Chief project engineer, Boeing
Why he matters: It's not just that Boeing's all-new 787 Dreamliner helped the company regain the upper hand in its rivalry with Airbus; the 787 is the most successful new aircraft launch in the history of commercial aviation. With the first delivery on track for May 2008, more than 550 787s are already on order at roughly $160 million apiece.
Cogan and his team deserve much of the credit for this, because the 787 is ideally suited to the lean realities of the post-9/11 airline industry. The jet can fly as many as 330 passengers on long-range flights while delivering 20 percent better fuel efficiency and 10 percent lower operating costs than older models like Boeing's 767 and the Airbus A330.