An engineering pioneer, who enabled the nation to become a world leader in space technology and its applications, has been chosen to receive the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy, the National Space Club’s most prestigious award.
The Goddard Memorial Trophy honors contribution to U.S. leadership in the field of rocketry and astronautics. The National Space Club said Ramo was chosen for his “lifetime of engineering and scientific leadership and achievement that has made an unparalleled impact on our nation’s space programs.”
Among his many achievements are early space programs, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Thor, Atlas and Titan rockets, Project Mercury, Pioneer 1, VIKING 1 and 2, and the Lunar Excursion Model Descent Engine.
Ramo earned a doctorate degree, magna cum laude, from the California Institute of Technology. His career began in General Electric’s Research Laboratories, where he was the first in the United States to produce electromagnetic pulses at microwave frequencies at the kilowatt level.
When World War II ended, Ramo accepted an offer from Howard Hughes to create a new entity for military electronics and guided missiles. After he left Hughes, Ramo co-founded the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation and was asked to provide the technical staff for President Eisenhower’s unprecedented crash effort to develop a U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile.
As an author, Ramo has penned books on science, engineering and management. His tome on electromagnetic fields and waves has been the leading text for physicists and electrical engineers for more than 50 years.
Ramo’s other accolades include being awarded the National Medal of Science by President Jimmy Carter and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan. The recipient of many other awards and honorary university doctorates, he was the youngest founding member of the National Academy of Engineering.
The awards will be presented at the 54th Annual Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner in the Washington Hilton Hotel on April 1, 2011. Gary Ervin, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, will accept the award on Ramo’s behalf.