The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics has selected Aerospace Engineering at Illinois alumnus George K. Muellner as an Honorary Fellow, AIAA’s highest distinction.
The recognition is given preeminent individuals who have long and highly contributory careers in aerospace, and who embody the highest possible standards in aeronautics and astronautics. Muellner, BS 67, was cited “for a lifetime of seminal contributions to our Nation's defense with leadership in aerospace programs and education that will enhance our security for decades to come.”
Muellner is Chairman of the Board for the Air Force Association. He is a Life Member of the AFA and has previously served as the Vice Chairman for Aerospace Education, a National Director and as a member of the Aerospace Education Council.
Muellner retired from the Boeing Company, February, 2008, as president of Advanced Systems for the Integrated Defense Systems business unit. Prior to this assignment Muellner was senior vice president-general manager of Air Force Systems, responsible for all domestic and international Air Force programs. He was appointed to this position in July 2002. Prior to that, Muellner was president of Phantom Works, Boeing's advanced research and development unit.
Muellner served 31 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a lieutenant general in 1998 from the position of principal deputy for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition in Washington, D.C., to which he was assigned in 1995.
From 1993 to 1995, he served as director and program executive officer for the Joint Advanced Strike Technology program, now the Joint Strike Fighter program. He earlier served as mission area director for tactical, command, control and communications, and weapons programs. In 1992, he became deputy chief of staff for requirements for the Headquarters Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, VA. A highly decorated veteran, Muellner spent most of his career as a fighter pilot and fighter weapons instructor, test pilot and commander. He flew combat missions in Vietnam and commanded the Joint STARS deployment during Operation Desert Storm.
Muellner is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Fellow and Past-President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is also a trustee of the USAFA Falcon Foundation, a Senior Fellow of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and serves on the Board of Visitors of the University of Illinois College of Engineering.
In addition to his bachelor’s degree in AE at Illinois, Muellner holds a master’s degree in aeronautical systems management from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree in engineering from California State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Auburn University. He also completed the Air War College and the Defense Systems Management College.
Muellner has received Distinguished Alumni Awards from both AE at Illinois and the College of Engineering, and serves on the AE at Illinois Alumni Board. He and his wife, Vicki, live in Huntington Beach, California.