Retired military pilot and Delta engineer to receive the 2004 SAE Arch T. Colwell Cooperative Engineering Medal
Warrendale, PA (July 20, 2005) -Walter J. Overend has been named as the recipient of the 2004 SAE Arch T. Colwell Cooperative Engineering Medal. He will be presented with the award at the an awards luncheon during the 2005 SAE AeroTech Congress & Exhibition, scheduled for October 3-6 in Dallas/Ft Worth, Texas.
This award, established in 1976, recognizes an individual for unique and outstanding contributions over a period of time to the work of the technical committees under the SAE Technical Standards Board in developing standards, specifications, technical reports, and data through cooperative research. The award acknowledges and commemorates the distinctive contributions of the late Arch T. Colwell, who served as SAE President in 1941, and symbolized the dedication and devotion of SAE members who work to further the objectives of the SAE Technical Standards Program.
Overend is being recognized for his numerous and significant contributions to SAE and the aviation industry. His tireless efforts were essential to the development of many Airspace Recommended Practices (ARP) governing flight deck standards and aircraft handling qualities of transport category aircraft.
Overend has been working in the field of aviation since his employment in the fix-base operations in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1938. He obtained his private pilot's license and began a career in military operations when the Royal Air Force hired him as a Sergeant Pilot; he flew Spitfires in England. He then transferred to the United States Air Force and flew a tour of duty through the African and Italian theaters. After the war, he was posted to Nellis Air Force Base as a squadron commander and deputy group commander in the Fighter Gunnery School.
Overend began his civilian career providing his technical expertise to Delta Airlines. He was hired as a performance engineer and subsequently promoted to be manager of performance engineering and programs. He was a key player in the design and operation of the DC-8 (Delta was the first airline to put this aircraft into service), as well as detailing the specification and operation of the DC-9, the CV-880, the B-767 and B-757. His efforts on the DC-9 lead to the first passenger airplane to have specification requirements which included heads up landing systems.
After retiring from Delta, Overend became an aviation consultant. In more than 30 years as a member of the SAE S7 committee, he has contributed to the
development of more than 20 SAE aerospace standards documents. He holds a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology,
as well as a bachelor's degree in French from the Georgia State University.