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AESS Distinguished Lecturer, Walt Downing, to give lecture

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Opportunities to create incremental technological innovations are often relatively easy to accomplish and adopt.  Disruptive technologies significantly alter the ways that businesses operate, and therefore are often more difficult to adopt.  Applied research and development plays an important role in technology transfer of disruptive innovations from the laboratory to industry.  This talk will describe that role and provide examples from the aerospace industry.  It will be a repeat of a talk presented at the 2017 AIAA SciTech Forum, whose theme is "Addressing Full Spectrum Disruption Across the Global Aerospace Community."







   Date: 19 January 2017

·        Time: 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM

·        All times are US/Central

·        Add_To_Calendar_icon Add Event to Calendar

·        Southwest Research Institute

·        6220 Culebra Road

·        San Antonio, Texas

·        United States 78238-5166

·        Building: Tom Slick Memorial Library

·        Room Number: Reading Room

·        Email event contact

·        No Admission Charge

·        Starts 30 December 2016 12:00 AM

·        Ends 18 January 2017 12:00 AM

·        All times are US/Central

·        Register Now




Walt Downing, Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society Distinguished Lecturer

Walt Downing, Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society Distinguished Lecturer


Applied Research and Development for the Aerospace Industry

Mr. Downing is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Southwest Research Institute.


Mr. Downing joined SwRI in 1979 as a senior research engineer.  In 1981 he was promoted to Manager of Instrumentation and Control Systems.  He developed and expanded his technical program into a department in 1988 and a division in 1994 when he was appointed Vice President of Aerospace Electronics and Training Systems.  Mr. Downing has served as Executive Vice President since 1998 and was named Chief Operating Officer in 2016.  He is also a member of the SwRI Board of Directors.

Mr. Downing is active in a variety of city, regional, and national organizations.  He is on the industry advisory boards for the College of Engineering and the College of Business at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s University.  He is a life senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), is an IEEE ABET engineering program evaluator, and a member of the IEEE Eta Kappa Nu electrical engineering honorary society.  He also serves on the Boards of Governors of the IEEE Systems Council and the Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society (AESS), as vice president of technical operations of both groups, and chairs the IEEE Central Texas Section Joint Chapter of the Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society and AESS.

Mr. Downing is a graduate of Southern Methodist University (BSEE with high honors), the University of Texas at San Antonio (MBA), and has executive certificates in management and leadership from the University of Texas at Austin and MIT Sloan School of Management.  He is a registered professional engineer in the states of Texas and Florida.

Email: [email protected]

Address:Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas, United States, 78228-0510


Field of Interest

“The field of interest shall be the organization, systems engineering, design, development, integration, and operation of complex systems for space, air, ocean, or ground environments. These systems include but are not limited to navigation, avionics, mobile electric power and electronics, radar, sonar, telemetry, military, law-enforcement, automatic test, simulators, and command and control."


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