seal2002 Honorary Degree

Michael M. Sears

Doctor Of Engineering

Michael M. Sears has earned recognition for his achievements as an electrical engineer and a corporate leader in the aerospace industry.

Michael M. Sears

Mr. Sears is a corporate senior vice president and chief financial officer of The Boeing Company, the world’s leading aerospace company, with headquarters in Chicago. During his 33-year career in the aerospace industry, Mr. Sears has held senior leadership positions in each of the company’s three major business areas – defense, space and commercial aircraft.

A native of St. Louis, Mo., Mr. Sears attended Purdue University and earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering in 1969, and added another master’s degree in engineering management through the University of Missouri-Rolla while working at his first job.

Mr. Sears began his career in aerospace in 1969 when he joined McDonnell Douglas as a senior engineer for avionics technology. Promoted in 1990 to a program vice president and general manager, he is widely credited with the successful launch of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet program, now the U.S. Navy’s front-line strike fighter.

Prior to the merger of McDonnell Douglas with Boeing, Mr. Sears became president of Douglas Aircraft Co., the commercial aircraft division of McDonnell Douglas, and president of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace.

After the merger in 1997, Mr. Sears became president of Boeing’s Military Aircraft and Missile Systems business unit. Under his watch this $13 billion unit consistently posted double-digit operating margins. At the same time, he oversaw Phantom Works, Boeing’s center for exploring new technologies and products.

Mr. Sears moved into his current assignment in 2000, helping Boeing maintain its position as the world’s largest manufacturer of satellites, commercial jetliners and military aircraft and a global market leader in missile defense, human space flight and launch services. Boeing is now the largest U.S. exporter, with company revenues for 2001 totaling $58 billion.

Mr. Sears has received numerous industry awards throughout his career including the prestigious Robert J. Collier Award from the National Aeronautic Association and the Navy League’s Chester A. Nimitz Award for outstanding contributions to naval aviation and defense.

Among his civic activities, Mr. Sears is a member of the board of trustees for Washington University in St. Louis and a national director of the March of Dimes, which awarded he and his wife, Debbie, the Citizens of the Year Award for 2001.