Dr Jaiwon Shin is the NASA Associate Administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. In this position he manages the agency’s aeronautics research portfolio and guides its strategic direction. This portfolio includes research in the fundamental aeronautics of flight, aviation safety and the nation’s airspace system.

Dr Shin co-chairs the National Science & Technology Council’s Aeronautics Science & Technology Subcommittee. Comprised of federal departments and agencies that fund aeronautics-related research, the subcommittee wrote the nation’s first presidential policy for aeronautics research and development (R&D). The policy was established by Executive Order 13419 in December 2006 and will guide U.S. aeronautics R&D programs through 2020. The subcommittee finished writing the National Aeronautics R&D Plan in December 2007 and is currently writing the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Infrastructure Plan, both of which were called for by the Executive Order.


Be humble. Know there are much smarter people than you in the room.


What do you find most interesting about aviation?

Making an impossible act of flying possible.


What is your vision for the aviation sector in the next 15 – 20 years?

Opening up the skies of major cities with quiet, safe, efficient, and environmentally acceptable air vehicles that will alleviate congestion on the ground.


If you could change one element of technology, or a particular type of technology in the sector, what would that be?

Enabling commercial supersonic flight that is affordable and environmentally acceptable.


What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Balance your seesaw – meaning don’t just give praises and compliments to people. Must be able to give constructive and timely feedback to people for improvement as well.


What are your key successes to date?

  • Establishing NASA Aeronautics R&D more relevant and impactful to community needs
  • Building strong partnerships with industry, other government agencies, academia, and international agencies.


Describe your ideal day away from work?

Lie down on the warm beach and read a book.


Who inspires you the most?

Neil Armstrong – I was inspired to pursue my aviation career by watching the Apollo 11 moon landing. Later I met and worked with Neil Armstrong. He was a true gentleman with wisdom and humility.


What is your golden rule?

Be humble. Know there are much smarter people than you in the room.


Dr Shin will be one of our keynote speakers at ATI Conference 2017: Realising Ambition, and will be speaking on Day Two.