General Lester L. Lyles
Chair, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board
National Academy of Engineering
General Lyles is the former Commander of the Air Force Materiel Command, headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The Command was responsible for all Research and Development, Science and Technology, Test, and Logistics Support for the U.S. Air Force.
He has commanded The Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill AFB, Utah, and the Air Force Space and Missile Development Center in Los Angeles. He was also the Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Office under the Office of the Secretary of Defense. General Lyles served as the 27th Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. He retired from the Air Force in 2003 after 35 years of service.
His numerous awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Astronautics Engineer of the Year from the National Space Club, the National Black Engineer of the Year Award, Honorary Doctor of Laws from New Mexico State University, and NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal for serving on the 'President's Commission on Implementing the U.S. Space Exploration Policy'.
General Lyles received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico State University [under the auspices of the Air Force Institute of Technology].
General Lyles is a native of Washington, D.C.