Walter C. Engelund
NESC Chief Engineer

Walter (Walt) C. Engelund currently serves as the Langley Chief Engineer in the NASA Engineering and Safety Center. He is a recognized expert in launch and entry vehicle aerodynamics, atmospheric flight dynamics and hypersonic flight systems. He has over 20 years experience with NASA, conducting aerodynamic assessments and developing atmospheric flight systems for a wide variety of concepts and configurations in all flight regimes, subsonic through hypersonic, including expendable and advanced reusable space transportation launch and abort systems, planetary entry probes, and hypersonic airbreathing flight demonstrator vehicles.

Prior to joining the NESC, he served as the Hyper-X / X-43A Program Aerodynamics Lead, and provided technical direction and oversight of all aerodynamics related aspects of NASA's X-43A airframe integrated scramjet powered hypersonic flight test experiments. The program culminated with two highly successful world record setting flights at Mach 7 and Mach 10 demonstrating airframe integrated scramjet powered operability and performance in a relevant environment. He also served as the Chief Engineer on the follow on X-43C Flight Demonstrator Project. He led the development of the Mars Pathfinder entry aerodynamics database, NASA’s first direct entry probe to Mars following the Mars Viking missions two decades earlier, which successfully landed on the surface in 1997. He has subsequently served as a reviewer and consultant for all of NASA’s Mars atmospheric entry probes including the twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, the Mars Phoenix lander, and the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). In 2007-08 he served as the Co-lead for the Agency's Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0 Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) team and helped define the future Constellation enabled human Mars architecture and mission set.

Most recently he was the head of Langley’s Atmospheric Flight and Entry Systems Branch, and prior to that served as the Assistant and acting Branch Head of Langley’s Vehicle Analysis Branch. He continues to serve on the NASA Engineering and Safety Center’s (NESC) Flight Sciences Technical Discipline Team.

Walt received both his B.S. and M.S degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics from Old Dominion University. He is the recipient of NASA’s Exceptional Engineering Achievement medal and the Exceptional Achievement medal. He is an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a lifetime member of Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society.

  Walt Engelund

Walter C. Engelund