Engineers Honor Best in Profession

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James E. Worsham, president of Douglas Aircraft Co., has been named Engineer of the Year by the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering. He will receive the institute’s George Washington Award Friday in the Grosvenor Room of the Pasadena Hilton.

A pioneer in jet engine technology and aircraft design, Worsham was also honored recently by the Los Angeles Council of Engineers and Scientists with a Special Achievement Award.

Presentation of eight additional individual awards, along with two engineering project achievement awards, will highlight the banquet, the final event of National Engineers’ Week, sponsored in the Southland by the institute.


The annual Engineers’ Week celebration occurs every February around George Washington’s birthday, honoring his initial career as a civil engineer and land surveyor.

The two award-winning projects are the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, located 50 miles west of Phoenix, engineered and constructed by Bechtel Western Power Corp., and the Rocketdyne division of Rockwell International Corp., Canoga Park, home base for a team of four scientists who improved the performance of the space shuttle’s main engine without increasing the engine’s weight or size. James L.C. Chang, Robert G. Belie and Stephen L. Barson of Rocketdyne were honored, along with Dochan Kwak of NASA’s Ames Research Center.

The power plant, the nation’s largest nuclear facility, has attracted international attention because of its innovative engineering and design features, including a system for reclaiming sewage water for Phoenix for use in the power station’s cooling tower.

In addition to Worsham’s top award, institute President David J.D. Harper said that individual recognition will be bestowed upon four outstanding engineers, two persons who performed distinguished service, a distinguished engineering educator and the winner of the Frank E. Reeves International Interprofessional Memorial Award.

Recipients of Outstanding Engineer Merit Awards are: Baruch Berman, senior engineering specialist at Rockwell International, a former state chairman of the California Society of Professional Engineers in the Industry Practice Division; Dennis J. Drag, director of design and engineering at Santa Fe Braun Inc., for his work in the nuclear power field; Elliott A. Green, retired vice president and general manager of commercial programs for Lockheed-California for his 44-year career, and Jean A. McGrew, director of airframe technologies at Douglas Aircraft, for his significant accomplishments in the field of aircraft structural mechanics.

The institute’s Distinguished Service Awards will go to Harry S. Gann Jr., a Douglas Aircraft design engineer, for his many years as a dedicated aviation historian highlighted by the co-founding of the American Aviation Historical Society and his establishment of the Market Information Center at Douglas, and Maxene Johnston, president of the Weingart Center, for her “outstanding achievements and contributions to community development programs providing innovative health and human services through a public/private sector partnership of government and business.”


Aaron Rose, emeritus professor of systems science at USC, will receive the Distinguished Engineering Educator Award, and the Frank E. Reeves International Interprofessional Memorial Award will be presented to Jack L. Ferrell, vice president and general manager at TRW.

The week’s activities began Friday with the Fellow installation luncheon, Harper said.

On Tuesday, Clifton Moore, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Airports, will speak at a luncheon co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Council of Engineers and Scientists and Town Hall in the Regency Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Los Angeles.

On Thursday, student seminars and various special activities will take place at the California Museum of Science and Industry.

The institute, which represents more than 100,000 members of professional societies in the Southland, places a strong emphasis upon interaction between engineering professionals and area high school and college students interested in engineering careers, Harper said.