Distinguished Alumni Awards

Jack L. Heckel

Jack L. Heckel
To Jack L. Heckel for imaginative and pioneering engineering, management development, and production contributions to propulsion systems of space and defense programs and of large marine systems, to waste management systems, and to implantable cardiac assist devices.

Group Vice President, Aerojet-General Corporation, Sacramento, California

BS, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, 1953

Mr. Heckel's career in the aerospace industry began in 1953. He has held a sequence of positions with Aerojet Systems Division, Aerojet Solid Propulsion, Space General Company, Aerojet Liquid Rocket Company, and presently group vice president of Aerojet-General Corporation. In these positions he has directed the development of diverse programs that have had considerable impact on the country's defense, space, energy, and health programs. He was involved in the pioneering work on the Vanguard second stage liquid rocket engine that was the predecessor to the Able series of vehicles, which in turn evolved into the highly successful Delta second stage. He provided overall direction for a waste management system that reduced the volume of low-level radioactive waste materials generated by nuclear power plants by a ratio of 20 to 1, and a fully implantable cardiac assist device for humans capable of reducing the physiological work of the heart by 85 percent.

Current as of 1979.