Albion H. Bowers boasts a distinguished 37-year career with NASA, primarily at the Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, CA. His tenure culminated in the role of Chief Scientist of NASA Armstrong. Throughout his career trajectory, Al held several pivotal positions, including Associate Director for Research, Director for Aeronautics Projects, Special Assistant to the Associate Administrator of Aeronautics (based in Washington DC), Deputy Director of Research and Engineering, and Chief of Aerodynamics.
Prior to assuming these leadership roles, Mr. Bowers served as an aerospace engineer on approximately 24 diverse aerospace projects. He took on the chief engineer role for seven aircraft and served as project manager for a research aircraft. His contributions to the field are underscored by approximately 30 peer-reviewed publications. Notably, he is credited with the discovery of how birds maneuver without vertical tails, resulting in two patents on this groundbreaking technology.
Albion Bowers' commitment to mentoring is exemplified by his guidance of around 200 student interns, both graduate and undergraduate, during his tenure at NASA. Many of these individuals have gone on to pursue successful careers within NASA.
His outstanding contributions to NASA have earned him the NASA Exceptional Service Medal (2006) and the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal (2014). Al has been honored as "Mentor of the Year" four times by his peers and received the "Vision in Education" award from iLead schools in 2018.
Mr. Bowers specializes in fluid and flight mechanics as well as systems engineering. He holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Aeronautical Engineering, with additional coursework toward a PhD, from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Beyond his aerospace career, Al has been an active member of the Hang Glider association and the Soaring Society, and he has led the western workshop for Soaring for over two decades.