J. C. Hunsaker Award in Aeronautical Engineering

J. C. Hunsaker Award in Aeronautical Engineering

About the J. C. Hunsaker Award in Aeronautical Engineering

The J. C. Hunsaker Award, established by Professor and Mrs. Jerome C. Hunsaker, honors excellence in the field of aeronautical engineering. The award is presented with a $50,000 prize.

Most Recent Recipient

Alan R. Mulally, president and chief executive officer (retired), at the Ford Motor Company, received the 2015 J. C. Hunsaker Award in Aeronautical Engineering. As president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Mulally played a key role in the development and commercialization of the Boeing 777, the world’s largest twinjet and most popular wide-body plane. Now recognized as one of the most reliable and safest of airplanes, the 777 was first noted for its original designs. It was the first Boeing plane, for instance, to use a full-fledged “fly-by-wire” system, replacing conventional manual flight controls with electronic signals conveyed over wires. The 777’s complex design was made possible with the CATIA digital design system, which for the first time let Boeing put together an entire plane on computers prior to production. Since its first commercial flight in 1994, the 777 has proven its long-distance capabilities and currently holds the record for the longest non-stop flight, 11,664 nautical miles, from Hong Kong to London. 

Read more about Mulally's work»
Watch Mulally's acceptance speech»

Award History 

Previous recipients of the J. C. Hunsaker Award continue to achieve outstanding advancements in their fields. One recipient has been honored with a National Medal of Science.


Alan R. Mulally (2015)
For his distinguished leadership in commercial aviation as exemplified by the development and commercialization of the Boeing 777.
Read more about Mulally's work»
Watch Mulally's acceptance speech»

Norman R. Augustine (2010)
For his service to the nation as a dedicated aeronautical engineer, a leader in the aerospace defense industry, a public servant, a civic leader, and a thought leader in the engineering profession.

Elbert L. Rutan (2005)
For leadership in engineering design and construction of SpaceShipOne, Voyager, and other successful experimental aircraft.

Richard T. Whitcomb (2000)
For his pioneering contributions to the aerodynamic design of high performance aircraft.

William R. Sears (1995)
For his significant and enduring contributions to education, aerodynamics, and aircraft design, including the optimal Sears-Haack body and the original Northrop flying wing.

Robert T. Jones (1990)
For his major contributions to aeronautics, including his supersonic area rule, discovery of the value of wing sweep in attaining supersonic flight, and application of the Heaviside Calculus to flight dynamics.

Thornton A. Wilson (1985)
For his bold and farsighted leadership, which has enabled this nation to maintain and enhance its preeminence in commercial aircraft.

James S. McDonnell (1980)
For his distinguished and pioneering contributions in engineering design and development of advanced military and commercial aircraft.

Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. (1973)
For his vast contribution to the aviation world.

Leroy Randle Grumman (1968)
For his long continued contributions to aeronautical engineering.


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