sealPurdue News

November 12, 2002

Purdue honors outstanding aeronautic, astronautic alumni

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Seven Purdue University graduates received Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Awards Thursday (11/7) during the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics' fourth annual awards ceremony.

"These seven Purdue alumni share special honor for their demonstrated excellence in industry, governmental service or other endeavors, which reflect the value of an aerospace engineering degree," said Linda P.B. Katehi, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering. "These inductees join an elite group of exemplary graduates who have taken their Purdue education and reached great heights in their fields."

Since the inception of the award in 1999, the school has honored 79 graduates.

"As we celebrate the fourth anniversary of the awards, these seven alumni have made significant contributions to the aerospace field, holding positions of high responsibility in government and private industry," said Thomas Farris, professor and head of School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. "We are proud to give them the award that we reserve for our very best."

This year's recipients are:

• Paul M. Bevilaqua, of Palmdale/Santa Clarita, Calif., who received his master's degree in 1968 and a doctoral degree in 1973 from Purdue. Much of his career has been devoted to the development of vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. He played a leading role in creating the Joint Strike Fighter program. Bevilaqua is the chief scientist for advanced development programs at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.

• Steven E. Lamberson, of Albuquerque, N.M., who received his bachelor's and master's degrees in 1974, and a doctoral degree in 1985, all from Purdue. He is the chief scientist for the Airborne Laser System Program Office, Space and Missile Systems Center at Kirtland Air Force Base. He is responsible for the overall technical functioning of the $11 billion Air Force Airborne Laser program.

• Brig. Gen. David A. Wagie, Colorado Springs, Colo., who earned his Purdue doctoral degree in 1984. Wagie is the dean of the faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, where he oversees the 700-plus member faculty and the annual design and instruction of more than 500 undergraduate courses for 4,000 cadets in 30 academic disciplines. He also directs the operation of five support staff agencies and faculty resources involving more than $250 million.

• J. Michael Murphy, of Littleton/Denver, Colo., who received three degrees from Purdue – a bachelor's degree in 1957, a master's degree in 1959 and a doctoral degree in 1964. He has worked in the rocket propulsion industry for more than 37 years. Murphy is presently vice president and chief engineer for Advanced Technology Associates Inc., which performs consulting services. He has received industry recognition for his work with the Titan missile and space shuttle programs.

• John H. McMasters, of Seattle, who earned his doctoral degree from Purdue in 1975. He is currently a program manager for the Ed Wells Initiative, a joint program between the Boeing Co. and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace. Prior to joining Boeing in 1976, McMasters held faculty positions at Arizona State University and Purdue. An associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, he will serve as a distinguished lecturer in 2002-2003.

• Joseph D. Mason, of Newport Beach, Calif., who earned his bachelor's degree in 1959. Mason retired from TRW in August 2000 after 33 years with the company, including serving as vice president of the Systems and Integration Technology Group. His engineering career over the past 41 years includes engineering education, control systems research and development, project management and general management. As manager of the Tactical Systems Business Area, Mason established TRW as the leading contractor in U.S. Army command and control systems and earned recognition for leadership in missile defense systems.

• Jerry L. Lockenour, Manhattan Beach, Calif., who earned his bachelor's degree 1967. He is the integrated product team leader for the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) Center Fuselage for the Air Combat Systems business area of the Integrated Systems Sector at Northrop Grumman Corp. He is responsible for all engineering and manufacturing of the $900 million project.

During its first 50 years, Purdue's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics has awarded more than 5,928 bachelor's degrees, 1,293 master's degrees and 436 doctoral degrees. Twenty-two engineering graduates have become astronauts, and 14 of the astronauts have been graduates of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The aeronautical and astronautical engineering curriculum concentrates on the fundamental subject areas necessary to the research, development, design and operation of the aerospace industry.

Writer: Grant Flora, (765) 494-29073,

Sources: Linda P.B. Katehi, (765) 494-5346;

Thomas Farris, (765)494-5117,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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