads and internal loads teams for the 747, 767 and 777 programs; managing 787 static external loads; as 787 airplane development leader; and as loads and dynamics chief engineer, all between 2002-10.

In his current position as director of flight sciences, he heads a team of 1000 people. Responsibilities include loads and dynamics, aero performance, aero stability and control, aero design, weights and noise engineering.

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