College Honors Hill with Distinguished Alumni Award
A leader in ground and in-flight icing research, AE Alumnus Eugene G. Hill, BS 57, has received the 2008 Alumni Award for Distinguished Service from the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Hill, who also earned an MBA in 1973 in international finance from Seattle University, was cited for seminal contributions to aircraft safety as a researcher, designer, manager, and international leader in commercial aviation.
Hill has a distinguished record of nearly 50 years of service to the advancement of aeronautics through improved flight safety. He worked for the Federal Aviation Administration from 1996 until his retirement in early 2007. In this role, he served as a recognized national and international expert and consultant in the field of aircraft icing protection.
Hill has worked with meteorological research organizations such as the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) to ensure the proper execution of vital weather research. His effort to foster and encourage collaboration among these groups has been key to the recent success enjoyed in weather research and forecasting capabilities for icing.
Before joining the FAA, Hill worked for The Boeing Company for 37 years. There, he managed ground and in-flight icing programs and was responsible for Boeing policies, plans, and strategies for addressing in-flight icing and related regulatory issues. This research led the field and defined and presented, for the first time, a clear understanding of icing effects and its quantified impact on aircraft operations.
His research on anti-icing fluids, in collaboration with Thomas Zierten, was the basis for the “aerodynamic acceptance test” — an important contribution to operational safety. The Society of Aeronautic Engineers adopted the test that is still used in industry. Earlier in his career at Boeing, Hill helped invent and holds two patents on reconfigurable leading-edge flap systems for high-lift wing configurations. He was responsible for the aerodynamic configuration and performance of the Next-Generation 737. Also, while he was at Boeing, Hill managed testing development at the Boeing Aerodynamic Laboratory and helped develop the Boeing models 707, 720, 727, and 767. He was further involved in those models’ certifications for U.S. and foreign agencies.
Since 1998, Hill has served on the Department of Aerospace Engineering Alumni Advisory Board. AE awarded him the Department’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1999. The Society of Automotive Engineers honored Hill with the 2004 Franklin W. Kolk Air Transportation Progress Award in recognition of his leadership in the field of aircraft icing and broad, outstanding contributions to SAE and to aviation safety. The SAE Technical Standards Board recognized Hill in 2007 for his outstanding contributions to that organization.