Georgia Institute of Technology

Faculty Profile

Alan W. Wilhite

Alan W. Wilhite


Langley Professor

Office: Guggenheim 449A
Phone: 757.766.1871


  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, 1973, North Carolina State University
  • M.S., Flight Systems, 1976, George Washington University
  • Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, 1985, North Carolina State University


Dr. Wilhite is the Langley Distinguished Professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech and also serves as the co-Director of the Georgia Tech Center for Aerospace Systems Engineering (CASE). He currently resides at the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Virginia teaching graduate classes and conducting research at NASA Langley Research Center. He teaches and supervises research in Systems Engineering and Aerospace Systems Design. He has numerous published articles and several book chapters in these areas. He has served as a researcher, systems program manager, and senior executive involved in the design and development of NASA space and aeronautic systems. He is an AIAA Associate Fellow and has served on several AIAA Technical Committees such as Space Systems, Space Transportation and Computer Aided Design. He is also a member of the International Astronautical Federation on the Systems Engineering committee. He conducts research in systems of systems architecture design, robust design, aerodynamics, propulsion, MDO, operations, cost, systems engineering, and risk. He has served as NASA’s external chair for systems engineering and conducts research supporting NASA’s vision in space exploration.

Selected Publications

  • Wilhite, A; Odom, Pat; Lovell, Neal; Lord, Robert: Estimating the Risk of Technology Development.  Presented at the American Society of Engineering Management, September 2003
  • Wilhite, Alan W.; Gholtson, Sampson E.; Farrington, Phillip A.; Swain, James J.:  Evaluating Technology Impacts on Mission Success of Future Launch Vehicles.  Paper No. IAF-01-V.4.04.  Presented at the 52nd International Astronautical Congress,  Toulouse, France, October 1-5, 2001.
  • Wilhite, A., and Shaw, R.J.: Technology Development of  High-Speed Civil Trans-port.  The Aeronautical Journal, Volume 104, Number 1040, Oct. 2000.
  • Wilhite, Alan W., McKinney, Leon, Farrington, Phillip A., Lovell, Neal T.: “Launch System Trajectory Performance Modeling and Sensitivity Analysis Using Response Surface Methods.”  Presented at the AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference, July 2003.
  • Wilhite, A. W.: Technology and Staging Effects on Two-Stage-to-Orbit Systems.  AIAA Paper No. 91-3181.  Presented at the Aircraft Design and Systems and Operations Meeting, Baltimore, MD, September 23 - 25, 1991.

hpep lab

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Prof. Mitchell Walker in the High-Power Electric Propulsion Lab