Alain Garcia, Executive Vice-President, Engineering, has been awarded the prestigious SAE Aerospace Engineering Leadership Award in recognition of his lifetime achievement in the field of aerospace engineering.

In making the award, SAE said that Alain Garcia had shown the highest engineering capability and leadership, initially contributing to the development of Concorde, the first supersonic commercial air transport, and then through his prominent participation in every Airbus programme.

After first leading the Airbus power plant design office, where he developed an international reputation for setting new standards in the integration of engines on Airbus aircraft, Mr Garcia became Chief Engineer of the A330/A340 Family before taking up his current position as Head of Airbus Engineering.

Meanwhile, he was teaching thermodynamics in universities and taking part in international working groups and conferences relating to propulsion and environmental protection.

Under his stewardship of engineering design skills for the A340 Family and the A380, Airbus has selected innovative technologies to develop large passenger aircraft, which are setting the standards in safety, performance, comfort and reliability.

In accepting the award, which was made earlier this month at the society’s world aviation congress in Reno, Nevada in the US, Mr Garcia said the award belonged to the Airbus engineering team for its achievements.

“I am deeply honoured to receive the 2004 SAE Aerospace Engineering Leadership Award in the name of the whole Airbus engineering community that I represent.”

Previous winners of the award include engineers from Lockheed Martin, NASA and GE Aircraft Engines.