Distinguished Alumni Awards

George K. Muellner

George K. Muellner
To George K. Muellner, industrial leader, technology program manager, test pilot, and public servant, for his leadership in the development of engineering technologies for advanced aircraft and spacecraft and for his dedicated and outstanding career in public service.

President, Phantom Works, The Boeing Company, Seal Beach, California

  • BS, 1967, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • MS, 1974, Aeronautical Systems Management, University of Southern California
  • MS, 1979, Electrical Engineering, California State University
  • MBA, 1983, Auburn University

 Immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1967, George Muellner joined the U.S. Air Force, where he had a stellar 31-year career as a test pilot and weapons officer. He used his ability to combine engineering concepts and principles with national defense requirements. He has been awarded numerous medals and citations by the Air Force for his outstanding and distinguished service, including the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the Air Medal with 27 oak leaf clusters. An oak leaf cluster is given each additional time that a medal is awarded.

From 1973 to 1982, he was a test pilot for the F-15 and F-16, chief of systems testing at the USAF Test Pilot School, and operations officer and commander of the 6513th Test Squadron, which tested classified aircraft. During Operation Desert Storm, Muellner formed the 4411th Joint Surveillance Targeting and Attack Radar System (STARS) Squadron, which employed the prototype aircraft of that program. In 1993, Muellner was named director and program executive officer of the joint advanced strike technology (JAST) Program, a multibillion-dollar program that became the Joint Strike Fighter. He then led Air Force Acquisition. Muellner retired from the military in 1998 to join The Boeing Company as president of Phantom Works. Phantom Works is dedicated to technology development and new product development, with a special focus on making products more affordable and more capable.

Muellner has served on the Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering Alumni Advisory Board for six years. He is a member of the National Academy of Science’s Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, the Defense Science Board, MIT Lincoln Lab Advisory Board, and the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. He is a Fellow of the Society of Environmental Test Pilots, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Current as of 2002.