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February 17, 2005

Tolson Selected as Langley Professor at NC State

Photo of Dr. Tolson
Dr. Tolson

North Carolina State University has selected Dr. Robert H. Tolson as Langley Professor in Planetary Atmospheric and Flight Sciences effective January 1, 2005. He is the principal NC State faculty member resident at the National Institute of Aerospace. Tolson holds a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at NC State. As Langley professor, he will lead a new research program concerned with planetary atmospheric modeling and entry flight systems and trajectories design.

“Dr. Tolson’s plans to develop physics-based uncertainty and risk analysis simulations using atmospheric entry and aeroassist approaches will create exciting, new avenues for our aerospace and atmospheric science researchers,” says Dr. Fred DeJarnette, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and NIA liaison professor at NC State.

Tolson’s prior experience includes 32 years at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) where he held a number of positions, including chief scientist, head of the Planetary Physics Branch and Atmospheric Sciences Branch and head of the Interdisciplinary Research Office. Following his retirement from LaRC, he served as professor and researcher at George Washington and Langley Research Center Joint Institute for Advancement of Flight Sciences. Most recently, he was the University of Maryland liaison professor at the National Institute of Aerospace.

The NIA was formed from a consortium of research universities and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation. Langley professors hold teaching and research faculty positions at NIA member universities but are housed at NIA. They spend part of their time on the campus of their affiliate university.

Tolson earned his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering in 1958, master’s degree in physics in 1963 and an ABD in mathematics in 1966, all from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He received his doctoral degree in engineering mechanics from Old Dominion University in 1990.

— weston —

(Photo: submitted)

Media contact:
Jennifer Weston, (919) 515-3848,

Technical contact:
Dr. Fred DeJarnette, (919) 515-5243,

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