Distinguished Alumni Awards

Gene Lee Armstrong

Gene Lee Armstrong
To Gene Lee Armstrong, engineer, industrial executive, for his outstanding leadership in the planning and direction of engineering work in the field of intercontinental ballistic missiles and space systems, and for his contribution to the development of the young engineers who are engaged in this work with him.

Director of Missiles and Space Systems, General Dynamics Corporation, New York

  • BS, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, 1948
  • MS, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 1951

Mr. Armstrong has had a major role in the missile and space efforts in this country, and his contributions to our nation’s first intercontinental ballistic missile system are outstanding. His genius in organizing the analytical areas of engineering carried him into the program management phase of the Atlas project until he became Chief Project Engineer for all phases of the program. In this capacity he directed the planning and execution of the first U.S. manned orbital flight Atlas Freedom 7. Shortly after this flight he became Chief Engineer of all design activities at General Dynamics/Astronautics Division, and after completion of the Atlas Weapons System, he was made Director of Systems Integration.

As the space program grew in scope and importance, he was appointed Chief Engineer of the Centaur-Surveyer; after two successful flights of this unmanned moon exploration vehicle, he was appointed Director of Missiles and Space Systems for the General Dynamics Corporation.

In the years 1954–1958, Mr. Armstrong performed the monumental task of training 500 young engineers. The Atlas launch vehicle was designed and flown by engineers under thirty-two years of age.

Current as of 1965.