Emeritus Professor of Aircraft Design Torenbeek to receive AIAA Aircraft Design Award

News - 13 August 2013

On Tuesday 13 August, TU Delft Emeritus Professor of Aircraft Design Egbert Torenbeek will receive the 2013 Aircraft Design Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) for the huge contribution he has made to education in the area of aircraft design and for his pioneering role in the development of computerised design. Torenbeek, who designed the concept for the EXTRA EA-400 in 1993, will be presented with his ‘lifetime achievement award’ during the 2013 AIAA Aviation Conference in Los Angeles.

Egbert Torenbeek achieved global fame in the aircraft world as the author of the first book that brought together all the relevant engineering disciplines in a comprehensive aircraft design book, Synthesis of Subsonic Airplane Design (1976). The book, which is known amongst aircraft engineers as the “Toren Book”, is still used in many countries as a basic textbook for aircraft design and design education. Torenbeek still publishes textbooks on aeronautical engineering. His most recent work, Advanced Aircraft Design, was published in June 2013. From the nineteen-eighties, Torenbeek played a pioneering role in the development of computerised design. Dean of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Hester Bijl, said: “Learning to design an aircraft or spacecraft by combining different disciplines is still an important part of our curriculum. Egbert Torenbeek laid a solid foundation for this. I am very happy and proud that he is to receive the Aircraft Design Award.”

Torenbeek’s contribution to the design process is not limited to writing books. In 1996 the German aircraft manufacturer Extra Flugzeugbau launched the EXTRA EA-400, a propeller plane designed by Torenbeek and a team of staff and students. The aircraft, which today is fitted with a gas turbine engine and called the EXTRA EA-500, is an affordable and efficient aircraft that seats six people and is available commercially.

Each year the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics presents the Design Award to engineers that have made a significant contribution to the design of aircraft and development of design technology. Previous Awards have been gone to aircraft designers Daniel Raymer (2010) and Jan Roskam (2007), and in 1980 the Award was won by the famous designer and honorary doctor at TU Delft Burt Rutan.

Torenbeek was attached to TU Delft's Faculty of Aerospace Engineering as a lector from 1978 to 1980 and as a professor from 1980. In the three years prior to his retirement in 2000, he was vice-rector of the university.

More information:

Lunchtime lecture
On 12 September 2013 Egbert Torenbeek will be giving a lunchtime lecture at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering entitled: ‘These are the Heroes’. The lunchtime lecture will take place from 12.45–13.45 pm in Room A at Kluyverweg 1 in Delft and is open to everyone.

Read more on the AIAA website.

Read more about the launch of the EXTRA-400 in 1996.

Ineke Boneschansker, Manager of Marketing & Communication, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, TU Delft. +31 (0)15 278 5361, i.boneschansker@tudelft.nl