Alumni Hall of Fame

Robert H. Widmer
Robert H. Widmer
Inducted September 2007

Robert H. Widmer

Class of 1938
Aircraft Designer

Robert Widmer has been a significant contributor to the design of highly successful American military aircraft, from World War II until the end of the 20th century. Recipient of the Ricketts Award as the outstanding aeronautical engineer in his class at Rensselaer, he began his career as an aerodynamic engineer and rose through technical management positions to become vice president of science and engineering for all engineering activities at General Dynamics Corp.

Widmer was involved with engineering work on flying boats and major bomber projects. He was the creator and designer of the B-58, the world’s first long-range aircraft capable of sustained supersonic flight, as well as the B-36, F-111, and F-16.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Widmer has received numerous awards, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Spirit of St. Louis Medal.

He has been a consultant to military and government agencies concerned with aeronautical matters, and adviser to engineering programs at the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University.