Aerospace Engineers

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Know about famous aerospace engineers, such as Neil Armstrong, Vladimir Komarov, Homer Hickam, Wally Schirra, R. J. Mitchell and others. These aerospace engineers played a key role in the evolution of this sector.
Vote for Your Favourite Aerospace Engineers
 1 
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
(Aerospace Scientist & 11th President of India)
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
4
Birthdate: October 15, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: July 27, 2015
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s 11th president, had earlier been an aerospace scientist at DRDO and ISRO. Known as the “People’s President” and the “Missile Man of India,” he was instrumental in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests. He died of a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong.
 2 
Wernher Von Braun
(Known as Father of Rocket Science)
Wernher Von Braun
6
Birthdate: March 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wyrzysk, Poland
Died: June 16, 1977

German-born American aerospace engineer and space architect, Wernher Von Braun, worked in Nazi Germany's rocket development program as a young man. After World War II, he moved to the United States where he became a pioneer of rocket and space technology in the nation. In his later career, he became director of the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center.

 3 
Robert A. Heinlein
(American Novelist Best Known as the 'Dean of Science Fiction Writers')
Robert A. Heinlein
4
Birthdate: July 7, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Butler, Missouri, United States
Died: May 8, 1988

Robert A. Heinlein was an American author, naval officer, and aeronautical engineer. Heinlein is credited with pioneering a literary subgenre called hard science fiction as he was among the first to stress the importance of scientific accuracy in fiction. Robert A. Heinlein is one of the most influential science-fiction writers of all time.

 4 
Vladimir Komarov
(First Cosmonaut to Fly into Space Twice and the First Human to Die in a Space Flight)
Vladimir Komarov
6
Birthdate: March 16, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: April 24, 1967

Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was the first from his country to fly into space twice. He died when his Soyuz 1 capsule crashed while re-entering the Earth, due to a parachute failure, on April 24, 1967, which made him the first human to die in a space flight.

 5 
Lisa Nowak
(Flight Engineer on Sts-121 and Former NASA Astronaut)
Lisa Nowak
4
Birthdate: May 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Former NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy captain Lisa Nowak was part of the STS-121 mission. She made headlines when she apparently attempted to kidnap Air Force captain Colleen Shipman, who was getting into a relationship with astronaut William Oefelein, who had previously dated Nowak. Nowak was subsequently dismissed from NASA.

 6 
Gordon Cooper
(Officer, Astronaut, Test pilot, Aerospace engineer, Engineer, Aviator)
Gordon Cooper
8
Birthdate: March 6, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shawnee
Died: October 4, 2004

Part of the seven Project Mercury astronauts, Gordon Cooper manned a 34-hour space mission, becoming the first American to stay for a day in space. As part of the Gemini 5 mission, he and his co-pilot proved it was possible for astronauts to survive a mission to the Moon and back.

 7 
Scott Kelly
(Engineer)
Scott Kelly
10
Birthdate: February 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States
 8 
Jack Parsons
(Researcher)
Jack Parsons
6
Birthdate: October 2, 1914
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: June 17, 1952

Rocketry pioneer Jack Parsons is best remembered as one of the founders of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He also co-established the Aerojet Engineering Corporation and developed the first rocket engine that used a propellant. He was also known for his multiple sexual affairs and sex cult rituals.

 9 
Deke Slayton
(Astronaut)
Deke Slayton
4
Birthdate: March 1, 1924
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sparta, Wisconsin, United States
Died: June 13, 1993
 10 
Neil Armstrong
(The First Person to Walk on the Moon)
Neil Armstrong
0
Birthdate: August 5, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wapakoneta, Ohio, United States
Died: August 25, 2012

The first person to walk on the Moon, Neil Armstrong was an astronaut and aeronautical engineer. Prior to his trip to the Moon, he became NASA's first civilian astronaut to fly in space. After resigning from NASA, he taught in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He was a Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee.

