Richard A. Milburn was one of three inducted into the University of Oklahoma College of Engineering Distinguished Graduates Society during the May 11 Convocation on the Norman campus.
Milburn graduated with honors with a bachelor of science degree in aeronautic and space engineering in 1964 and a master of science degree in aerospace engineering in 1965, both from OU. He is a member of the engineering fraternities Sigma Tau, Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Gamma Tau.
After receiving his pilot’s wings as a distinguished graduate in October 1955, he served as an interceptor pilot with the Aerospace Defense Command and served overseas with the 26th Air Division of ADC. He was the project engineer responsible for the YF-12 Interceptor (later SR-71) program, chief of the Weapons System Division of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs and served in London as assistant air attache and chief of the foreign technology office.
In 1977, Milburn was selected chief of the Mutual Defense Assistance Office at the American Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. He retired as a colonel in 1980 after an assignment as chief of the Air Force Headquarters Management Policy Division. Milburn joined the Grumman Corp. in 1980 and later was promoted to vice president for defense programs. After multiple promotions and the merger of Northrop and Grumman, Milburn was appointed vice president, Northrop Grumman International in Washington, D.C. After subsequent appointments to managing director and vice president for the Advanced Stand-Off Radar program in the United Kingdom as well as corporate director of Northrop Grumman Corp., Milburn retired from Northrop Grumman in 2011. Milburn currently is president of RAM International and continues to work with General Dynamics and Barbaricum.
Milburn is a member of the Order of the Daedalians, the Royal Aeronautical Society and the New York Academy of Science and is an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics. He is chairman emeritus of the U.S. delegation to the NATO Industrial Advisory Group, and in that capacity is a member of the Conference of National Armament Directors of NATO. Milburn also served six years as chairman of the American League for Export and Security Assistance and is a member of the Board of the National Defense Industrial Association and the Board of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Aviation Education and Training as well as the Board of Advisors for the OU School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.
In 1990, the College of Engineering Distinguished Graduates Society was established to honor our most accomplished alumni. Selection is based upon prominent and distinguished professional or technical achievement, notable public service, outstanding contributions, and other significant contributions to the engineering profession.
Membership in the society affords the public acknowledgment and recognition befitting these graduates. Each year, society awardees are honored by the administration, faculty and students of the College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma through participation in the induction ceremonies at spring convocation.