Tim Cahil

Julie Kramer White

Chief Engineer
Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Exploration Vehicle
BSAAE 1990





"Not only did Purdue give me a great foundation in the engineering disciplines, but my time at Purdue also taught me perseverance and resilience that would become invaluable to me as a leader in the ever evolving world of Human Space Flight."

Julie Kramer White grew up in Indiana. She knew when she was in high school that she wanted to pursue a career at NASA. To enable that goal, she received a B.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University in 1990. She was selected for a cooperative education internship at NASA Johnson Space Center in 1986, which lead to her conversion to a full-time NASA employee after graduation. She started her NASA career in the Structural Mechanics Division, learning the fundamental disciplines of thermal analysis, failure analysis, mechanical design and stress analysis, and was eventually responsible for ensuring structural integrity of the Space Shuttle Orbiter vehicles for each flight.  Kramer White's interest in mechanics of materials and aging aircraft led her to University of Utah for a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1994. 

She has almost 30 years contributing to NASA Human Spaceflight Programs, working in structural design, analysis, certification and vehicle systems engineering. She has provided critical expertise and technical leadership on Space Shuttle Orbiter, X-38, and International Space Station, and was one of the founding members of NASA’s Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) after the Columbia accident. For the past 10 years, Kramer White has been Chief Engineer for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. In that position, she is responsible for guiding the Orion technical team in the development the first, human rated, deep space exploration vehicle since Apollo. 

Kramer White is the recipient of multiple NASA leadership and achievement medals, the Rotary Mid-Career Achievement as well as the prestigious NASA Space Flight Awareness Silver Snoopy award. The Silver Snoopy is an award given by NASA’s astronauts for professionalism, dedication and outstanding support to mission success in Human Space Flight.  After the successful Orion Exploration Flight Test – 1 (EFT-1) test flight in 2014, Kramer White was personally recognized by President Obama for her contributions to our nation’s space program as an exemplary civil servant leader. In 2015, she returned to Purdue as a part of the Old Master’s Program.

Julie and her husband of 19 years, Robert K. White, live in El Lago, Texas, with their 13-year-old daughter, two dogs, three cats and assorted fish.