 11 
John Carmack
(Chief technology officer, Aerospace engineer, Programmer, Computer scientist)
John Carmack
6
Birthdate: August 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kansas City

Computer-game developer John Carmack introduced pioneering innovations in the 3-D game arena. He specializes in first-person shooter games, such as Quake and Doom. The id Software founder had spent a year in a juvenile home and had later dropped out of university to become a freelance programmer.

 12 
Homer Hickam
(Aerospace Engineer)
Homer Hickam
4
Birthdate: February 19, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Coalwood, West Virginia, United States
 13 
Judith Resnik
(Engineer)
Judith Resnik
4
Birthdate: April 5, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States
Died: January 28, 1986

Judith Resnik was an American software engineer, electrical engineer, pilot, biomedical engineer, and NASA astronaut. She was the fourth woman and the first Jewish woman in space, logging 145 hours in orbit. Resnik, who died during the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986, received several posthumous honors. Judith Resnik’s life and career inspired the 1990 TV movie Challenger.

 14 
Sergei Korolev
(Lead Rocket Engineer and Founder of the Soviet Union’s Space Program)
Sergei Korolev
4
Birthdate: January 1, 1907
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Zhytomyr, Ukraine
Died: January 14, 1966

Sergei Korolev was a Soviet spacecraft designer and rocket engineer who played an important role during the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States of America in the 1950s and 1960s. He was largely responsible for developing the R-7 Rocket and launching Yuri Gagarin into space. Sergei Korolev also launched Belka, Strelka, and Laika into space.

 15 
Wally Schirra
(NASA astronaut who became one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury)
Wally Schirra
4
Birthdate: March 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hackensack, New Jersey, United States
Died: May 3, 2007
 16 
Kelly Johnson
(Aerospace engineer)
Kelly Johnson
3
Birthdate: February 27, 1910
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ishpeming, Michigan, United States
Died: December 21, 1990
 17 
James Glaisher
(Meteorologists)
James Glaisher
4
Birthdate: April 7, 1809
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rotherhithe, London, England
Died: February 7, 1903

Renowned meteorologist and aeronaut James Glaisher was a pioneer of balloon flights and had penned the iconic book Travels in the Air. He had also contributed to the formation of the Meteorological Society and the Aeronautical Society of Britain. The 2019 movie The Aeronauts depicts his exploits as a balloonist.

 18 
Anousheh Ansari
(American-Iranian engineer)
Anousheh Ansari
3
Birthdate: September 12, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mashhad
 19 
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
(Russian Rocket Scientist Who Pioneered Astronautic Theory)
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
3
Birthdate: September 17, 1857
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Izhevskoe, Russia
Died: September 19, 1935

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was a Russian rocket scientist. Credited with pioneering astronautic theory, Tsiolkovsky is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of astronautics and modern rocketry. His works served as an inspiration to several other Soviet rocket engineers like Valentin Glushko and Sergei Korolev. Hence, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's work played an influential role in the Soviet space program.

 20 
Alan Mulally
(Engineer)
Alan Mulally
3
Birthdate: August 4, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oakland, California, U.S.
 21 
Lonnie Johnson
(Inventor, Aerospace engineer)
Lonnie Johnson
2
Birthdate: October 6, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama, United States
 22 
Gerald Bull
(Aerospace engineer, Engineer, Inventor)
Gerald Bull
3
Birthdate: March 9, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ontario
Died: March 22, 1990

Gerald Vincent Bull was a Canadian artillery expert, known for designing Project Babylon supergun for the Government of Iraq. His idea was to do away with the conventional rockets by firing satellites into orbit from a 156m-long barrel embedded inside a hill. However, his assassination within two years of the start of the project put an end to it.  

