Clark School Home UMD
ECE

ECE News Story

Alumni Plummer, Miller Win 2005 Draper Prize for Pioneering DoD Satellite Work

Alumni Plummer, Miller Win 2005 Draper Prize for Pioneering DoD Satellite Work


On February 21, James W. Plummer, EE '53, received the Charles Stark Draper Prize from the National Academy of Engineering—one of the world's preeminent awards in engineering—for his pioneering work in the top-secret Corona Project.

Another Clark School of Engineering alumnus, Edward A. Miller, (ME '50), also received the award for his work on the same project. Mr. Miller spoke to Clark School students and faculty on February 22.

The Draper Prize, in the words of the NAE, “…honors an engineer whose accomplishment has significantly impacted society by improving the quality of life, providing the ability to live freely and comfortably, and/or permitting the access to information.”

Plummer and Miller were among five members of the Corona Project to be presented with the award. Mr. Plummer went on to become Under Secretary for the Air Force and Mr. Miller went on to become Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Development. Both led highly successful corporate careers as well.

The Corona Project (1959 to 1972) created the field of satellite surveillance, providing vital photographic information that permitted the United States to gauge the nuclear threat posed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War and pursue more effective foreign policies. Mr. Plummer served as project manager and Mr. Miller as project engineer. Their team accomplished the first successful recovery of a man-made object from earth orbit.

Previous Draper Prizes recognized those who pioneered or developed personal computer networking, the global positioning system, fiber optics and other major engineering advances.

Read more about Mr. Plummer's career and Mr. Miller's career.

February 26, 2005


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

Northrup Grumman's Christopher Jones to Deliver Spring Commencement Remarks

ENES 489P holds end-of-semester design competition

UMD Researchers Make Breakthrough in Terahertz Technology

UMD Prof T.M. Antonsen Jr. Recognized by IEEE for Contributions to Vacuum Electronics

Rubloff, Ghodssi to speak at TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo

Ephremides and colleagues issued U.S. Patent 9,318,232

UMD Inventors Zoom In on New Camera Technology 

Ulukus Named 2016-2017 Distinguished Scholar-Teacher by University of Maryland

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar

Additional Resources

UM Newsdesk

Faculty Experts