GEORGE J. HUEBNER
WRITTEN BY JAMES W. FURLONG
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
GEORGE J. HUEBNER, JR., one of the foremost engineers in the field of automotive research, was especially noted for developing the first practical gas turbine for a passenger car. He died of pulmonary edema in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on September 4, 1996.
George earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan in 1932. He began work in the mechanical engineering laboratories at Chrysler Corporation in 1931 and completed his studies on a part-time basis.
He was promoted to assistant chief engineer of the Plymouth Division in 1936 and returned to the Central Engineering Division in 1939 to work with Carl Breer, one of the three engineers who had designed the first Chrysler vehicle fifteen years earlier. George was especially pleased to work for Breer, whom he regarded as one of the most capable engineers in the country.
Breer established a research office in 1939 and named George as his assistant. It became evident to George that he should bring more science into the field. When he became chief engineer in 1946, he enlarged the activities of Chrysler Research into the fields of physics, metallurgy, and chemistry. He was early to use the electron microscope.
George also was early to see the need for digital computers in automotive engineering. Largely in recognition of this pioneering work, he was awarded the Buckendale Prize for computer-