- Press Release
- August 8, 2022
Woodrow Whitlow Named NASA Kennedy Space Center Deputy Director
William F. Readdy, Associate Administrator for Space Flight at NASA Headquarters in Washington, today named Woodrow Whitlow, Jr., Ph.D., as the new Deputy Director of the agency’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla., effective August 31. Whitlow will succeed James W. Kennedy, who becomes Center Director on August 10.
“Dr. Whitlow is a tremendous addition to our KSC leadership,” said NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe. “Woodrow will help maintain the Center’s unsurpassed performance as the world leader acquiring, preparing, managing and launching key payloads and expendable vehicles. He is an experienced, proven performer and leader with the right technical expertise to help NASA successfully return to flight, while successfully conducting other launch, science operations, and payload processing” Administrator O’Keefe added.
As Director of Research and Technology at NASA’s Glenn Research Center (GRC), Cleveland, since 1998, Whitlow led a staff of more than 470 scientists and engineers conducting research in high-temperature materials, aerospace power, propulsion systems, structures, and acoustics. Whitlow planned and directed GRC research and technology development efforts to meet NASA programmatic commitments for advances in space power, space and aeronautics propulsion, and space communications.
“Woodrow’s background, experience, technical expertise and proven leadership ability made him the logical and right choice as KSC’s Deputy Center Director,” Readdy said. His background, knowledge and experience across a wide variety of NASA programs adds a critical dimension and focus to the Center Deputy’s role, as we work to return to flight safely and as expeditiously as possible,” Readdy added.
Before moving to GRC, Whitlow was Chief, Structures Division at NASA’s Langley Research Center (LaRC), Hampton, Va. He planned, directed and coordinated the research of a division of more than 100 scientists and engineers. The research included analysis, wind tunnel testing, ground and flight experiments. The experiments covered computational and thermal structures, structural mechanics and dynamics.
Prior to that, Whitlow was the Deputy Director, Aeronautics Program Group at LaRC. He led and managed key research programs to develop technology for airframe systems to help maintain the superiority of U.S. aircraft, and achieving a safe, affordable, global transportation system. Whitlow also served at NASA Headquarters in Washington in the Office of Aeronautics as the Director, Critical Technologies Division and Program Manager, Structures and Dynamics.
Whitlow joined NASA in 1979 as a research scientist at LaRC and has held positions of increasing responsibility since then. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Mass. He received his doctorate from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics, with a minor in Applied Mathematics.
He has received many prestigious awards during his career, including the Institution of Mechanical Engineers William Sweet Smith Prize for Outstanding Paper on Advanced Propulsion Systems; MIT Martin Luther King Leadership Award; National Technical Association Achiever of the Year; and U.S. Black Engineer of the Year for Outstanding Achievement in Government.
His NASA awards include, Senior Executive Service Performance Award; Equal Opportunity Honor Medal; Exceptional Service Medal; and the LaRC Special Achievement Award.
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