Henry "Harry" McDonald
Jan. 24, 1937 - May 25, 2021
Former Director NASA Ames
Dr. Henry "Harry" McDonald, Director of NASA Ames Research Center from 1996 to 2002, passed away peacefully on May 25, 2021, surrounded by his family. He was the beloved husband of June and loving father to Ian, Catriona and Gordon. He will be greatly missed by his nine grandchildren.
Harry was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1937 and educated at the University of Glasgow where he earned a doctorate in engineering. It was at the University where he met and soon married the love of his life, June, who was a medical student. Harry worked in the U.K. aerospace industry on several civilian and military aircraft, and trained as a pilot in the Royal Air Force Reserve before immigrating to the U.S. in 1965. He was head of the Gas Dynamics group at United Technologies Research Center in Connecticut, before founding and leading Scientific Research Associates.
Harry was appointed Director of NASA Ames in January 1996. While Center Director, Harry oversaw a 5,000-person research effort in supercomputing, information technology, aeronautics, biotechnology, and space science research. In 2009 Harry was inducted into the NASA Hall of Fame for providing, "... exceptional leadership and keen technical insight to NASA Ames as the Center re-invented itself in the late 1990s".
He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow and Honorary Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, an Honorary Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Aeronautical Society. The RAeS presented him the 2009 Gold Medal Award for work of an outstanding nature in aerospace. The event marked the centennial of the first Gold Medal which was awarded to the Wright Brothers.
A memorial service for Harry will be held June 19 at 10am at the South Congregational Church, Glastonbury, CT. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Henry McDonald Memorial Fund (http://charitysmith. org/memorial-funds/ henry-mcdonald-memorialfund/) which will support engineering education at the University of Glasgow for underprivileged and exceptional students. View the online memorial for Henry "Harry" McDonald