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Kathy Barnstorff
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
(Office: 757/864-9886/Cellular: 757 344-8511)

Shannon Verstynen
National Institute of Aerospace
(Office: 757/766-1612)

RELEASE: 04-018

April 8, 2004


The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) has appointed the first of six Langley Professors.

Dr. Alan Wilhite will become Langley Professor in Advanced Aerospace Systems Architecture for the Georgia Institute of Technology, one of the six founding member universities of NIA. Dr. Wilhite will be the principal Georgia Tech faculty member resident at NIA and will lead NIA's research program in the field of systems analysis, with primary emphasis on developing life-cycle systems analysis and risk methodologies for advanced aerospace system architectures.

The National Institute of Aerospace is a world-class non-profit research and graduate institute, located near NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. It was created to support Langley's mission to do cutting-edge aerospace and atmospheric research, develop new technologies for the nation, and help train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

"NASA Langley is excited to see the National Institute of Aerospace moving forward with the hiring of the first distinguished Langley Professor," said Randy Rooker, Deputy Director of the NASA Langley NIA Management Office. "The Langley Professorship Program was created to attract talent that will complement NASA Langley's research strengths in aerospace systems and atmospheric science."

Since 2001, Dr. Wilhite has held the position of Eminent Scholar in Systems Engineering and Simulation at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. His prior career positions include Director of the Independent Program Assessment Office and Director of the Systems Management Office at NASA Langley. He received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University, an M.S. in Flight Systems from George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University.

"Dr. Wilhite's appointment is an important step forward for NIA's research and graduate education missions," says Dr. Robert Lindberg, NIA President and Executive Director. "He is an accomplished research leader with a national reputation for his work in life-cycle simulation of advanced aerospace systems."

Each Langley Professor will hold a teaching and research faculty appointment at one of the founding member universities. They will work as an integrated team with the NIA President and Vice Presidents, the NASA Langley NIA Management Office and research community, and the NIA Liaison Professors at the six NIA founding universities to create a unique research and education institute. NIA's founding members continue to recruit Langley Professors for distinguished faculty in the fields of Earth System Science, High Confidence Computational Systems, Quantum/Molecular Materials Design for Sensors, Multifunctional Design, and Smart, Adaptive Aerospace Vehicle Technology and Concept Development.

NIA was formed by a consortium of universities and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation. The roster of major research universities includes consortium members: Georgia Institute of Technology, Hampton University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina State University, University of Maryland, University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and affiliate members: Old Dominion University and the College of William & Mary.

For more information about NASA's Langley Research Center, please check the Internet at:

LARC Home Page

More information about the National Institute of Aerospace is available at:



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