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SAE International's First Industry Vice President Wins Medal of Honor

WARRENDALE, Pa., March 22, 2006 - Robert E. SpitzerRobert E. Spitzer, retired Vice President of Technical Relations at The Boeing Company, has been selected to receive the SAE International Medal of Honor.  He will be presented the award during the SAE 2006 World Congress in Detroit, April 3-6.

Established in 1986, the Medal of Honor recognizes an SAE International member’s unique and significant contributions to the society.  Unlike other SAE awards that honor technical achievements or outstanding accomplishments in the various fields of mobility, this award recognizes an individual's contributions to the overall SAE International organization.

Spitzer is being honored with this award in recognition of his service as SAE International’s first industry sector vice president and the outstanding leadership he demonstrated in this role, both as a leader within the society and as an external advocate to the mobility community.  He has been an SAE International member since 1995, and his contributions to the society are numerous.  Spitzer’s involvement includes serving on the Board of Directors, Fellows Committee, Aerospace Program Office, Strategic Planning Committee, Annual Nominating Committee, Aerospace Council of the Technical Standards Board, AeroTech Executive Committee, Aerospace Congress & Exhibition General Committee and Whitlock Board of Award.  He is also involved with the Chicago and Northwest SAE Sections.

Most recently, Spitzer served as the SAE Vice President for Aerospace from 2002-2005. As the first industry sector vice president, he set a high standard for demonstrating how industry vice presidents can benefit the society through greater focus on the sectors.  His role was to serve the needs of a diverse group of organizations and individuals – commercial and military aircraft manufacturers, suppliers, government agencies, engineers, business leaders and students – in the areas of regulation, safety and the environment.  His leadership vision and the actions that he initiated have been emulated by subsequent sector vice presidents.

The long list of activities that Spitzer undertook as Vice President for Aerospace includes: forming the Aerospace Executive Committee, a broad collection of individuals representing the various sub-segments of the industry; meeting with numerous industry executives to promote the value of SAE International; encouraging student participation in SAE International; speaking at many aerospace conferences, including World Aviation Congress and Aerospace in the News; and supporting efforts of groups such as the Aerospace Council and the Air & Space Group by encouraging the development of strategic plans and global activities.  He also served as the focal point for aerospace industry support of the SAE Foundation Capital Campaign.

Spitzer’s career spans 40 years of aerospace industry experience in the commercial and military sectors.  After joining The Boeing Company in 1965, he retired in 2004 as Vice President, Technical Relations, a position in which he developed a company-wide network with key government, academic, industry and technical organizations.  From 1994 to 1999, Spitzer was Vice President of Engineering for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, responsible for a broad range of technologies and research and development activities. Also at Boeing, he held the positions of Vice President of Research and Engineering for Boeing Military Airplanes in Wichita, Kan., and Chief Engineer and Program Manager for the Boeing portion of the B-2 program in Seattle.

Spitzer is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a 2006 inductee for SAE Fellow grade of membership which recognizes outstanding engineering creativity. In 2002, he was presented with the SAE Franklin W. Kolk Air Transportation Progress Award. Spitzer also served on the ABET Industry Advisory Council, the Board of Adler Planetarium and the NASA Aerospace Technology Advisory Committee.

Spitzer received his master’s degree in management as a Sloan Fellow from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautical engineering from the University of Illinois, and a graduate degree in aeronautical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.