Feb. 8, 2019

NBAA recently presented its prestigious Silk Scarf Award to Ed Schweitzer, president, chairman and chief technology officer of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), for his longtime support of business aviation and the association.

Schweitzer founded the Pullman, WA-based company in 1982 after inventing the first digital relay for protecting electrical power systems as part of his PhD project at Washington State University. SEL invents, designs and builds digital products and systems that protect power grids around the world. He credits business aviation with allowing his company to grow since its founding.

“I’m convinced we would not be a company of 3,700 people without business aviation,” Schweitzer said in an interview with NBAA’s Business Aviation Insider magazine. “Recently some of our engineers and assemblers flew to New York to look at the latest electronic assembly-line equipment. As employee-owners, they’re using the company’s tools – the airplanes – to make an investment decision on the tools they use on the manufacturing floor.” Today, SEL is a company with more than 5,200 employees. Read the full Business Aviation Insider article about SEL.

Schweitzer also has spoken about business aviation in the Business Leaders on Business Aviation publication, developed for the No Plane No Gain advocacy program, co-sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. “All over the world, business aviation helps SEL make electric power safer, more reliable and more economical. Our company is 100-percent employee owned, and over 2,000 of our employee-owners have flown on SEL’s company planes,” Schweitzer said in the publication. Learn more about Business Leaders on Business Aviation.
Additionally, SEL supports NBAA and its mission as a member of the association’s Leadership Council.

“NBAA is honored to recognize Ed Schweitzer for his unwavering support of business aviation,” said NBAA President and CE Ed Bolen in recently presenting the Silk Scarf award to Schweitzer. “He has been a passionate and effective advocate for the industry, and we are grateful for his dedication to NBAA.”

Schweitzer, a pioneer in digital protection, holds the grade of Fellow in the IEEE, a title bestowed on less than 1 percent of IEEE members. In 2002, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Schweitzer received the 2012 Medal in Power Engineering, the highest award given by IEEE.

Schweitzer received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University, and his doctorate from Washington State University. He served on the electrical engineering faculties of Ohio University and Washington State University.

About the Silk Scarf Award

In an effort to honor outstanding business aviation community members and inspire future aviators, the NBAA Silk Scarf Award is given to individuals for special contributions to the business aviation community during their careers.

Learn more and view past Silk Scarf Award recipients.