The Society of Aeronautical Weight Engineers was founded in 1939 in Los Angeles, California.

In Southern California considerable early thought was given by L.R. Hackney of Lockheed and E.S. Fife, then of Vultee, to the organizing of weight control engineers. Probably the possibilities of such an organization were studied elsewhere, but due to the advantage of several large aircraft manufacturers being located in a relatively small area, the first formation of the S. A. W. E. was begun in 1939.

The first official meeting of the Society of Aeronautical Weight Engineers was held in Hollywood, California, on July 14, 1939. Five companies were represented at this meeting by nineteen weight control engineers. There were three more Society Meetings held in the remainder of 1939, and in 1940 twelve meetings were held. Since the first meeting the attendance had grown until there have been 127, representing sixteen companies, in attendance at a Chapter Meeting.

Until the year 1941 there were no official S. A. W. E. Meetings held outside of Los Angeles County, however during 1940 there were twenty-one Society Members from outside the territory representing Beech, Boeing, Curtiss-Wright, Fleetwings, and the Materiel Division at Wright Field. These members and the interest developed outside of Los Angeles County were due to the activities of the Society’s first Chairman, L.R. Hackney of Lockheed, who spent his 1940 vacation contacting weight control engineers and government officials from coast to coast.

Source: SAWE 1943 Yearbook

SAWE was incorporated as a nonprofit organization April 2, 1941.

As membership grew to include engineers associated with shipbuilding, land transportation, and other allied industries and technologies, the Society name was changed on January 1, 1973 to the Society of Allied Weight Engineers, Inc.