S. Harry Robertson portrait

Trustee Emeritus S. Harry Robertson Jr. (HonDoc ’72)

Oct. 9, 2021

Harry Robertson Jr., an aviation legend and great friend to Embry-Riddle, was an engineer and the inventor of the Robbie Tank, a self-sealing fuel tank that minimizes the risk of aircraft fires. His innovation is credited with saving the lives of thousands of pilots. For his contribution to pilot safety, he was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2011.

Robertson’s contributions to Embry-Riddle also were transformational and helped establish the university as a globally recognized aviation safety leader. On the Prescott Campus, his donations launched the Robertson Safety Institute and innovative Robertson Aircraft Crash Investigation Laboratory. Over the past three decades, he made gifts to support scholarships, athletics, the College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, the College of Aviation in Prescott and Embry-Riddle Worldwide. His generosity helped the university build the STEM Education Center in Prescott, the Henderson Welcome Center and expand the library, archives and ROTC facilities at the Daytona Beach Campus.

Robertson valued his long relationship with Embry-Riddle as an advisor and benefactor. Most of all, he appreciated the opportunity to reach students who would continue his commitment to safer skies. In 2009, he expressed his feelings about the university to Lift: “They have allowed my contributions to get into the hands of students who are the future of aerospace.”