Former AFRL director inducted into Engineering and Science Hall of Fame

  • Published
  • By Jeremy Gratsch
  • Air Force Research Laboratory

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - The Engineering and Science Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio, recently named George P. Peterson, former Air Force Research Laboratory Director of Materials and Manufacturing, as one of three inductees for 2019.

Peterson was the technical and visionary leader for the development and deployment of a completely new family of high-performance, lightweight, state-of-the-art composite materials for aerospace applications from the early 1960s through the 1980s. This includes advancing the materials from early development through real-world demonstration and manufacturing required for full-scale production. 

The lasting benefits of these materials are still felt and explored across the world today in aerospace, automotive, sporting, infrastructure, transportation and medical product development industries.

Peterson joins a group of more than 60 enshrinees, including Orville and Wilbur Wright, Alexander Graham Bell, George Washington Carver, Lillian Moller Gilbreth and many other notable men and women.

Graduating in 1951 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, Peterson served in the U.S. Air Force until 1953.  He held many leadership positions as a civil servant at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, including two-time Director of AFRL Materials and Manufacturing until his retirement in 1985. Peterson was elected to the National Academy of Engineering that same year.

In 1974, Peterson was cited as one of the top 20 U.S. contributors toward advancement of aerospace materials technology by Aviation Week magazine and received the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive from President Ronald Reagan in 1982, among many other accolades.

Joining Peterson as 2019 inductees are Dr. Perry L. McCarty and Glenn M. Curtis for achievements in environmental engineering and advancements in military and civilian aviation, respectively.

The Engineering Science Hall of Fame is an international 501.C.3 organization established to honor engineers and scientists who, through scientific and engineering principles, make significant contributions to human well-being on a global basis. It is part of the Affiliate Societies Council of Dayton, Ohio, and is affiliated with the Engineers Club of Dayton.

The induction event will involve a reception, dinner and formal ceremony at the Engineers Club of Dayton on Nov. 6..

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: