George Thielen Memorial Scholarship


George Thielen_ASQ

Mr. George J. Thielen, was associated with Modern Technologies Corp., Dayton, Ohio for six years prior to being employed as a Principal Consultant in the Performance Enhancement Services group. In this capacity, he also maintained MTC’s corporate quality management system and its certification to the international standard ISO 9001:2000. After 36 years of Federal Service, he retired in 1997 from his position as Director of Engineering, Acquisition Policy, Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Mr. Thielen was born in Chicago, Illinois, 9 July 1938 and graduated from St. Ignatius High School there. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1961, did his graduate work in engineering-management at Drexel University in Philadelphia from 1962 to 1965, and graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Resident Course in National Security Management, Washington DC, in 1978. He began his Air Force career by serving for three years as an engineering officer working on the Atlas F and Titan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile programs.

As an Air Force civilian, he held various project engineering and engineering-management positions at the Philadelphia facilities of the General Electric Company supporting the development and production of the Mark 6 re-entry system for Titan II, the Mark 12 MIRV re-entry system for Minuteman II, advanced reentry systems, and classified space programs. In 1970, he was named chief of the Quality Assurance Division, Air Force Plant Representative Office, General Electric Company, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. He served for six years as head of that in-plant quality function with cognizance over major missile and space system contracts with the Air Force and NASA.

He came to Wright-Patterson in 1978 to head a newly established “corporate” quality office for Aeronautical Systems Division (ASD) that focused on making product quality and quality improvement active considerations in the acquisition process. In 1985, he was promoted to the senior systems engineering position responsible for engineering support of all ASD programs in the disciplines of reliability, maintainability, quality, producibility and value engineering. In 1990, he was named as technical director for manufacturing and quality in a newly formed integrated Engineering and Technical Management organization. In 1993, he returned to systems engineering to lead the manufacturing and quality engineering group directly responsible for the technical content of the Manufacturing Development Initiative (MDT), a pioneering effort in setting Air Force expectations for simultaneous development of products and processes, and the aerospace industry’s adoption of advanced quality systems. In June 1994, he was assigned to his final position as the senior engineer in the Directorate of Acquisition Policy, ASCI AZ. In this capacity, he integrated the Center’s efforts for implementation of the technical aspects of acquisition reform.

Mr. Thielen was a member of the Quality 77 study team, a steering group member for the Quality Horizons study, and an R&M panel member in the Project Forecast II study. He chaired the multi-service working group that defined the DoD approach to eliminating fixed defect levels from military specifications, for which he received the 1989 Defense Standardization Program Outstanding Performance Award. He received the Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal in 1993 for his work on the Manufacturing Development Initiative. He is listed in both the 1973 and 1983 versions of Who’s Who in Aviation. Mr. Thielen was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Society for Quality (ASQ). He was an ASQ certified quality engineer since 1972, and is a past chairman of the ASQ Dayton Section.

From 1991 to 1996, Mr. Thielen chaired the Users Accreditation Advisory Panel for the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors’ Accreditation Program (NADCAP), a technical program affiliated with the Society of Automotive Engineers that accredits suppliers to consensus industry standards in non-destructive testing, heat treating, materials testing, airline parts distributors, chemical processing, welding, sealants, coatings, and general quality systems. He served as Secretary for Quality Dayton, a local network of industry, government and academic leaders formed to promote understanding and application of quality technologies and management principles throughout the local community.

Mr. Thielen passed away on December 22, 2010.  He is survived by his wife, Anne (DeLizzio) Thielen, son George (Clare), daughter Annette Tyra (Michael), son Gregory, grand daughters Natalie, Rachel, and Sarah, sister Lois Wallace, brother Leonard  (Phyllis), and numerous relatives.

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