Dr. Wesley L. HarrisWesley L. Harris, Ph.D., NAE is the Charles Stark Draper Professor and Head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on theoretical and experimental unsteady aerodynamics and aeroacoustics; computational fluid dynamics, and the government policy impact on procurement of high technology systems.
Prior to this position Wes served as the Associate Administrator for Aeronautics at NASA. He has also served as the Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the University of Tennessee Space Institute. He has served on committees of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American Helicopter Society (AHS), and the National Technical Association (NTA). He served as advisor to eight colleges, universities, and institutes.
He is an “outsider” to corrosion engineering and as such will act as an honest broker in the committee process as well as bringing a wide experience of engineering and education to the activity. He has served as chair and member of various boards and committees of the National Research Council (NRC), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Army Science Board, and several state governments. He is a current member of the Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences committee, the NAE panel on grand challenges in engineering, and the Committee on Engineering Education.
Wes earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1964. He earned an M.S. in 1966 and a Ph.D. in 1968, both in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences from Princeton University. He is Elected Fellow of the AIAA and of the AHS for personal engineering achievements, engineering education, management, and advancing cultural diversity. He was the first African-American to desegregate the Jefferson Literary & Debating Society. He has been recognized by election to membership in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the Cosmos Club, and the Confrerie des Chavaliers du Tastevin.
Listen to his address to the Jefferson Society. Read The Trailblazers: Their Stories, MIT professor celebrates 60th birthday with scholarship fund, 34 MIT Astronauts and Counting, and Engineering’s greatest challenge: Our survival.