Dr. Dale L. Compton has been a pioneer in planetary atmosphere entry, in hypersonic aerodynamics and physics of high-temperature gases, and in earth science. Applications of his research have contributed to the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Space Shuttle, and Jupiter atmospheric probe programs. His management of what is believed to be the most capable aeronautics research institution in existence has produced important progress in United States aeronautics and space capabilities.
Dr. Compton has served as Director of the NASA Ames Research Center, governor of the National Space Club, and is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and both the Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi engineering societies. He is a Distinguished Senior Executive within the NASA Senior Executive Service, and was a 1974-1975 Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology. He has guided the formulation of a new university program in Space Technology, aimed at rebuilding the Nation’s technology base for new space missions and increasing the pool of engineers and scientists.
Dr. Compton is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He has received the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership and was named the 1983-1984 Outstanding Engineer in the Field of Astronautics by the San Francisco Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dr. Compton received the Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Aeronautics, all from Stanford University.