DR. THOMAS EDWARDS
Dr. Tom Edwards serves as chief technology officer for Crown Consulting Inc., one of the nation’s largest commercial aviation consulting firm with over 200+ consultants. He leads customer research and development strategy and planning as well as Crown’s internal program to foster innovative tools for its service areas.
Edwards supports NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in defining an R&D strategy and assists the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s program to explore electric vertical take off and landing (eVTOL) technology applications. He also crafts tools to enable transportation agencies to integrate advanced air mobility planning into their intermodal plans.
His 35-year career at NASA Ames Research Center concluded with a two-year tenure as deputy center director. His role in NASA aeronautics and aviation research imparted comprehensive knowledge on introducing new technology into safety-critical systems and established relationships with Federal Aviation Administration and aviation industry leaders. His collaboration with the FAA as chief of NASA’s Aviation Systems Division produced automation technology for integration into the National Airspace System. His accomplishments as director of aeronautics included building and implementing long-term aeronautics technology plans while managing a research portfolio with a $150 million-plus annual budget and more than 400 researchers.
Edwards served on a select NASA committee to develop a research portfolio focused on autonomy for aviation applications, which is now being implemented. An outgrowth of this work was the formulation of an unmanned traffic management (UTM) project that became the pathfinder for similar projects around the world. He hosted NASA’s first UTM conference, bringing together U.S. experts to address the challenges of integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the National Airspace System.
Edwards holds a Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University and a Master of Science in management from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.