William A. Craig
Visionary Engineering Leader
Inducted in 2014
William A. Craig, director of the Software Engineering Directorate at Redstone Arsenal, is nationally recognized as a leader in developing and deploying safety critical software technologies for the most advanced weapon systems. Under Craig’s visionary engineering leadership, the Software Engineering Directorate has grown to the leading facility of its kind with more than 4,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $1 billion.
A Mississippi State University electrical engineering graduate, he began his career at Redstone Arsenal in 1960. His career spans more than 50 years in government services, beginning with his work in Werhner Von Braun’s Astrionics Laboratory as an Army employee. He became a charter member to the then Army Missile Command’s Missile System Software Center when it was established in 1975. In 1984, it became the Battlefield Automation Management Directorate and was renamed the Software Engineering Directorate in 1988, two weeks after Craig assumed the director responsibilities.
Under Craig’s leadership, the SED has been involved in the development and fielding of numerous Army systems, including the Joint Battle Command-Platform and the Aviation Mission Planning System. The facility, in partnership with program executive offices, has established numerous Aviation and Missile System Integration Laboratories for the analysis and testing of tactical systems and software. These laboratories provide the capability for Joint Services Interoperability Certification as well as Intra-Army certification. The organization is also responsible for the development and deployment of the Army’s software program that includes a public game(America’s Army,) weapon systems trainers and Army recruiting applications.
During Craig’s tenure at the SED, the organization attained a Level 4 rating against the Software Engineering Institute’s Software Capability Maturity Model. Less than 10 percent of the software development organizations in the United States have attained this high level of achievement. The facility has been named as one of only three Life Cycle Software Engineering Centers in the Army. In 2003, it became part of the Army’s newly formed Research Development and Engineering Command.
Craig has implemented a business model for software development and sustainment proven to be an order of magnitude less expensive than comparable commercial models, saving the taxpayer millions of dollars each year.
He is a highly respected leader in the community and a strong proponent of the Huntsville area. In 2004, Craig received an honorary doctoral degree from The University of Alabama in Huntsville where he serves on the advisory board for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
A champion of workforce development, he fosters partnerships with UAH’s College of Engineering Co-op Programs including the Software Engineering Master’s Degree Program and Systems Engineering Doctorate Program.
In 1985, Craig was recognized as Supervisor of the Year by the North Alabama Chapter of Federally Employed Women. He was presented with the Medaris Award by the National Defense Industrial Association in 2010. Additionally, Craig was inducted into the Order of Saint Barbara and the Ancient Order of Saint Barbara, an honorary military society of the U.S. Field Artillery Association.
In 2012, Craig was presented the 2012 Small Business Advocate Award for Excellence by the Huntsville Association of Small Businesses in Advanced Technology (HASBAT.)