Dr. Jan Roskam
Dr. Jan Roskam was born on February 22, 1930 in The Hague, The Netherlands to Jan and Ada (Bosman) Roskam. After attending elementary and high school in The Hague he enrolled in Aeronautical Engineering at Delft University of Technology in Delft, The Netherlands. He graduated with a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1954. He also obtained his private pilot’s license at The Netherlands National Flying School in 1954.
His first employment was as assistant chief designer for the Aviolanda Aircraft Company working on several military airplane projects. Being eligible for the military draft, he was fortunate to be appointed a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Netherlands Air Force while remaining in his job at Aviolanda. After fulfilling his military service in that manner, he became employed by Cessna Aircraft Company of Wichita, Kansas where he assisted in the design of the Cessna T-37 and AT-37 military jets from 1956-1958.
From 1958 to 1967 he was employed by The Boeing Company, first in Wichita, Kansas and since 1962 in Seattle, Washington. At Boeing he worked on a variety of military and civilian aircraft designs, including the Boeing TFX fighter (that became the F-111), the AMSA bomber (that became the B-1) and the 2707 Supersonic Transport (cancelled by the US Congress). He became a U.S. citizen in 1962. While employed at Boeing he enrolled in a Ph.D. program at The University of Washington and earned his Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1965.
While working full time at Cessna and Boeing he taught aeronautical engineering and mathematics courses in the evening at The University of Wichita (now Wichita State University) and later at Seattle University.
In 1967 Dr. Roskam was appointed as Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at The University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. He was promoted to full professor in 1972 and to Ackers Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering in 1974. Dr. Roskam served as Chairman of Aerospace Engineering from 1972-1976.
Dr. Roskam formed the K.U. Flight Research Laboratory in 1968 and served as its’ Director until 1984.
In 1971 Dr. Roskam formed Roskam Aviation and Engineering Corporation (RAEC) in Lawrence, Kansas. This company engaged in a wide variety of airplane design and development programs on behalf of other companies. Many K.U. students and engineers in Wichita, Kansas were engaged by RAEC on airplane projects such as the Gates-Learjet Models 25 and 36 corporate jet transports, the SIAI-Marchetti S-211 military jet trainer, the Beech King Air turboprop corporate transport, the Grumman X-29 forward swept wing jet fighter and the Piaggio P.180 Avanti turboprop corporate transport. The company also was the publisher of twelve textbooks on aircraft design, stability, control and performance written by Dr. Roskam. He liquidated RAEC in 2001.
In 1977 Dr. Roskam taught his first one-week short course on Flight Dynamics and Automatic Flight Control. In 1981 the short course program came under the leadership of Jan Thomas Barron. Since that time the K.U. Aerospace Engineering Short Course Program has become the world standard for aerospace engineering short course programs. In 2011 Dr. Roskam taught his last short course in Aircraft Preliminary Design in Seattle, Washington. He has taught more than 160 short courses to thousands of engineers, engineering managers and pilots.
In 1991 Dr. Roskam formed Design Analysis and Research Corporation (together with former student Dr. Willem Anemaat) to develop and market the Advanced Aircraft Analysis software (which he started at K.U.) and also, to take over aircraft design consulting and book publishing from RAEC. Dr. Roskam served as President of DARcorporation until 2006.
Dr. Roskam retired from full-time teaching in 2003 and from short course teaching in 2011. He was a Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Royal Aeronautical Society of England.
He served on a wide variety of advisory committees for NASA and the USAF. He also received numerous awards including the 2003 K.U. Chancellors Career Teaching Award and the prestigious AIAA Aircraft Design Award (2007). Dr. Roskam is the author of more than 155 publications including 16 textbooks on aeronautical engineering. He has worked on the design and development of more than 36 different airplane types. He also has piloted more than 38 different types of airplanes.
He is survived by his wife, Janice Thomas Barron of the home and by his sister, Ada Groenevelt of Haarlem, The Netherlands, several nieces and nephews who live abroad and nephew Harrie Goroenevelt of Pittsford, NY. He is also survived by step-children Chris Barron of Chicago, Alison Stacy (Tommy) of Dallas and step-granddaughters Ashley and Abby Stacy of Dallas.
Memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, September 16, 2022 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. Jan passed away Friday, September 9, 2022 at his home in Lawrence.
Memorial may be made in Jan’s name to the Lawrence Humane Society or LMH Health Cancer Center expansion and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.