John Lucas

Title: Aerospace Engineer

Location: San Marino, California, United States

John Lucas, Aerospace Engineer, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Engineers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in aerospace engineering.

Dr. Lucas grew up on his family’s large ranch and with his background in agriculture; he originally thought he would continue his family’s work on the land. This all changed when he was finishing up his undergraduate work and preparing to go into the US Navy. He was on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific and realized his natural ability to understand and compute higher mathematics had a true calling. In his senior year, Dr. Lucas enrolled in agricultural engineering and the dean of the college suggested that he put in for a postdoctoral. After interviewing at a few places, he came back home and was recommended to look into CalTech, which was doing rocket work. Once there, he met Dr. Pickering and the pair hit it off, kicking off his illustrious career in aerospace engineering.

Dr. Lucas earned a Bachelor of Science in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1948, and received an MS and PhD in engineering from UCLA in 1949 and 1953 respectively. Soon after receiving a PhD, he worked as a supervisor for the Thermal Research Group at the California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He remained in this role for over a decade, then becoming a coordinator of the Research & Advanced Development of Engineering Mechanics at the institute. From 1970 to 1973, he served as the Manager of Research at the lab and then became the Executive Assistant to Director and Deputy Director. In 1977, he joined the Solar Thermal Parabolic Dish Tech as a project manager and remained in this position until 1985.

In his career, Dr. Lucas has contributed many important works. In 1971, he edited “Heat Transfer and Spacecraft Thermal Control,” and in 1972, he provided his editorial work to “Fundamentals of Spacecraft Thermal Design” and “Thermal Characteristics of the Moon.” Dr. Lucas is also noted for his service to country with the US Navy Reserve from 1943 to 1946, serving to lieutenant. For his contributions to the field, Dr. Lucas has received a Group Achievement Award from NASA and was selected as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow with the Fritz Haber Institute. He served as the National Vice President for Technical Affairs at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics between 1975 and 1976 and was an Associate Fellow of the institute. Furthermore, Dr. Lucas maintained professional affiliation with the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering and Sigma Xi.

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