Aerospace engineering honors eight with induction into academy

Photo of aerospace engineering award recipientsEight new members were inducted into Texas A&M University's Distinguished Aerospace Engineering Alumni Academy during the Aerospace Engineering Annual Awards Banquet May 1. 

The Aerospace Alumni Academy was established in 2009 to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding alumni and friends who champion the aerospace engineering profession, create a sense of community and camaraderie within the department, and facilitate interaction and continuity with the student body and our alumni and corporate friends.

Inductees are nominated by students, faculty, alumni and others who submit a nomination. The inductees are recognized in one of four categories: Outstanding Young Aerospace Engineer, Outstanding Aerospace Engineer, Aerospace Engineering Honorary Engineer and Distinguished Aerospace Engineering Alumni.

The Outstanding Young Aerospace Engineer is presented to an alumnus under the age of 40 who has shown outstanding work in their field and is a promising leader for the future. Zachary Reeder ’05 was chosen based on his exceptional and promising career at Scaled Composites. He currently oversees the design and fabrication of the soon-to-be largest aircraft in the world.

The Outstanding Aerospace Engineer is presented to alumni 40 years or older who have proven superior professional achievement, community service and service to the university. David Allen ’72  was chosen for his exceptional academic career for both technical and administrative contributions. Currently serving as the dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Texas–Pan American, Allen is an internationally recognized researcher in the area of viscoelastic and nonlinear publications. Douglas Cooke ’73 was chosen based on his exceptional career at NASA. Cooke worked for nearly 38 years in NASA’s space shuttle, International Space Station and exploration systems programs.

Presented to non-Texas A&M aerospace engineers, the Aerospace Engineering Honorary Engineer Award recognizes those who have made major contributions to the engineering profession and whose support of the Texas A&M aerospace engineering department merit recognition. H. Norman Abramson was selected based on his distinguished achievements during his exceptional careers in both academia and industry, serving more than 35 years at Southwest Research Institute. Howard Barlow was also recognized for his contribution as the first department head of the Department of Aeronautical (Aerospace) Engineering at Texas A&M in 1940. James Rand’s distinguished achievements in academia and industry include his career as a professor at Texas A&M from 1968 to 1979, as well as serving as President of Winzen Engineering from 1988 to 2011.

The Distinguished Aerospace Engineering Alumni Award is presented to alumni who are retired or near retirement with outstanding career records and recognizes sustained and meritorious contributions to engineering and engineering management. Ed Muniz ’67 was chosen for his distinguished achievements as founder and CEO of MEI Technologies Inc., an award-winning national advanced technology company serving public and private sector customers in the aerospace, defense and biotechnology markets worldwide. Leland Snow ’52 was chosen for his distinguished achievements as founder and president of Air Tractor, the world’s largest producer of agricultural planes.

Past recipients of the Distinguished Aerospace Engineering Alumni Award include Edward “Pete” Aldridge ’60 and Thomas Cogan ’77.