Amassing 60 years of professional experience in the field of atmospheric science, William Walton Vaughan, Ph.D., has been retired since 2015, having most recently served as a research professor of atmospheric science at The University of Alabama in Huntsville since 1986. During this time, he also worked as the director of the research institute at the university from 1986 to 1994. Prior to these roles, Dr. Vaughan was the chief of the atmospheric sciences division of the Marshall Space Flight Center with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from 1960 to 1986, as well as a scientific assistant at the Ballistic Missile Agency with the U.S. Army and the Armament Center with the U.S. Air Force at Elgin Air Force Base during the mid-to-late 1950s.
Alongside his primary endeavors, Dr. Vaughan has been a senior docent at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and as NASA Emeritus with the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center since 2016. He is the associate editor of the Journal of Advanced Technology and Management, a member of the advisory committee and the national and international science technology committee with AIAA, and a consultant in applied meteorology and technology standards and program management.
To prepare for his illustrious career, Dr. Vaughan pursued a formal education at the University of Florida, earning a Bachelor of Science, with honors, in 1951. Soon thereafter, he enrolled in the U.S. Air Force, serving until his honorable Air Force Reserve
discharge as Captain in 1962. He subsequently earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering science from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1976. He has since become a consulting meteorologist through the American Meteorological Society.
In an effort to remain abreast of changes within his field, Dr. Vaughan maintains affiliation with several organizations, including the AIAA (where he has been elected a fellow), the American Meteorological Society (where he has been elected a fellow), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union and Sigma Xi. In addition, he has shared his breadth of knowledge through his publications as a contributor of articles to esteemed journals.
In recognition of his exceptional contributions to science, Dr. Vaughan has accrued several accolades during his career. In 2015, he was honored with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America. In addition, AIAA recognized him several times with a Distinguished Service Award in 2007, an Excellence in Aerospace Standards Award in 2003, and a Losey Atmospheric Science Award in 1980. Notably, NASA honored him with an Exceptional Service Medal in 1971. However, the highlight of his career was his participating in the Saturn V program from the 1960s to early 1970s.
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