Guide to the George H. Ludwig Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1957-2009
Creator: Ludwig, George H. (1957-2009)
Extent: 7.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: RG99.0004
Repository: University of Iowa Archives

Administrative Information

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: The Papers of George H. Ludwig have been donated to the University of Iowa Archives in several installments, beginning in March 2010.

Preferred Citation: George H. Ludwig Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: David McCartney

Biographical Note

"George H. Ludwig was born on November 13, 1927, in Sharon Center, Johnson County, Iowa, a son of George M. and Alice G. (Heim) Ludwig. After graduating from high school in Tiffin, Iowa, in 1946, he served in the U.S. Air Force, where he received training as an aviation cadet and attained the rank of captain. A member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society, he completed three degrees at the State University of Iowa: BA cum laude in physics, 1956; MS in physics, 1959; and Ph.D. in electrical engineering, 1960. On July 21, 1950, he married Rosalie F. Vickers and the couple had four children.

While a graduate student during the late 1950's, Mr. Ludwig, in collaboration with Prof. James A. Van Allen, established one of the first spacecraft instrumentation laboratories, with its special techniques, equipment, and performance requirements. He was principal developer of the cosmic ray and radiation belt instruments for the successfully launched Explorers, I, III, IV, VII and, in some cases, their spacecraft structures and subsystems. He was also a research engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California for a five month period following the 1957 launch of Sputnik I by the Soviet Union.

In 1960, following completion of his doctorate, Dr. Ludwig began a 12-year career with the Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA). His positions included Project Scientist; Head, Instrumentation Section; Chief, Information Processing Division, Mission and Data Operations Directorate; and Associate Director for Data Operations.

Dr. Ludwig became Director of Systems Integration for the newly-established National Earth Satellite Service in 1972 and, three years later, was named its Director of Operations, becoming Technical Director in 1980. In 1981 he became Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Environmental Research Laboratories, a position he held for two years. He returned to NASA in 1983 as Assistant to the Chief Scientist, a position he held until his retirement from NASA the following year.

From 1985 to 1991, Dr. Ludwig was a Senior Research Associate at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and from 1989 to 1991 was also a California Institute of Technology Senior Scientist stationed at NASA Headquarters.

Dr. Ludwig's most notable professional achievements include coordinating nine Federal agencies in the implementation of the Global Change Research Program Data and Information System. He also directed numerous NOAA research programs as well as its environmental satellite systems. Among his many honors and awards are the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (1984), the NOAA Program Administration and Management Award (1977), and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1969). He was featured in Life magazine as one of the nation's 100 outstanding young men in 1962.

Content Description

The Papers of George H.

Related Materials

Ludwig, George H. "Opening Space Research at the University of Iowa." In Historical Papers Collection (RG01.0001.003)

"The First Explorer Satellites." In Historical Papers Collection (RG01.0001.003)

Papers of James A. Van Allen (RG99.0142)

Detailed Description of the Collection

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This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

University of Iowa Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Associates' Papers