Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search results

Gustafson, W. A.



  • Existence: October 14, 1928-

Biographical Information

Winthrop A. Gustafson was born October 14, 1928 in Moline, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois to study aeronautical engineering and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1950. After completing his undergrduate studies, Gustafson received a commission in the United States Air Force. Following two years of active duty in the Air Force and Propulsion Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Gustafson returned to the University of Illinois. He completed his master’s degree in 1954 and his doctorate in 1956.

Gustafson was employed at the Lockheed Missiles and Space Division in Palo Alto, California, where he conducted satellite research. In 1960 he joined the faculty in Aeronautics and Engineering Services at Purdue University and continued doing research on hypersonic vehicles and spacecraft. Gustafson was actively involved with a Purdue program that started in 1963, which sought to recruit recent graduates from the Air Force academy to Purdue to pursue a master’s degree. Many of these students went on to become astronauts. In 1980, Professor Gustafson became the associate head of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He served as the acting head from 1984 to 1985.

Gustafson became Co-Op coordinator for the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1984 and continued those duties for 14 years until his retirement in 1998.


Purdue University Office of Professional Practice. Accessed August 20, 2018

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Alten F. Grandt, Jr. papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 528
Scope and Contents The papers consist of research files on the history of aerospace engineering (AAE) at Purdue University, photographs, annual reports, annual research reports, curricula, student lists, AAE faculty and staff information, pamphlets, news clippings (some related to Purdue astronaut alumni), and copies of the book, One Small Step: the History of Aerospace Engineering at Purdue, by Grandt, Gustafson, and Carigino. There is also a copy of “Aeronautical Engineering at Purdue University from 1950 to...
Dates: 1902 - 2016

Winthrop A. Gustafson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 522
Scope and Contents This collection includes photographs of astronauts, mission launch invitations, clippings, mission patches, and writings. Many items relate to or are from Purdue astronaut John Blaha and other Purdue astronauts whom had a connection to Professor Gustafson. Also includes Purdue University School of Aeronautics and Astronautics alumni newsletters and other publications. Lastly, there is a matted photograph of Earth presented to Dr. Gustafson in gratitude for his work as Co-Op coordinator for the...
Dates: 1984 - 2011