Full Menu and site Navigation

Former INCOSE President Heinz Stoewer Receives IEEE Simon Ramo Medal

by Christine Kowalski | May 22, 2018

Image courtesy of IEEE

Former International Council on Systems Engineering President Heinz Stoewer Receives IEEE Simon Ramo Medal

World's Largest Technical Professional Association Recognizes Stoewer for Space Systems Engineering Leadership

SAN DIEGO (May 22, 2017) – The International Council on Systems Engineering’s (INCOSE) Past President Heinz Stoewer received the prestigious IEEE Simon Ramo Medal on May 11th at the IEEE Honors Ceremony in San Francisco. Stoewer was recognized “for pioneering accomplishments in and technical leadership of space systems engineering, and for profound influence on teaching and practice of systems engineering.”

Stoewer is known for his pioneering work as the European Space Agency’s (ESA) first program manager for the Spacelab project, using a systems engineering approach critical for the success of the project. Spacelab was a small reusable space station that has flown many times with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Space Shuttle. Spacelab was a complex scientific laboratory involving many astronauts and a broad international user community.

Stoewer’s systems engineering approach integrated all the disciplines and specialty groups into a team effort, forming a structured development process from concept to production to operation. Stoewer’s vital work ultimately set the stage for U.S. and European cooperation on the International Space Station. He later founded and led the ESA’s Systems Engineering and Programmatics Department that supported all of ESA’s programs.

“Heinz’s numerous achievements to advance INCOSE and systems engineering make him deserving of this distinguished award,” said INCOSE President Garry Roedler. “It’s a major honor and the first time this award has been given to one of our presidents. We thank IEEE for its recognition of Heinz’s work in and out of INCOSE and are grateful for the ongoing partnership between our organizations.”

As INCOSE president in 2004 and 2005, Stoewer helped broaden the organization’s global perspective beyond aerospace and added a commercial component to its original aerospace focus. Throughout his career, he has extended the influence of systems engineering beyond aerospace projects to universities, private companies and government laboratories.

Stoewer was also founding director of the Netherlands Delft University of Technology’s international master’s degree program in space systems engineering. As first chair for space systems engineering in Europe, he introduced the use of small satellite-based projects as an effective teaching and training tool for engineering students. In his honor, the University’s Aerospace Faculty has established a “Heinz Stoewer Space Prize,” given every year to the most deserving master’s student.

Stoewer is Airbus advisor for systems engineering and a member of the supervisory board of the OHB SE, a European multinational technology corporation. He is a member of a number of technical/scientific advisory committees and lectures at several universities and academies. For the past eight years, Stoewer has been a “Distinguished Visiting Scientist” at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he helps transform its system capabilities into a modern model-based systems engineering set of assets.

Stoewer was among the top minds in technology honored at the annual IEEE Honors Ceremony who have made a lasting impact on technology, society and the engineering profession. The IEEE Simon Ramo Medal is sponsored by Northrop Grumman Corporation. To learn more, visit:

For more information on the International Council on Systems Engineering, visit

About the International Council on Systems Engineering
The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) is a not-for-profit membership organization that promotes international collaboration in systems engineering practice, education and research. INCOSE’s mission is to “address complex societal and technical challenges by enabling, promoting and advancing systems engineering and systems approaches.” Founded in 1990, INCOSE has more than 70 chapters and over 16,500 members worldwide. For additional information about INCOSE, visit Become a member today.