 23 
Burt Rutan
(Aerospace engineer, Engineer, Aviator, Entrepreneur)
Burt Rutan
3
Birthdate: June 17, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Estacada
 24 
Jiro Horikoshi
(Aerospace engineer, Engineer)
Jiro Horikoshi
4
Birthdate: June 22, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fujioka
Died: January 11, 1982

Jiro Horikoshi was a Japanese engineer who played an important role during the Second World War, serving as the chief engineer of several Japanese fighter aircraft, including the famous Mitsubishi A6M Zero. Jiro Horikoshi's life and career inspired a fictionalized biographical animated film titled The Wind Rises which was directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

 25 
Peter Madsen
(Engineer)
Peter Madsen
4
Birthdate: June 12, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Denmark
 26 
R. J. Mitchell
(British Aircraft Designer Known for Designing the Supermarine Spitfire Fighter Used in WWII)
R. J. Mitchell
3
Birthdate: May 20, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Butt Lane, Kidsgrove, England
Died: June 11, 1937

Aeronautical designer R. J. Mitchell joined Supermarine at age 21 and worked for them throughout his life. Remembered for designing sea planes, he was also the man behind the fighter aircraft Spitfire, which was used extensively during World War II. The film The First of the Few chronicled his life.

 27 
Otto Lilienthal
(German Aeronautical Engineer Who Completed Successful Glider Flights for the First Time)
Otto Lilienthal
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Anklam, Germany
Died: August 10, 1896
 28 
Glenn Curtiss
(American Aviation and Motorcycling Pioneer & Founder of the U.S. Aircraft Industry)
Glenn Curtiss
3
Birthdate: May 21, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hammondsport, New York, United States
Died: July 23, 1930

Glenn Curtiss was an American motorcycling and aviation pioneer. He is credited with founding the U.S. aircraft industry. He is also credited with forming the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company which merged with the Wright Aeronautical to form Curtiss-Wright Corporation in 1929. Glenn Curtiss’ company played a major role in the years leading up to the First World War.

 29 
Willy Messerschmitt
(Aeronautical engineer, Engineer, University teacher)
Willy Messerschmitt
3
Birthdate: June 26, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Frankfurt
Died: September 15, 1978
 30 
Geoffrey de Havilland
(Aerospace engineer, Engineer, Test pilot, Aviator, Entrepreneur)
Geoffrey de Havilland
3
Birthdate: July 27, 1882
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: High Wycombe
Died: May 21, 1965

Aviation pioneer and aircraft designer Geoffrey de Havilland is best remembered for his double-engine warplane Mosquito and the jet airliner Comet. He was part of the Royal Flying Corps and had been knighted for his achievements. He was also the founder of the De Havilland Aircraft Company.

 31 
Kurt Tank
(German Aeronautical Engineer and Designer of Fighter Aircrafts 'Fw 190' and 'Ta 152')
Kurt Tank
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bydgoszcz, Poland
Died: June 5, 1983
 32 
George Cayley
(British Engineer, Inventor and Aviator Known for Designing First Successful Human Glider)
George Cayley
3
Birthdate: December 27, 1773
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Scarborough, Yorkshire, England
Died: December 15, 1857

British engineer and inventor George Cayley was a pioneer of aeronautics and aviation. He designed the world’s first glider that could successfully carry a human being. He was also a prominent Whig and had contributed to the formation of what is now known as the University of Westminster.

 33 
James McDivitt
3
Birthdate: June 10, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
 34 
Nevil Shute
(Best Known for His Novels, Which Often Have an Aviation Theme)
Nevil Shute
3
Birthdate: January 17, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ealing, Middlesex , England
Died: January 12, 1960

British-Australian novelist Nevil Shute was also an aeronautical engineer and had fought in World War I. Of the 25 books he had penned throughout his lifetime, On the Beach remains one of the most notable. Most of his works reflected his cynicism regarding humanity in a war-ravaged society.

 35 
Louis Blériot
(Aviator, Engineer, Inventor, Aerospace engineer)
Louis Blériot
3
Birthdate: July 1, 1872
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambrai
Died: August 2, 1936

Louis Blériot was a French aviator, engineer, and inventor. He is credited with developing the first workable headlamp for cars. He is also credited with making the first working, piloted monoplane. Blériot achieved worldwide fame in 1909 when he became the first person to fly across the English Channel. Louis Blériot also founded the successful aircraft manufacturing company, Blériot Aéronautique.

