Bruce Lundin, Director of NASA’s Lewis Research Center from 1969 to 1977, (now the Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, Cleveland), passed away on Tuesday, January 24, 2006. He was 86.

“We are saddened to lose one of this center’s outstanding leaders,” said Glenn Director Woodrow Whitlow. “Doctor Lundin left his mark on this center, when he guided the laboratory through World War II and into the space age.”

A native of Alameda, Calif., Lundin began his scientific career with Lewis in 1943 when it was part of the then National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Initially he was engaged in aircraft engine cooling heat transfer research and in improving the performance of World War II aircraft engines. In 1946, he was conducting some of this country’s early research on turbojet engines, including development of the afterburner, variable-area nozzle and reverse thruster.

In 1952, he was appointed Chief of the Engine Research Division at the center and became responsible for the full-scale engine program. Work that he directed over the next several years contributed significantly to the performance and reliability of today’s commercial transport and supersonic aircraft jet engines. He also pioneered in research on large-scale ramjet engines.

Lundin was appointed Assistant Director of the Center in October of 1958 when NACA became National Aeronautics and Space Administration. In this capacity he directed much of the center’s expanded role in space propulsion, including the use of cryogenic fuels, and power generation.

In 1961, Lundin was appointed Associate Director for Development where his responsibilities included development of turbojet engines, chemical rockets, electric thrusters for spacecraft propulsion, and electric power generating systems for spacecraft using chemical, solar and nuclear energy sources. He also directed the development and operation of NASA’s Centaur and Agena launch vehicles for unmanned spacecraft and of spacecraft for investigating advanced methods of space propulsion.

Prior to his appointment as Director of the Lewis Research Center on November 1, 1969, he served as Deputy Associate Administrator for Advanced Research and Technology at NASA Headquarters in May 1968. In March 1969, he was named Acting Associate Administrator for Advanced Research and Technology.

He received numerous awards throughout his career, including NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal. In 1976, he received the National Space Club’s Astronautics Engineer Award and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

He is survived by his widow, Jean; his daughters Dianne and Nancy and son Robert; and three grandchildren.

The flags at Glenn will be flown at half-staff through Sunday in his honor.

Bruce Lundin’s photograph and biography are available on the web at: