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James D. Wilson

A headshot of Dr. James D. Wilson.




  • BS, aerospace engineering, WVU, 1968
  • MS, aerospace engineering, WVU, 1970
  • PhD, aerospace engineering, WVU, 1973

In 1973, Dr. Wilson entered active duty in the Air Force at the Flight Dynamics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB. He was assigned to a group responsible for acquiring and maintaining an in-house capability for aerodynamic performance predictions for flight vehicles, completing his service as a Captain in 1977. He then entered civilian employment at the USAF Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) as Fluid Mechanics Program Manager. He was responsible for the Air Force extramural basic research (6.1) programs in aerodynamics and internal fluid dynamics conducted at universities and industrial research laboratories. In addition, he was responsible for evaluating 6.1 projects in these areas conducted by Air Force in-house laboratories. While at AFOSR, he served in a temporary assignment as Special Assistant to the Director for Research and Laboratory Management in the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense at the Pentagon where he was responsible for policies affecting the DOD-wide University Research Instrumentation Program and Small Business Innovation R&D Program, as well as representing DOD on the intergovernmental committee on University Research Facilities. In 1987 Dr. Wilson was appointed Science Consultant on the senior professional staff of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the principal staff person responsible for authorization and oversight activities for the National Science Foundation, the White Office of Science and Technology Policy, and K-12, undergraduate and graduate STEM education programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction. He was also the principal staff person for the authorization and oversight of the interagency federal R&D initiatives on nanotechnology and high-performance computing and communications and for supporting the Committee’s broad responsibilities for federal policy and funding for university-based research in science and engineering. He was Staff Director for the Committee's Research and Education Subcommittee when he retired in 2009. Dr. Wilson is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.