Virginia Tech® home

September 11, 2023: William H. Mason Memorial Lecture - Jill Marlowe

September 11, 2023
4:00 p.m.
Room: 2150 Torgersen Hall
Jill Marlowe, NASA, Digital Transformation Officer
Faculty Host:  Dr. Ella Atkins

"NASA’s Digital Transformation Journey - Ut Prosim In Futurum"

Abstract:  NASA has a long history of serving the Nation and the world, by reaching for new heights and revealing the unknown for the benefit of all humankind. To ensure the agency will deliver on its mission in a hyper-connected, technology-enabled, globally-partnered, and rapidly-changing world, in 2020 NASA launched a Digital Transformation initiative to modernize the way it works, the experience of its workforce and the agility of its workplace.  Come hear how Hokies have shaped NASA’s digital strategy, the exciting progress being made, and lessons learned from their journey - and join the debate on how Virginia Tech can lead the way preparing the next generation to serve the world in a digital future.

Bio:  Ms. Jill Marlowe is the Agency’s Digital Transformation Officer, and leads the Agency to conceive, architect, and accelerate enterprise digital solutions that transform NASA's work, workforce and workplace to achieve bolder missions faster and more affordably than ever before. In this role, she first defined and refines NASA’s digital transformation vision, strategy, and policies to accelerate NASA’s transformation progress focused on four targets: engineering, discovery, program/project management decision making, business operations. She partners with internal/external organizations to plan, coordinate and integrate implementation activities exercising five digital levers to accelerate progress: interoperable architectures, process transformation, maximizing data, common tools, inclusive teaming.

Prior to this role, Ms. Marlowe was the Associate Center Director, Technical, at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Ms. Marlowe led strategy and transformation of the center’s technical capabilities to assure NASA’s future mission success. In this role, she focused on accelerating Langley’s internal and external collaborations as well as the infusion of digital technologies critical for the center to thrive as a modern federal laboratory in an ever more digitally-enabled, hyper-connected, fast-paced, and globally-competitive world.

In 2008, Ms. Marlowe was selected to the Senior Executive Service as the Deputy Director for Engineering at NASA Langley, and went on to serve as the center’s Engineering Director and Research Director. With the increasing responsibility and scope of these roles, Ms. Marlowe has a broad range of leadership experiences that include: running large organizations of 500 - 1,000 people to deliver solutions to every one of NASA’s mission directorates; sustaining and morphing a diverse portfolio of technical capabilities spanning aerosciences, structures & materials, intelligent flight systems, space flight instruments, and entry descent & landing systems; assuring safe operation of over two-million square feet of laboratories and major facilities; architecting partnerships with universities, industry and other government agencies to leverage and advance NASA’s goals; project management of technology development and flight test experiments; and throughout all of this, incentivizing innovation in very different organizational cultures spanning foundational research, technology invention, flight design and development engineering, and operations. She began her NASA career in 1990 as a structural analyst developing numerous space flight instruments to characterize Earth’s atmosphere.

Ms. Marlowe’s formal education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1988, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1990, and a Degree of Engineer in Civil and Environmental Engineering at George Washington University in 1997. She serves on advisory boards for Virginia Tech’s Aerospace & Ocean Engineering Department, the Virginia Tech Center for Research in Aero/Hydrodynamic Technologies, Sandia National Laboratory’s Engineering Sciences Research Foundation, and Cox Communications Digitally Inclusive Communities (regional). She is an AIAA Fellow, and her recognition includes a Meritorious Presidential Rank Award, two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, election to the Virginia Tech Academy of Aerospace & Ocean Engineering Excellence, and being voted the 2017 NASA Champion of Innovation. She lives in southeastern Virginia with her husband and the youngest of their three children and their energetic labradoodle.