James F. Albaugh Named Drexel’s 2012 Engineering Leader of the Year
May 30, 2012
Drexel University’s College of Engineering has selected James F. Albaugh, the president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and executive vice president of The Boeing Company, as Drexel’s 2012 Engineering Leader of the Year. Albaugh, who joins a prestigious group of engineering luminaries who have received the honor, will be presented with the award at a luncheon ceremony on Wednesday, June 27.
“We are excited to present Mr. Albaugh with the Engineering Leader of the Year award,” said Dr. Joseph B. Hughes, dean of Drexel’s College of Engineering. “His corporate leadership and impact on technology and engineering are an inspiration to our future engineers.”
Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company, is a leading designer and manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. Each day more than 4 million people around the globe fly on Boeing commercial airplanes, which include some of the most recognized jetliners in the world.
In just the past year, Boeing Commercial Airplanes has delivered two new jetliners – the 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 Intercontinental. It also launched the 737 MAX, which builds on the strengths of the world's most popular commercial jet, the 737.
The Dreamliner, the first all-new airplane of the 21st century, features innovative use of composite materials, fuel-efficient engines and many advanced technologies. The Dreamliner recently earned Boeing the 2011 Robert J. Collier Trophy for the year's greatest aeronautic achievement in America. The 747-8, also available as a freighter, reinvented the world's most iconic jet for a new generation. The 737 MAX, scheduled for delivery in 2017, will incorporate new engines and Advanced Technology winglets that will significantly reduce fuel burn.
Albaugh said his selection as Drexel University's Engineering Leader of the Year is a tribute to the Boeing team that worked so hard to push the boundaries of flight.
"I'm honored by this recognition," Albaugh said. "There is no greater profession in the world than engineering and I feel privileged to be part of it. I hope this award inspires a new generation of engineers to aim high and dream big."
Albaugh, a Washington state native, has worked for Boeing and its heritage companies since 1975, when he joined Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power. He later became president of the company, which was acquired by Boeing in 1996.
In 1998, Albaugh was appointed president and CEO of Boeing Space and Communications. This group merged with the company's Military Aircraft and Missiles Systems unit in July 2002 to create Integrated Defense Systems, with Albaugh as its CEO. In 2009, Albaugh assumed his current position as CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Albaugh is a member of the Washington Roundtable and an elected member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics. He is a Fellow and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and an elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He is also affiliated with the Air Force Association and the American Astronautical Society. He serves on the Aerospace Industries Association Board of Governors Executive Committee and in 2011 he was the chairman of AIA.
Albaugh is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including: the Southern California Aeronautic Association’s Howard Hughes Memorial Award for his extensive contributions to the aerospace industry; the Forrestal Award from the National Defense Industrial Association for leadership in preserving a strong U.S. defense industrial base; and the Blue Planet Star Medal from the Russian Space Agency for fostering cooperation between the United States and Russia in Space Exploration.
Albaugh serves on the TRW Automotive Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees of Willamette University and the Board of Visitors of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University. He also is on the Wings Club Board of Governors and the board of the National Competitiveness Center, an independent organization that helps Saudi Arabia compete more effectively in the global economy.
Albaugh holds bachelor's degrees in mathematics and physics from Willamette University and a master's degree in civil engineering from Columbia University.
Past Drexel Engineering Leader of the Year recipients include Norman R. Augustine, retired president and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation; Dr. Charles Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering and president emeritus of MIT; Drexel alumnus Christopher Ferguson (’84), commander of NASA’s STS-126 Endeavour, STS-115 Atlantis; Dr. Bernard Amadei, founding president of Engineers Without Borders-USA and co-founder of Engineers Without Borders-International; and Dean Kamen, president of DEKA Research and Development Corp. and founder of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).