Ernst Stuhlinger

Ernst Stuhlinger
Niederrimbach, Germany
American Rocket Society's Propulsion Award


Ernst Stuhlinger was born in Niederrimbach, Germany on 19 December 1913. He received his Doctorate in Physics at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, in 1936.

Stuhlinger was appointed Assistant Professor of the Physics Department of the Berlin Institute of Technology and was a member of the faculty from 1936 to 1941. He worked closely with Dr. Hans Geiger, developer of the Geiger counter, for several years. From 1939 to 1941, he was a member of a research group conducting studies in nuclear physics. In the Spring of 1943, he joined the Rocket Development Center at Peenemuende, Germany, which was under the technical supervision of Dr. Wernher von Braun. Stuhlinger carried on research in connection with the development of guidance and control systems for the V-2 guided missile.

In 1946, Stuhlinger came to the United States under the auspices of the Ordnance Corps, U.S. Army and became an American citizen on 14 April 1994. He conducted research and development work with guided missiles at Ft. Bliss, Texas, and assisted in high altitude research firings of captured V-2s at White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico. From 1956 until 1 July 1960, he was Director of the Research Projects Laboratory, Army Ballistic Missile Agency, U.S. Army Ordnance Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. In 1962, he was the Director, Research Projects Division of the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center.

Stuhlinger, who gained recognition for his feasibility and design studies of electrical propulsion systems for the space ships, received the American Rocket Society's Propulsion Award on 7 December 1960. He was a member of a number of professional societies, including the ARS, AAS, and the International Astronautical Academy.