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Past Guggenheim Medalists

Welcome to the searchable collection of past Guggenheim Medalist Biographies.

Use the search box to the right to locate past medalists by name or year. Your search results will appear in a list below the search box. To view a medalists biography, click their thumbnail or name displayed in the search results list.


View a listing of Past Medalists.          Guggenheim%20past%20Medalists.pdf

Download Nomination Form.          Guggenheim%20Nomination%20Form.doc


Medalist For 1966
For contributions to aeronau­tical education and significant developments in new fields of aircraft instrumentation, in particular for pioneering inertial- guidance techniques mak­ing possible en route naviga­tion independently of earth references; for over twenty-five years of leadership in the technology of control and guidance of flight vehicles, and with the training of a large number of engineers in this vital field of aeronautics and astronautics.

 As a renowned teacher, Charles Draper has always emphasized that an engineer’s responsibility is to make things that work reliably—literally, putting practicality on an equal plane with theory.

As a renowned scientist. Dr. Draper followed his own advice—from his vast background in aeronautical instruments, flight testing and vibration measurements sprang the practical application of high performance inertial instruments to air and sea fire control systems, and to inertial navigation of manned aircraft, missiles and space vehicles.

A Missourian by birth, Draper majored in psychology at Stanford but after getting a B.A. in this field he took graduate work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned three scientific degrees—a B.S. in electrochemical engineering, an S.M. with no specification, and an Sc.D. in physics. He became head of MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and director of the school’s Instrumentation Laboratory, organizing courses in the fields of instrument engineering and fire control. The Instrumentation Laboratory later spun off as The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.

Worldwide recognition came his way for his pioneering research and development of inertial navigation, but the hundreds of students he taught at MIT remember him equally for his classroom techniques. An effective teacher, Draper balanced his mastery of theory with insistence on practical application. “Engaging and inquisitive” was the way one student described the personality of this brilliant yet humble man.

A pioneering figure in the aircraft engineering field, he also contributed to the Apollo space program with his knowledge of guidance systems

Draper’s many honors include the Medal of Merit, the Naval Ordinance Development Award and the U.S. Air Force Exceptional Service Award. In 1955, he was the Wilbur Wright Memorial Lecturer of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Often referred to as "the father of inertial navigation," Draper died July 25, 1987.

For information, contact Daniel Guggenheim Board of Award,
c/o AIAA, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive #500, Reston, VA 20190, 703-264-7623

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 Guggenheim Medalists

 Paul Name: Paul MacCready
Year:  1987
 Abe Name: Abe Silverstein
Year:  1997
 Orville Name: Orville Wright
Year:  1929
 Ludwig Name: Ludwig Prandtl
Year:  1930
 Frederick Name: Frederick William Lanchester
Year:  1931
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