Jan Roskam

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Dr. Jan Roskam
Born February 22, 1930 (1930-02-22) (age 87)
Occupation Engineer, Professor

Jan Roskam (born February 22, 1930 in The Hague)[1] is the emeritus Deane E. Ackers Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Kansas. He is the author of eleven books on airplane design and flight dynamics and over 160 papers on the topics of aircraft aerodynamics, performance, design and flight controls.[2] He founded the company DARcorporation with Willem Anemaat.



Roskam received his Engineer's degree in aeronautical engineering in 1954 from the Delft University of Technology followed by a Ph.D. degree from the University of Washington in aeronautics and astronautics in 1965.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Roskam has been involved in the design and development of 36 aircraft programs, including 12 which made it to flight, while working for three major aircraft companies.[4] He was actively involved in design and development of the Boeing SST, Cessna Citation I, and Learjet 35. He also acted as a consultant on the Boeing 747.[5] He is proudest of his work on the Piaggio P-180 Avanti.[3]

Roskam is proudest of his work with the Piaggio P-180 Avanti

In 1967 he became Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Kansas. He served as chairman of the department from 1972-1976 and was recognized as the Ackers Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering from 1974 until his retirement in 2003. During his time at the university he continued to serve as a member of various advisory committees to NASA and was a member of the X-29 future applications committee. He also helped to found the Continuing Education Aerospace Short Course program at the University of Kansas in 1977 and still teaches for the program.[3]

Roskam founded the Design, Analysis and Research Corporation (DARcorporation) in 1991 with Willem Anemaat in Lawrence, Kansas and served as the company's president until 2004.[4][6] The main focus of the company is design consultation, software and textbooks in the aviation field. The company developed its own aircraft design software, Advanced Aircraft Analysis (AAA), as well as a second design program for a NASA Small Business Innovative Research contract.[6]

In 2002 he published Roskam's Airplane War Stories a collection of stories about airplane design and analysis and engineering mistakes that were made. Many of the stories are based on his own experiences and have previously been used to demonstrate to young engineers that "when we make mistakes, we kill people".[3] Roskam has written eleven books on airplane design and flight dynamics.[3]

Shortly before his retirement in 2003 Roskam was honored with the Chancellor's Club Award for career teaching for his history of outstanding teaching.[5] His former students include former president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Alan Mulally.[7] Mulally calls Roskam one of his heroes and notes that he learned important skills such as team-building during Roskam's courses.[8] Roskam is also credited with helping Mulally get his first job at Boeing.[9]

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics presented him with the AIAA Aircraft Design Award in 2007. The award is given each year for advancements in the area of aircraft design, in Roskam's case the award was to recognize his lifetime contribution to the fields of airplane and configuration design and education.[10][11]



  • Airplane Design
  • Part I: Preliminary Sizing of Airplanes (1985)
  • Part II: Preliminary Configuration Design and Integration of the Propulsion System (1985)
  • Part III: Layout Design of Cockpit, Fuselage, Wing and Empennage: Cutaways and Inboard Profiles (1986)
  • Part IV: Layout of Landing Gear and Systems (1986)
  • Part V: Component Weight Estimation (1985)
  • Part VI: Preliminary Calculation of Aerodynamic, Thrust and Power Characteristics (1987)
  • Part VII: Determination of Stability, Control and Performance Characteristics: FAR and Military Requirements (1986)
  • Part VIII: Airplane Cost Estimation: Design, Development, Manufacturing and Operating (1990)
  • Airplane Flight Dynamics and Automated Flight Controls I-II (1995)
  • Airplane Aerodynamics and Performance with Dr. Chuan-Tau Edward Lan (1997)
  • Roskam's Airplane War Stories: An Account of the Professional Life and Work of Dr. Jan Roskam, Airplane Designer and Teacher (2002)
  • Lessons Learned in Aircraft Design (2007)


  • AIAA Piper Award (1986) for "outstanding contributions to the design of general aviation airplanes as an author, educator, consultant and researcher"[12][13]
  • AIAA Atwood Award (1987) for "outstanding contributions in aerospace education particularly in the areas of design and flight dynamics, and for his contributions to the understanding of interior noise transmission, the development of three surface aircraft and the use of natural laminar flow"[14][15]
  • Chancellor's Club Career Teaching Award (2003)[5]
  • AIAA Aircraft Design Award (2007) for "lifetime achievement in airplane design, airplane design education, configuration design, and flight dynamics education"[16][17]
  • Higuchi/Endowment Research Achievement Award[3]
  • Ned N. Fleming Trust Award for excellence in teaching[3]
  • Governor of Kansas General Aviation Award[3]
  • University of Kansas 2016 Distinguished Engineering Service Award[18]

Professional organization memberships[edit]


  1. ^ Jan Roskam, Roskam's Airplane War Stories, Darcorporation, 2002
  2. ^ "‘Roskam's Airplane War Stories' just released". 2002-12-05. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "KU Aerospace Engineer Receives Teaching Award". 2003-10-17. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Dr. Jan Roskam". Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  5. ^ a b c "Chancellors Club honors faculty, students". 2003-10-18. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  6. ^ a b Robert A Cronkleton (1996-08-27). "It's flying high in the '90s Lawrence firm is working on aviation software that aids aircraft modification". Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  7. ^ Kyung M. Song (2001-04-08). "Boeing's Mr. Nice Guy: Alan Mulally steps into the limelight". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  8. ^ Tim Carpenter (2002-08-10). "KU leaves impression on Bob Dole, other celebrity alumni". Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  9. ^ "Ford's divided clan considers its options". 2007-10-30. Archived from the original on 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  10. ^ "AIAA Presents 2007 Aircraft Design Award To Dr. Jan Roskam". 2007-10-23. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  11. ^ "Retired professor wins airplane design award". 2007-10-23. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  12. ^ "Piper Award Recipient - 1986". [dead link]
  13. ^ "Piper General Aviation Award Recipients". AIAA.org. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  14. ^ "Atwood Award Recipient - 1987". [dead link]
  15. ^ "J. Leland Atwood Award Recipients". AIAA.org. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  16. ^ "Awards to be presented at 2007 Aircraft Technology Integrations and Operations Conference". 2007-08-24. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  17. ^ "Aircraft Design Award Recipients". AIAA.org. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  18. ^ "Legendary faculty honored with KU Engineering’s highest award". School of Engineering. Lawrence: University of Kansas. 4 May 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2017. The KU aerospace engineering’s reputation as the top design education program in the nation is a direct result of his vision, leadership and guidance in the department for more than 35 years. 

External links[edit]