Albion H. Bowers is the Chief Scientist at NASA's Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif.
Appointed to this position in March 2014, Bowers is part of the NASA Armstrong strategic planning team that is developing research concepts for the future of aerospace. As part of that team, Bowers is responsible for defining NASA Armstrong’s strategic direction for the Center, including advanced aeronautical designs, science, research and space technologies.
Prior to his present position, Bowers served as Director of Dryden’s Aeronautics Mission Directorate and as a project manager. He also served as the Chief of the Aerodynamics Branch from 2002 to 2004, Deputy Director of the Research and Engineering Directorate from 2004 to 2008, Special Assistant to the Associate Administrator of Aeronautics in 2008, Director of Aeronautics Projects 2008 to 2010, and the Associate Director of the Research and Engineering Directorate from 2010 to 2014.
As a research engineer specializing in aerodynamics and systems engineering, Bowers has been involved in a number of projects involving aerodynamics, boundary layer airflow, fundamental fluid dynamics, flight mechanics, advanced controls, and structures research at NASA Dryden. In 2007 Bowers was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for his contributions to experimental flight research aircraft. He was awarded the NASA Small Business Advocate Technical Person of the Year, as well as awards for mentoring, leadership, and he is a TEDxNASA speaker.
During the 1980s, Bowers was an aerodynamicist for research that included the Schweizer Deep Stall project, the F-8 Oblique Wing Research Aircraft and the X-29A Forward Swept Wing. He also participated in the X-30A National AeroSpace Plane, the Hypersonic Sandia Winged Energetic Re-entry Vehicle Experiment and the SWERVE-Avocet project. Bowers was chief engineer for the SR-71A, the F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle and the F-106A Eclipse aero-tow project during the 1990s. His involvement continued with the X-48A Blended Wing Body, the X-37 Future-X and the X-38 Boost Launched Aerodynamic Systems Test. Bowers was the inventor of the Prandtl Wing, a radical concept to minimize drag of aircraft and explained mysteries of the flight of birds.
Bowers earned a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering and a Master of Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He began his career with NASA in the Graduate Student Research Program in 1982.
Bowers is a member of the Soaring Society of America and the Experimental Soaring Association. He co-authored the 1992 textbook "Handbook of Intelligent Control" and has authored 29 research publications, along with contributing to seven books on aviation history.