Bob Rutherford

Retired, Northrop Grumman Corp
Mentor of the Year 2021

Bob Rutherford is an independent defense aerospace consultant. His background includes over 40 years of engineering, business development, flight test, and program management on both the industry and government sides.

Bob earned his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona before embarking on a 30-year career in carrier-based naval aviation flying operational light attack and strike fighter aircraft worldwide and is a veteran of several southwest Asia campaigns. He is an experienced practitioner and has served as a senior leader in deployed naval combat operations, defense acquisition, and broad-spectrum aerospace systems development.

As a former Navy test pilot, Bob has flown extensive developmental and operational flight test, particularly carrier suitability and weapons system integration and test. He is a graduate of the UK’s RAF Empire Test Pilot School.

After retiring from the Navy Bob joined the private sector and worked in the defense aerospace industry for ten years where his focus was on military unmanned aerial systems (UAS) development, air space integration, and program management. He was extensively involved in Northrop Grumman’s Fire Scout, Triton, and X-47B UAS programs.

As an undergrad at the U of A, Bob enjoyed time in many student organizations including ASUA and Bobcats.

Bob remains active in support of several non-profits and serves as a pro bono STEM tutor for local high school students in AP physics and calculus.