NASA’s Langley Research Center leader, Clayton Turner, opens RIT 2015 Dean’s Speaker Series

RIT, MCC and Rochester City School District alumnus oversees NASA’s flight and ground system projects

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Clayton Turner, deputy director of NASA’s Langley Research Center, and RIT electrical engineering alumnus, talks to middle school-age students about the importance of studies to create options for their futures. He will talk about his own studies and achievements in college and his career at NASA during the first 2015 Dean’s Alumni Speaker Series on Thursday, Sept. 24.

Clayton Turner, NASA’s deputy director of Langley Research Center, will open the 2015 Dean’s Alumni Speaker Series at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24 in the Xerox Auditorium, located in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology.

The RIT electrical engineering alumnus will discuss his college and career experiences leading up to his current role directing NASA’s flight and ground systems projects at Langley Research Center, Va. Turner began his career with the center in 1990 and has held many leadership positions in NASA from technical leads on a variety of projects and as the systems Engineering Directorate Chief Engineer. In the latter capacity, he was responsible for engineering leadership and technical oversight for the planning and execution of complex flight and ground system projects; and for the design, development, and application of sound engineering practices across directorate-supported projects.

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 problems from global climate change and access to space, to air travel and future aviation vehicles. Turner was appointed Director of the Engineering Directorate at Langley in 2013. The Engineering Directorate provides systems concepts, advanced technology and systems development to support the research, technology development and mission objectives of the Aeronautics Research, Human Exploration and Operations, Science, and Space Technology Mission Directorates. He became deputy director of the Langley Research Center in 2015.

Prior to joining NASA Turner was the chief engineer for Dynamic Recording Studio in Rochester. He was responsible for the technical and artistic recording quality of a wide range of audio and video content spanning multiple styles and formats. He attended Monroe Community College, graduating in 1986 with a degree in electrical engineering technology. In 2010, he was inducted into MCC’s Alumni Hall of Fame for his outstanding career and community achievements.

Turner is the recipient of two Paul F. Holloway Non-Aerospace Technology Transfer Awards, NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the NASA Silver Snoopy Award. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in electrical engineering in 1990 from RIT. He is active in community outreach coaching youth sports and promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers.

The speaker series is sponsored by RIT’s Office of Development and the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. For more information, contact Kala Karden at 585-475-6324 or