Albert "Mert" Hill Jr.

2018 Inductee

Mert Hill graduated from Union City High School in 1962 as class Valedictorian. He was involved in several activities during his time at Union City. He served as class president for three years, student council for two years, National Honor Society for three years, and was recognized as the Class of 1962 Most Outstanding Male Athlete due to his success in Track, Football, and Wrestling.

After graduation, Mert received an academic scholarship to attend Drexel University in Philadelphia where he studied engineering. During his time at Drexel he was part of the football and wrestling programs and was named the wrestling team captain. He also received the H.C. Walton Award for the most outstanding contribution to Drexel wrestling in 1966. He was a part of the Drexel University cooperative engineering curriculum, completing his college degree while also working with the Chrysler Corporation Space Division in New Orleans, LA. During that time Mert assisted with the Saturn Missile Program for NASA from 1963-1966. His efforts included the design and fabrication of fixtures required to effect structural and mechanical systems qualification testing for the Saturn 1B tail section, which was the predecessor to the Saturn V moon rocket. Mert graduated from Drexel in 1967 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Mert immediately began his professional career with General Dynamics/Convair where he served as Structural Design Engineer on the F-111 Fighter/Bomber and was a part of designing the fuselage section of the DC-10 passenger jet. In 1971 he moved into the Electronics division of General Dynamics and the Senior Engineer. Mert was responsible for the design and mechanical system integration of the 8th generation of Airport Surveillance Radar for the FAA.

Mert then served as the Principle Mechanical Engineer on a four year contract with SAMSO to demonstrate plausibility of Navstar or Global Positioning System (GPS). Mert was responsible for system integration and site accommodation for the Upload and Mechanical Control Stations at Vandenburg Air Force Base and various monitor stations in worldwide locations. His efforts also included mechanical design and environmental/physical accommodation of pallets of test equipment on various test beds including C-141, P-3, UH-1H, and F-4 aircraft as well as supporting a test range at Yuma Proving Ground. The completion of the contract demonstrated that Global Positioning System technology worked, laying the foundation for the modern technology used around the world for navigation today.

Mert later served in management at coordinated technical efforts of about twenty mechanical engineers in effecting electronic packaging designs for installation in various airborne, shipboard, and ground based military platforms.

Mert also served in management capacities for the Linkabit Division of Titan and Smith Industries as a Mechanical Engineer. Leading and teaching young engineers design skills to help create electronic pakageing products for military applications. Mert retired in 2000, but considers his greatest accomplishment still to be was to hire young engineers with potential, provide them with a venue for personal development, mentor them with lessons from his experience, and to watch them grow into leaders in the field.