Bill Benso

Retired, president of Lockheed Martin Overseas Corp.
2010 DESA Recipient
Primary office:



  • B.S. Electrical Engineering, 1959

Benso spent more than a quarter century with North American Aviation, later Rockwell International.  He had a variety of engineering assignments and earned respect from those he dealt with in the military for his understanding of submarine missile system operational requirements.  He was significantly involved in the development of a family of shipboard navigation systems that are on every United States submarine. 

In 1986, he moved to Martin Marietta, later Lockheed Martin.  His work there culminated in his promotion to president of Lockheed Martin Overseas Corporation, leading him to conduct business activities all over the world, with extremely diverse responsibilities.

After retirement, Benso eventually returned to Lawrence – where he showed a commitment to improving his community and exhibited a real love of KU and the School of Engineering, including serving on the Engineering Advisory Board.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times