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Clayton P. Turner BS ’90
Director
NASA Langley Research Center

Clayton Turner is the director at NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. Langley, founded in 1917, is the nation’s first civilian aeronautical research facility and NASA’s first field center. Langley is where NASA researches solutions to challenges ranging from global climate and access to space, to air travel, and future aviation vehicles.

Clayton began his career with NASA Langley in 1990 serving as a design engineer with the Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment project, where he spearheaded development of the laser aligning, bore-sight limit system. Over the next 28 years, Clayton served in various roles with progressively increasing responsibility. He led Langley’s engineering contributions to many successful flight projects including the Earth Science Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation Project; the Earth-observing technology development Gas and Aerosol Monitoring Sensorcraft Project; the materials technology development Gas Permeable Polymer Materials Project; the Shuttle Program return-to-flight; the flight test of the Ares 1-X vehicle; the flight test of the Orion Launch Abort System; the entry, descent, and landing segment of the Mars Science Laboratory Project; the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment Project on the International Space Station; and the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System Project.

Prior to joining NASA, Clayton was the chief engineer at Dynamic Recording Studio in Rochester, New York, where he was responsible for technical and artistic recording of audio and video content spanning multiple musical and instructional styles.

Throughout his career, Clayton has received many prestigious awards such as the Presidential Rank Award, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal, and the Paul F. Holloway Non-Aerospace Technology Transfer Award. Clayton is an inductee into the Monroe Community College Alumni Hall of Fame. He is also an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and is a member of RIT’s President’s Round Table.

Clayton has served as the NASA Langley representative on the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Joint Commission on Technology and Science and he has served as a member of the Board of Advisors for the Hampton University College of Engineering and the Old Dominion University College of Engineering. He and his wife live in Hampton, Virginia, and have two sons. Clayton is active in community outreach, coaching youth sports and promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers.

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