Douglas L. Dwoyer
B.S., Aerospace Engineering, 1964
M.S., Aerospace Engineering, 1967
Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, 1975
As a child, Doug Dwoyer loved airplanes. By high school, he managed to find his way on to the civil air patrol team that allowed him to fly practice search and rescue missions several times a month. He never deviated from his goals and today has some 1700 researchers, technicians and support personnel reporting to him as NASA Langley’s Associate Director for Research and Technology Competencies. And his legacy will include the development of the National Institute of Aeronautics (NIA), charged with developing advanced aerospace and atmospheric research.
His long-term association with Virginia Tech began in 1960. A member of the Corps of Cadets, he co-oped with Aberdeen Proving Ground, performing aerodynamic work in its Ballistics Research Lab. After earning his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering in 1964, he remained for his master’s degree. But with the Vietnam War, he was soon commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and sent to Wright Paterson Air Force Base. After four years in its hypersonic research facilities where he was also able to use his work as a basis for his dissertation, he returned to Tech to get his Ph.D. in 1975.
The aerospace industry was not thriving in the mid-70s, and he had to wait two years for the employment opportunity he wanted most – to work with NASA. He spent more than 25 years at the NASA Langley location where the exciting challenges have never stopped and he has a hand in putting together international teams to attack the tough problems.
One of the most challenging programs for Dr. Dwoyer was managing the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) CFD Technology Maturation Program. He eventually headed the Hypersonic Technology Office of NASA Langley from 1987 until 1989. From there he became Chief of the Fluid Mechanics Division until 1994. For the next four years he served as the Director of the Research and Technology Group. Since 1998, Dr. Dwoyer has held his current position where he is responsible for overseeing all of NASA’s Langley’s systems analysis, technology development, scientific research and systems engineering.
Today, Dr. Dwoyer is looking at working towards a more sustainable economy, and he sees the next generation as a key component to solve the problem. Since the late 1970s, he has served higher education as a professor at the George Washington University and as an advisor. He is on Virginia Tech’s AOE Advisory Board and is now also a member of its counterpart at the University of Maryland. He also points to NIA’s graduate research program as growing faster than anyone imagined.
Select Awards and Recognitions
NASA’s Engineering Achievement Award
Outstanding Leadership Medal
The Meritorious Rank Award
Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics
Virginia Tech Committee of 100
Commendation Medal from the USAF