Dr. David E. Bowles is the director of NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. He joined the Director’s Office in March 2012 as Associate Director, progressed to Deputy Director in 2014 and then served as Acting Center Director for four months before being appointed Center Director in June 2015.
Dr. Bowles has been an active member of the NASA Langley community for more than 35 years. He began his career conducting research in advanced materials for use on aerospace vehicles and then focused on materials to be used in space. He has published many research papers on the effects of materials degradation on structural and thermal properties.
As the Director of Langley’s Exploration and Space Operations Directorate from 2007 to 2012, he had overall management responsibility — identifying opportunities, defining implementation strategies and delivering on mission commitments. This role supported NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate along with the Space Technology Program in the Office of the Chief Technologist.
He also spent 11 years involved with program and project management for both aeronautics and space-related activities at the center. He served as Manager for Airframe Structures Integrity and Composites for NASA’s Advanced Subsonic Technology Program and as the Vehicle Systems Research and Technology Project Manager for NASA’s Next Generation Launch Technology Program.
Dr. Bowles earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech in 1978, 1980 and 1990, respectively. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal in both 2005 and 2015. He lives in Suffolk, Virginia, with his wife, Michele. They have three grown children.
NASA Langley, founded in 1917, is the Nation’s first civilian aeronautical research facility and NASA’s oldest field center.