All Press Releases for September 25, 2017

James M. Urnes Named a Lifetime Achiever by Marquis Who's Who

Mr. Urnes has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the engineering industry

    BRIDGETON, MO, September 25, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to name James M. Urnes a Lifetime Achiever. An accomplished listee, Mr. Urnes celebrates many years' experience in his professional engineering work, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Mr. Urnes retired from The Boeing Company in November 2014 after 50 years of service as a Flight Controls engineer and as a manager of engineering. Honored to have been employed for such a long time with the world's largest aerospace company, leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, military fighters, space vehicles and aerospace support systems, he participated in the flight controls development for the F-4 Phantom II and the FI A-18 Hornet fighters and the Space Shuttle. He then directed a series of advanced control system projects, including Intelligent Flight Controls, Damage Adaptive Controls, and Propulsion Controlled Aircraft.

Mr. Urnes was responsible for design and test of the Automatic Carrier Landing System (ACLS) for the F-4 and F/A-18 Navy fighters. He developed a major improvement to this complex control system that must move the aircraft during the approach to the carrier to match the motion of the heaving carrier landing zone of the carrier deck. A vertical rate or H-Dot sensor was added to the aircraft flight controls that greatly improved the control in the highly turbulent air found in the flight path immediately behind the carrier deck. This system was incorporated into the F/A-18 after prototype testing on a test F-4 aboard the carrier Nimitz. This automatic control system was flown to a runway touchdown by test pilot Pete Pilcher on the very first test flight of the F/A-18 ACLS. Dick Huff was the principal Navy engineer on this system. This H-Dot ACLS became the standard for all Navy carrier-based aircraft.

One of his proudest achievements was the Intelligent Flight Control System that used Neural Network flight software capable of learning, similar in structure to the human brain. This software would identify changes to the aircraft flight response due to damage or failures to the aircraft and then change the control software to regain safe flight path control. Also incorporated in the Intelligent Control System was a Neural Network model for fault diagnostics. Dr Jim Stewart was the NASA director for this program that was successfully flown on a NASA test F-15.

Mr. Urnes led a joint NASA/USAF project to develop a Self-Repairing Reconfigurable Flight Control System that demonstrated identification of major damage conditions followed by reconfiguration of the aircraft's control system to return to near-normal steering control. Loss of an entire stabilator was demonstrated on a research F-15 flown by NASA test pilots Bill Dana and then by Jim Smolka. This was the first time a critical control surface was purposely failed on a high performance aircraft. The result was an excellent demonstration of the concept.

Another project directed by Mr. Urnes was the Propulsion Controlled Aircraft program; initiated after a major commercial DC-10 accident that crash landed at Sioux City after the aircraft experienced total hydraulic system failure and the resulting loss of all control surfaces. Pilot Al Haynes used thrust changes of the two wing engines to steer the aircraft to the runway but the aircraft broke up at the resulting very hard landing. Bill Burcham was the key NASA engineer on this project. Using flight control stability and steering sensors to the two engines of a research F-15, NASA test pilot Gordon Fullerton successfully landed the F-15 with the conventional controls disabled and only propulsion changes active. Later a similar system was flight tested on a MD-11 commercial transport that landed at Edwards AFB with the hydraulics disengaged on all control actuators.

Other projects directed by Mr. Urnes include the Navy Multimode Landing System that flight tested the automatic approach and landing capability using a 20 mile approach path at the Navy Crow's Landing test site in California; a unique filter concept was developed to permit automatic control at 20 miles range from the runway. An automatic landing system for the Space Shuttle was developed for NASA. A flight test Variable Stability system was developed for the F/A-18 for use by NASA and the Navy; a system that can flight demonstrate any stability properties or control configuration. His final project prior to retirement was assisting NASA in the development of a Variable Camber Continuous Trailing Edge Flap system for commercial transports that would reduce drag and save fuel. Nhan Nguyen is the NASA Program Manager for this system that is now entering wind tunnel tests.

Mr. Urnes began his professional pursuits after earning a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Minnesota. After completing three years as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force for the supersonic B-58 43rd Bomb Wing in Fort Worth, Texas, and as a Special Weapons Officer at the HQ USAFE in Wiesbaden, Germany, Mr. Urnes entered the field as an engineer for McDonnell Aircraft Company in Saint Louis in 1964. He progressed from engineer to senior engineer and branch chief. He then was transferred as a manager in engineering to the Boeing Company in a merger with McDonnell in 1997.

MCAIR President's Award, 1992, "Self Repairing Flight Control"
R&D 100 Award, 1994, "Propulsion Controlled Aircraft Flight Control Software"
Boeing Silver Eagle Award, 2006, "Intelligent Flight Control Program"
NASA Group Achievement Award, 2011, "Model Referenced Adaptive Control Research"

5,919,267, dated l999 , "Neural Network Fault Diagnostics Systems and Related Method"
6,622,972, dated 2003, "Method and System for In-Flight Fault Monitoring of Flight Control Actuators"
8,028,952, dated 2011, "System for Shipboard Launch and Recovery of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)"
9,020,689, dated 2015, "Method for Real-Time Model Based Structural Anomoly Detection"

Mr. Urnes has been named to Who's Who in America and Who's Who in Science and Engineering for his work. Married to Lois C. Urnes since 1959, Mr. Urnes has five children.

In recognition of outstanding contributions to his profession and the Marquis Who's Who community, Mr. Urnes has been featured on the Marquis Who's Who Lifetime Achievers website. Please visit for more information about this honor.

About Marquis Who's Who :

Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers , journalists , librarians and executive search firms around the world . Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho .com.

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