Mr. Robert R. Everett
Honorary Member Since 1993
Mr. Robert R. Everett's contributions to national security capabilities, the scientific and aerospace communities, and the advancement of technology are recognized worldwide. His achievements are evident in today's real-time computer technologies and the nation's air defense and air traffic control systems.
Mr. Everett joined MIT's Servomechanisms Laboratory in 1943, where he developed hydraulic servomechanisms for stabilized shipboard radar antennas. In 1945, he and Mr. Jay W. Forrester of MIT began work on Project Whirlwind, a Navy program to develop a computer to study aircraft stability and control problems. Their research resulted in "Whirlwind I," the first digital computer at MIT and the fastest of its time. Mr. Everett and Mr. Forrester later demonstrated Whirlwind for Project Charles, which was established to recommend an air defense system. Those demonstrations led to the founding of MIT Lincoln Laboratory and the development of the Air Force's Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) air defense system.
In 1947, part of MIT's Digital Computer Laboratory joined Lincoln Laboratory as Division VI. Mr. Everett was named associate head of the Division and in 1956 became its head. He was responsible for SAGE system design and test and directed Lincoln's data processing R&D.
This work led directly to the founding of The MITRE Corporation in 1958. Mr. Everett served as the company's first technical director. In 1959, he was named vice president, Technical Operations, and became executive vice president in 1969. He was president from 1969 to 1986.
Mr. Everett has served on many boards and committees, including the Defense Science Board (DSB); the Advisory Council of the Panel on Major Systems Acquisition of the Commission on Government Procurement; the NASA Tracking and Data Acquisition Advisory Panel; the Ballistic Missile Defense Advisory Committee; and the Federal Aviation Administration's Research, Engineering, and Development Committee. He was a senior scientist of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and a member of the Department of Transportation Air Traffic Control Advisory Committee; the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering Systems Engineering Management Panel; and the DSB Task Force on R&D Management.
Mr. Everett has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Technology for his work in real-time computer technologies and applications; the Department of Defense's Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the department's highest recognition of a civilian in peacetime; the Computer History Museum's Fellow Award for work on Whirlwind and SAGE, and a lifetime of directing advanced R&D projects; the Department of Defense's Eugene G. Fubini Award for outstanding contributions to its mission; and the Air Traffic Control Association's Kriske Memorial Award for contributions to air traffic control.
Mr. Everett's work has been published in numerous technical journals, and he holds several patents. He earned a bachelor's degree from Duke University and a master's degree from MIT, both in electrical engineering. He received an honorary doctor of science degree from Duke University and an honorary doctor of engineering degree from Northeastern University. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and Tau Beta Pi; a fellow of the IEEE; and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.