Robert Curry is Chief Scientist at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. In that position, Curry is responsible for performing strategic analysis and assisting the center's senior management with development of strategic plans for all of the center's missions, emphasizing the center's future role in both aeronautics and science research.
Prior to his current appointment in September 2011, Curry had served for five years as Director of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Dryden, where he managed operations of a suite of unique and highly modified aircraft in support of the agency’s Earth Science mission. These aircraft, both manned and unmanned, support worldwide field campaigns devoted to a variety of environmental science issues, including tropical storm development, solid Earth deformation, ozone loss, and climate change research.
He had previously served as a mission manager for a number of airborne environmental science campaigns, and also served for six years as chief of the aerodynamics branch in the center's Research Engineering directorate, supporting a variety of flight research projects involving hypersonic air-breathing propulsion, advanced space transportation concepts, supersonic laminar flow and sonic boom characterization studies.
While employed as an aerospace engineer at Dryden from 1979 through 1996, Curry conducted research on a variety of flight dynamics and flight-test-technique development topics, including aerodynamic research on oblique-winged aircraft, various configurations in ground effect, high-angle-of-attack flight, highly augmented aircraft and hypersonic vehicles.
Curry began his Dryden career in 1979 as a cooperative education student in the aerodynamics branch. He was detailed to NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., from 1986-1987, where he worked with engineering analysis methods for hypersonic vehicles. From 1996-1997, he was assigned to NASA's Integrated Program Assessment Office.
A native of Louisiana, Curry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in environmental science and policy from Johns Hopkins University. The first or co-author of 26 technical papers, he is a member of the American Geophysical Union and has received numerous agency awards for his work with multiple projects and disciplines.