Allan James McDonald's book, "Truth, Lies, and O-rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster" was one of the entries submitted for consideration for the prestigious 2010 Pulitzer Prize.
OGDEN, UT, January 21, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Allan James McDonald with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Mr. McDonald celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, 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. McDonald is a retired aerospace engineer and a former Vice President of ATK Thiokol Propulsion, where he was employed for 42 years starting as a flight test engineer for the Minuteman ICBM in the Wasatch Division in Brigham City. He later became the Director of the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motor Project at the time of the Challenger accident and Vice President of Engineering of Space Operations, where he was responsible for leading the redesign of the solid rocket motors.
Involved in the tragedy of the 1986 NASA launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, Mr. McDonald had recommended to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to delay the launch the night before it was scheduled. Because of his concern with the cold temperatures, Mr. McDonald refused to sign the launch recommendation, which was his responsibility at the time. Singled out for retribution by his employer, he was removed from his job and demoted by Thiokol, only to have his job reinstated by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Mr. McDonald is the only person in American history to have his job restored by an act of Congress. He led the redesign of the solid rocket boosters that resulted in 110 consecutive successful launches after that tragedy. In 2009, Mr. McDonald published a book on this experience through the University Press of Florida. "Truth, Lies, and O-rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster" was one of the entries submitted for consideration for the prestigious 2010 Pulitzer Prize.
A proven leader in the industry, Mr. McDonald holds several patents relating to rocket propulsion and automobile air bag propellants. He has also published over 80 technical papers that have been presented at national and international conferences. Mr. McDonald is an elected fellow and distinguished lecturer of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He also served as chairman of the organization's Solid Rocket and Space Transportation Technical Committees, received the Wyld Propulsion Award in 1993, and was awarded the Gardner-Lasser Aerospace History Literature Award in 2011 for his book on Challenger.
Mr. McDonald has also been an instrumental figure in his community. Active in St. Joseph Catholic Schools in Ogden, he was co-chairman of the first two St. Joseph Catholic School Spree fundraisers, and president of the St. Joseph High School Board. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Ogden's Nature Center. He coached little league football, and was president and coach of his local little league baseball program in his early years in Brigham City, UT.
After acquiring an Associate Degree at Eastern Montana College of Education in 1957, Mr. McDonald received a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering at Montana State College in 1959 and Master of Science in engineering administration at the University of Utah in 1967. He later received an Honorary Doctor of Engineering from Montana State University in 1986. Following his academic efforts, Mr. McDonald has been engaged with numerous professional organizations in board director and advisory roles, serving as the Associate Director of the Rocky Mountain NASA Space Grant Consortium at Utah State University and on engineering advisory boards at Montana State University and the University of Wisconsin. Mr. McDonald was also on the Board of Directors of Orbital Technologies Corporation in Madison, Wisconsin, before the company was purchased by Sierra Nevada Corporation in 2014.
As a testament to his success, Mr. McDonald has been the recipient of many awards. In 1987, he was selected as Montana State University's Centennial Alumnus by the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, selected as the runner-up for "Design News" first ever Engineering Achievement Award, and selected for the 1987 Engineer of the Year Award by the Utah Engineering Council. Other recognitions have included the NASA Silver Snoopy Award and the NASA Public Service Medal in 1988, Distinguished Executive Award from Utah State University College of Business in 1989 and Propulsion Commission Medal from France in 1996. A celebrated Marquis listee, Mr. McDonald has been featured in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the West and Who's Who in the World.
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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® now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America®, Who's Who in the World®, Who's Who in American Law®, Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare®, Who's Who in Science and Engineering®, and Who's Who in Asia®. Marquis® publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who® website at www.marquiswhoswho.com.
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