NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Geoffrey Robillard, who started at Jet Propulsion Laboratory when it was U.S. Army rocket center, will retire April 15 after 36 years.

After serving as an engineering officer aboard an LST in World War II and five years with Union Carbide Corp. in South Charleson, W. Va., Robillard joined JPL in 1952 as research engineer in solid propellants.

He was named head of his section in 1954 and became chief of the Solid Propulsion Division in 1957 and manager in 1958. During those years he worked on the Sergeant and Loki missiles and on Explorer I.

JPL became NASA research and development center in 1959.

In 1961, Robillard was one of the first members of team appointed to man NASA's Apollo Project office in Washington. He returned to JPL in 1963 to assume leadership of various flight projects and in 1968 he was named manager of the Applied Mechanics Division.

He became Deputy Assistant Laboratory Director for Technical Divisions in 1973, and in 1976 was named Assistant Laboratory Director (ALD) for Planning and Review.

He was subsequently named Deputy ALD for Energy and Technology Applications and then ALD for that office.

On retiring he leaves the position of Assistant Laboratory Director for Engineering and Review to which he was named in 1985.

The Niagara Falls, N.Y., native earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1944 and 1947, respectively. He is member of professional engineering fraternities Sigma Xi and Tau Beta Pi and is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Robillard and his wife, Carol, currently reside in La Canada-Flintridge but plan to build retirement home at Bodega Bay north of San Francisco following his retirement. He has one daughter, Kristen Espinosa of Denver, Colo., and four grandchildren.

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