The news came straight from the Board of Directors of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), with some 400,000 members the world’s largest scientific/technical society. Prof. Heinz Stoewer headed the list of candidates for the prestigious 2018 IEEE Simon Ramo Medaille, which is awarded in recognition of outstanding achievements in systems engineering and systems science. In May 2018, the medal was presented to Professor Stoewer at the IEEE Honors Ceremony in San Francisco for his “pioneering activities and technical leadership in space systems engineering and the strong influence that he has had on systems engineering theory and practice”.
“This award is the world’s highest recognition of achievements in systems engineering and systems science. I think that Professor Stoewer is the perfect choice as his entire professional career has been dedicated to space systems engineering. I am quite sure that in his daily work and as a lecturer he has left a lasting impression on many engineers,” says Marco Fuchs, CEO of OHB SE and OHB System AG, of Stoewer, who has been a member of the Supervisory Board of the Bremen-based space and high-technology company OHB SE since 2005. “In our meetings, we also experience his comprehensive approach – this is systems engineering as it should be! He is also committed to the IEE’s philosophy of advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. And this in turn is consistent with OHB’s own mission statement as we, too, attach key importance to harnessing the benefits that space and space technology with all its applications and spin-off can offer people.”
Born in 1940, Stoewer is intimately acquainted with space systems engineering. He was Chairman of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) from 2004 to 2005 and is emeritus professor of Space Systems Engineering at the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) and managing director of Space Associates GmbH. Stoewer performed pioneering activities as the European Space Agency’s first program manager for Spacelab, which flew on board a NASA Space Shuttle many times. He laid the basis for joint activities between NASA and ESA on the International Space Station. At the European Space Agency he established and managed the systems engineering and programming department, which supported all ESA programs.
Professor Stoewer was also the founding director of the international master’s degree course in space and systems engineering at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He held the first professorship for space systems engineering in Europe, introducing the use of small satellite projects as an effective teaching instrument for engineering students. “I am very pleased for the students that the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology has announced an annual Best Space Student award with the endowment for the IEEE Simon Ramo Medal,” says Stoewer. “Incidentally, I am the first German and the second European to receive this IEEE award.”
More information on the IEEE Simon Ramo Medal can be found at https://www.ieee.org/about/awards/medals/ramo.html#medal-recipients