How this NASA intern became a chief scientist

Albion Bowers talks about his extensive career with NASA

By Angela Garrity, Guest blogger

NASA chief scientist Albion Bowers is always thinking one step ahead. In this episode of Fueled by Death Cast, he chats with the Incredible Jeff about his work with iLead schools.

Al Bowers, center, and a group of student interns hook up a bungee cord for a flight of the Prandtl-D 3C subscale glider aircraft, which all four of them are holding

The students think he is a hero — to which Bowers jokingly says, “Get a real role model, kid.” But to these kids, Bowers is their trailblazer.

Al Bowers is recently retired from being NASA's chief scientist at the Armstrong Research Facility, but he hasn't lost his passion or drive. He joins the podcast to talk about his career at NASA and his legacy with the Prandtl Wing, which is this future of flight both here on Earth and other planets. 

Bowers is a true believer in the abilities of iLead's students and encourages them to stop listening to curmudgeonly adult mindsets who tell them they can't do something or to think a certain way. He speaks to his own struggles with what he saw in reality not matching what he was being told reality was — it was too much for his brilliant mind. 

Bowers knows the next generation of leaders usually start at the bottom. Bowers discusses how he got started with NASA as in intern from a dream he carried with him to work at the space agency since childhood.

Bowers was one of two selected to obtain a master’s degree, fully funded by NASA, the second year the program was offered at the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center.

The mastermind worked diligently on inverse solutions while designing airfoils. Bowers comes from a long line of prodigies and professors who weren’t afraid of using reverse thinking to solidify answers to their biggest questions — proving that no dream is too big.

Watch the clip from his interview below and catch his full podcast episode here

Angela Garrity is a guest blogger for Death Wish Coffee Co. Her work can be found in Vapun Magazine as well as on their website.

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