Dr. Woodrow Whitlow, Jr. is Special Liaison to the Technical Director for National Aerospace Solutions, LLC (NAS). Before assuming this position, he was the NAS Technical Director (2016 – 2018). In that role, he provided overall leadership and guidance on technical matters and advised NAS senior management. He served as the primary NAS interface to the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technical Director and advised the NAS Mission Execution Director on technology programs and projects. Dr. Whitlow was the primary interface with university- and industry-sponsored research programs and the University Consortium and Technical Advisory Board. He coordinated subject matter input, research programs, and efforts to build the technical workforce. Dr. Whitlow was the NAS interface for all Cooperative Research and Development Agreements and represents the company at national and international technical forums.
Before joining the NAS team, Dr. Whitlow was Executive in Residence in the Cleveland State University Washkewicz College of Engineering (2013 – 2016). He collaborated with the Dean of Engineering to implement strategies to strengthen the college, increase the enrollment of students in the engineering disciplines and to raise their retention rates. He developed approaches to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who earn engineering degrees. Dr. Whitlow coordinated a successful proposal to establish an Additive Manufacturing and Training Center in the College of Engineering and served as advisor for student engineering projects. He served as Co-chair of the Dean’s Diversity Council and developed a plan to eliminate implicit bias in the faculty hiring process.
Before accepting the appointment at CSU, he was the Associate Administrator for the Mission Support Directorate at NASA Headquarters (2010 – 2013). The directorate had a budget of $3.8 billion and enabled program and institutional capabilities to conduct NASA’s aeronautics and space activities. As the directorate’s associate administrator, Whitlow was responsible for most NASA management operations, including human capital management, headquarters operations, agency operations, the NASA Shared Services Center, strategic infrastructure, cross-agency support, and construction and environmental compliance and restoration.
Prior to being appointed to the Associate Administrator position, he was director of the Glenn Research Center. There, he was responsible for managing an annual budget of approximately $750 million, and overseeing a workforce of approximately 1,680 civil service employees that is supported by approximately 1,580 contractors. The center has 24 major facilities and over 500 specialized research facilities located at the 350-acre Cleveland site and the 6,400-acre Plum Brook Station site in Sandusky, Ohio. At Glenn, Whitlow led research and development efforts in the areas of aero-propulsion, in-space propulsion, aerospace power and energy conversion, communications technology, and human research.
From September 2003 through December 2005, Whitlow served as the Deputy Director of the NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center. There his duties included assisting the director in determining and implementing center policy and in managing and implementing the center's missions and agency program responsibilities in the areas of processing, launch, and recovery of launch vehicles; processing of spacecraft; and acquisition of launch services. Prior to this appointment as Deputy Director, he served as the Director of Research and Technology at the Glenn Research Center.
Whitlow began his professional career in 1979 as a researcher at the NASA Langley Research Center,
Hampton, Va. He assumed various positions of increasing responsibility before moving to the Glenn Research Center in 1998. In 1994, he served as Director of the Critical Technologies Division, Office of Aeronautics, at NASA Headquarters.
Whitlow earned his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and doctor of philosophy degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds an honorary doctor of engineering degree from Cranfield University. He has written more than 40 technical papers, most in the areas of unsteady transonic flow, aeroelasticity and propulsion.
Whitlow has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive, Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, U.S. Black Engineer of the Year in Government, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Equal Opportunity Medal, the (British) Institution of Mechanical Engineers William Sweet Smith Prize, Minorities in Research Science Scientist-of-the-Year Award, and National Society of Black Engineers Distinguished Engineer of the Year Award. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics elected him as a Fellow in 2010.