 36 
Bill Lear
(Inventor)
Bill Lear
3
Birthdate: June 26, 1902
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hannibal, Missouri, United States
Died: May 14, 1978
 37 
Marcel Dassault
(Politician, Engineer, Entrepreneur, Aerospace engineer, Inventor, Screenwriter)
Marcel Dassault
3
Birthdate: January 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris
Died: April 18, 1986

Marcel Dassault was a French industrialist and engineer. He played an important role during the First World War when he developed a type of aircraft propeller which was used by the French army. In 1916, he worked with Louis Coroller and Henry Potez to form a company named Société d'Études Aéronautiques in order to manufacture the SEA series of fighters.

 38 
Theodore von Karman
(Mathematician)
Theodore von Karman
3
Birthdate: May 11, 1881
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: May 6, 1963

Hungarian-American mathematician Theodore von Karman is best known for his research on aeronautics. Born to a professor father, Karman was a math prodigy in childhood and was pushed into engineering. He was also the first recipient of the National Medal of Science. A bachelor for life, he lived with his mother and sister.

 39 
Noshir Gowadia
(Former Design Engineer and Spy)
Noshir Gowadia
0
Birthdate: April 11, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
 40 
Hugo Junkers
(Engineer)
Hugo Junkers
3
Birthdate: February 3, 1859
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rheydt, Rhine Province, Kingdom of Prussia
Died: February 3, 1935
 41 
Stuart Roosa
(Astronaut)
Stuart Roosa
3
Birthdate: August 16, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Durango, Colorado, United States
Died: December 12, 1994
 42 
Satish Dhawan
(Aerospace engineer, Engineer)
Satish Dhawan
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Srinagar
Died: January 3, 2002

Satish Dhawan was an Indian aerospace engineer and mathematician remembered for his research in the field of boundary layers and turbulence. From 1972 to 1984, Dhawan served as the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization during which he played a key role in the development of the space program in India. In 1981, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan.

 43 
Samuel Langley
(American Aviation Pioneer, Astronomer and Physicist Known for Inventing 'Bolometer')
Samuel Langley
2
Birthdate: August 22, 1834
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 27, 1906

Astrophysicist Samuel Pierpont Langley had worked as an engineer before he taught physics and astronomy at the Western University of Pennsylvania. He later took over as the director of the Allegheny Observatory. He is best remembered for his research on solar radiation and for inventing the bolometer.

 44 
Gustave Whitehead
(Aerospace engineer, Engineer)
Gustave Whitehead
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1874
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leutershausen
Died: October 10, 1927
 45 
Robert Crippen
(Astronaut)
Robert Crippen
3
Birthdate: September 11, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beaumont, Texas, United States
 46 
Ben Rich
(American engineer)
Ben Rich
3
Birthdate: June 18, 1925
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manila, Philippines
Died: January 5, 1995

Known as "the father of stealth," Ben Rich made a significant contribution to the development of the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter-bomber. Throughout his stint at Lockheed’s Skunk Works, he helped develop numerous military planes. The UCLA alumnus later received the Distinguished Service Cross for his work.

 47 
Jean Bastien-Thiry
(Engineer, Aerospace engineer, Military personnel)
Jean Bastien-Thiry
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lunéville
Died: March 11, 1963

Jean Bastien-Thiry was a French engineer and military personnel whose assassination attempt on French President Charles de Gaulle cost him his life. The assassination attempt made international headlines and inspired a novel titled The Day of the Jackal, which was later adapted into a film. Before his treacherous infamy, Bastien-Thiry was credited with creating the Nord SS.10/SS.11 missiles.

 48 
Arthur Rudolph
(Aerospace engineer, Engineer)
Arthur Rudolph
3
Birthdate: November 9, 1906
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Stepfershausen
Died: January 1, 1996
 49 
Robert R. Gilruth
(Aerospace engineer)
Robert R. Gilruth
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1913
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nashwauk, Minnesota, United States
Died: August 17, 2000
 50 
Giovanni Battista Caproni
(Civil engineer, Aerospace engineer, Engineer)
Giovanni Battista Caproni
3
Birthdate: July 3, 1886
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Arco
Died: October 27, 1957