Distinguished Alumni Awards

Lee J. Archambault

Lee J. Archambault
To Lee J. Archambault, engineer, test pilot, and astronaut, for his contributions to the assembly of the International Space Station and his decorated service in the United States Air Force

Colonel, United States Air Force and NASA Astronaut, Houston, TX

  • BS, 1982, Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • MS, 1984, Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Lee J. Archambault has demonstrated leadership nationally and internationally in both aeronautics and astronautics and has compiled a distinguished record of service to both the United States Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. A distinguished graduate of the Air Force Officer Training School, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1985 and earned his pilot wings a year later. Archambault served two F-117A tours of duty in Saudi Arabia in 1990 and 1991 during the Gulf War, flying 22 combat missions followed by post-Desert Storm peacekeeping efforts. In 1992, he was reassigned as an F-117A instructor pilot and operational test pilot. After graduating first in his class from the Air Force Test Pilot School in 1995, he performed weapons developmental flight tests.

A decorated military pilot, Archambault earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and Meritorious Service Medal, among other awards. Selected as a pilot by NASA in 1998, he worked on flight instrument upgrades that were incorporated into the shuttle in 2003 and supported launch and landing operations at the Kennedy Space Center. Archambault served as the lead astronaut support person for two shuttle flights in 2002 and 2005 and in October 2004 was assigned as the lead capsule communicator. He piloted the space shuttle Atlantis in June 2007, and in March 2008, he served as mission commander of the Discovery—both trips were to the International Space Station.

Since 1996, Archambault has served on the Department of Aerospace Engineering Alumni Advisory Board. In 1993, he was awarded the Department of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering’s Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award.

Current as of 2009.