Mike Ciminera ‘59

Vice President (Retired) Northrop Grumman

Mike’s career with Grumman and Northrop Grumman spanned almost 51 years. His principal experience is in the front-end-of-the-business-advanced technology and advanced programs; program management; and total quality. He continues to consult in aerospace, lecture, write, and serves on other boards namely:  Chair of the Leadership Board of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1998-present); President of the Western Museum of Flight in Torrance, CA; and the COA (Christian Outreach in Action), a non-denominational center in Long Beach, CA that cares for those in need.

Mike started working as an apprentice for Grumman when he was 17. After graduation from RPI, he began his career with Grumman in 1959 in Preliminary Design/Operations Analysis performing conceptual design studies of all types of aircraft and vehicles. In 1968 he became the Assistant to the VP, Program Director and Chief Designer of the F-14A Tomcat program where he was involved in all aspects of the program and learned how to build a real airplane. In 1976, Ciminera became Director of Advanced Systems (Preliminary Design) that led to him becoming Director of Advanced Systems Technology in 1980. In this position he was responsible for new technology and operations analysis as well as the pursuit of new business and full scale demonstrator aircraft and systems in advanced aircraft, space, fusion energy, electronic warfare, and subcontracts. He became VP of Advanced Programs in 1985 followed by successive assignments as VP Systems Group, Senior VP of Electronic Systems, VP of JPATS (Joint Primary Aircraft Training System). In 1995, he became VP, Program Manager F-18A/B/C/D Hornet program and in 1997 VP, Program Manager of the Joint STARS program in Lake Charles, La. In 2000 he became a Sector Consultant for Northrop Grumman where he provided technical and program management oversight of many programs including unmanned autonomous systems namely: Fire Scout, UCAS and the X-47B.