Dr. Robert K. Whitford

Professor, Transportation Engineering
Purdue University

Robert K. Whitford
. . . my training in electrical engineering prepared me well not only for 17 years in the space industry, but was sufficiently thorough to enable the switch to technical and managerial leadership in the transportation field.

Having completed three electrical engineering degrees at Purdue, Robert K. Whitford began his industrial career with the systems group of TRW Inc. Accepting ever increasing management responsibilities, Whitford became manager of TRW's guidance and control operation which designed and fabricated spacecraft attitude control and sensor systems and guidance and navigation systems software and sensor equipment. In 1968, he was promoted and given responsibility to develop the architecture of large-scale electronic systems for shuttle avionics, electronic warfare and sophisticated communication and control.

In 1972, Whitford became deputy director of the U. S. Government Transportation Systems Center (U.S.D.O.T) which performs technical and socioeconomic research on aviation, automobile, bus, rail, truck, pipeline, and waterway transportation systems. In 1978, Whitford returned to Purdue as a visiting professor for interdisciplinary studies in the Automotive Transportation Center and conducted a major study of alternative energy futures for DOT. In 1982, he became professor of transportation in Purdue's School of Civil Engineering and, for five years, served as director of the Center for Public Policy and Public Administration.

Whitford, a 1972 Purdue Distinguished Engineering Alumnus, has received the DOT Award for Outstanding Performance and the DOT Award Medal for Meritorious Achievement. He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, Sigma Pi Sigma, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Society of Automotive Engineers.