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MAE alumnus John Anderson Jr. receives NAA Brewer Trophy

John D. Anderson Jr.John D. Anderson Jr.On Oct. 5, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) named MAE alumnus John Anderson Jr. (’66 PhD, Aerospace Engineering) the recipient of the 2017 Frank G. Brewer Trophy. The trophy was established in 1943 to honor “significant contributions of enduring value to aerospace education in the United States.”

Anderson is being recognized for “his sustained international leadership in aerospace engineering education demonstrated by his authorship of an array of widely-read undergraduate and graduate textbooks with clear, engaging, and superior technical content and historical context.”

Since 1973, Anderson has served in various capacities at the University of Maryland, in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. He is currently the curator for aerodynamics at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and a professor emeritus at the Glenn L. Martin Institute in the Department of Engineering at the University of Maryland.

Anderson’s most significant contribution to the field of aerospace engineering has been the authorship of 11 textbooks, which are considered the universal standard in aerospace education. The hallmarks of Anderson’s books that have made them so widely popular include weaving in historical narratives that provide critical context for students, providing succinct and clear roadmaps at the outset of the book and the beginning of each chapter, and his conversational, lucid, and clear writing style.

In 1987, McGraw-Hill chose Anderson to be the senior consulting editor for their series in aeronautical and astronautical engineering. Recently, McGraw-Hill officially named his body of work, the Anderson Series, noting that his textbooks have been a cornerstone of their success over the course of two-decades and that his work has impacted countless aerospace engineers and students, past and present.

In addition to his textbook writing, Anderson has taught more than 40 short courses to the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. government and major aerospace companies around the world. He was elected as vice president of education and again as vice president of publications for the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Anderson has also been honored with many top distinctions in aerospace engineering. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an Honorary Fellow of the AIAA, and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (London).

The 2017 Brewer Trophy Selection Committee members include Frank Brewer, Robert Brewer, 2010 Brewer Trophy recipient Rich Hanson, of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, 2001 Brewer Trophy recipient Pat Prentiss, of The Ninety-Nines, and Greg Principato, president and CEO of NAA.

The Brewer Trophy will be presented at the NAA Fall Awards Ceremony on November 29, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia. For more information or to view a complete list of previous recipients, please visit


More about the NAA

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) is a non-profit membership organization devoted to fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and to promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States. NAA is the caretaker of some of the most important aviation awards in the world, and certifies all aviation records set in the United States.

- Press release originally authored by Stephanie Berry, director of award and events at the National Aeronautic Association