Prior to his retirement in June 2010, Lawrence R. Davis served in several high-level management roles in flight operations, safety and mission assurance at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center.
Davis joined NASA Dryden in February 2002 as chief of Safety and Mission Assurance, responsible for flight safety, software, and quality assurance of all flight missions, range safety for unmanned aircraft, and occupational safety, industrial hygiene and environmental compliance for Dryden.
Davis was advanced to Director of Flight Operations in January 2008. In that position, Davis was responsible for support of pilots, aircrew and flight operations, operations engineering and maintenance of all NASA aircraft at Dryden. He also flew a number of Dryden research and support aircraft as pilot or co-pilot in a supervisory capacity, including the T-34, T-38, F/A-18, YO-3A, and B-200 King Air.
Davis brought to NASA Dryden an extensive background in digital flight systems management and test and operational flying of high-performance military aircraft during a 21-year career in the U.S. Air Force and later in private industry. After several years flying the RF-4C in Europe, Davis served as an assistant mathematics professor at the Air Force Academy, instructor at the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, and as avionics branch chief of the F-16 Combined Test Force at Edwards. He later returned to Edwards as Test Operations Officer. He conducted applied research in digital flight systems while serving as project manager and chief test pilot of the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) F-16 project at Dryden for the Air Force, performing many first-time digital technology integration demonstrations. He also flew F-16 digital weapons systems development and Global Positioning System flight tests.
After retiring from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in 1992, Davis became Director of System Test and an instructor at the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, CA, from 1992 to 1996. He then took became site manager and system safety engineer for a contractor at NASA Dryden. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Chapman University and at Fresno State University.
Davis earned degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1970 and 1977, and is a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Test Pilot School. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. He is the author of a number of technical papers and reports.