EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Nov. 24, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Purdue University's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics has selected Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Thomas L. Williams to receive a 2004 Outstanding Aerospace Engineering Award. Williams is vice president of program integration for the company's Integrated Systems sector.

Williams received the award for his professional contributions to the aerospace engineering field at a ceremony last month near the Purdue campus in West Lafayette, Ind.

Recipients of the Purdue engineering award must have demonstrated excellence in industry, academia, governmental service or other endeavors that reflect the value of an aerospace engineering degree. With this year's recipients, 93 graduates of the school have received the award since its inception in 1999.

"Looking back, I could have never imagined that my decision to attend college in a small town in central Indiana to pursue a career as a commercial pilot would have opened the gate to so many challenges and such a rich, rewarding career," said Williams, whose career focus changed to engineering in the 1970s.

"In 1970, there were simply too many qualified pilots coming out of the Vietnam War with a lot more hours than I had," he said. "Back then, perfect vision was a big discriminator and my eyes were already starting to trend well south of 20/20."

The 30-year aerospace veteran says that the words "fun, job diversity, and challenge" best characterize his career. He also attributes the richness of his life and career to the people with whom he's been able to work and collaborate. "I've been extremely blessed with supportive family, friends, and work associates," said Williams.

Williams earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Purdue and completed his post-graduate studies in 1976. Prior to his current position, he served in numerous positions at Northrop Grumman, including vice president of the Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare Systems business area; vice president of engineering, logistics and technology for the Air Combat Systems business area; and B-2 program manager.

Williams has also received honors from the National Defense Industry Association and the America Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and vice chairman of the board for the Software Productivity Consortium.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration organization. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems optimized for use in networks. For its government and civil customers worldwide, Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; space access; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.

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  CONTACT:  Brooks McKinney, APR
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (310) 331-6610
          brooks.mckinney@ngc.com