Thomas Beutner, Ph.D.
Head, Naval Air Warfare and Weapons
Dr. Thomas Beutner heads the Naval Air Warfare and Weapons Department at the Office of Naval Research. Two divisions report to him: Aerospace Sciences Research and Air Warfare and Naval Applications.
Beutner is responsible for the Navy’s science and technology (S&T) investment in aircraft, air and surface weapons technology programs, as well as S&T program manager for the Sea Strike Pillar Future Naval Capability initiative. He also serves as the Navy’s representative on the Office of the Secretary of Defense Reliance Air Platforms Panel.
He entered the Senior Executive Service in February 2010. Between 2010-2014, he served as director for ONR's Aerospace Sciences Research Division where he was the senior focal point within ONR for discovery and innovation investments in air platform and weapons research that enable enhanced performance, affordability and reliability for future Navy and Marine Corps air systems and platforms. He also oversaw research and development in the areas of hypersonics, directed energy weapons, rotary wing aerodynamics, energetic materials, autonomous controls and propulsion, as well as the development of computational and experimental tools for future engineering design efforts.
From 2005-2010, he managed advanced technology aircraft and ship programs at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, including programs in laminar flow, oblique flying wings, aero-optics integration, submarine launched unmanned aerial vehicles and hydrodynamic friction drag reduction programs. In this role, he led fundamental work to advance simulations including multiphase and polymer flows, aero-optics simulations, and aeroelasticity control approaches. He also led systems-level integration efforts for advanced aircraft demonstration projects. Between 1999-2005, he led the Turbulence and Rotating Flows program at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, where he managed the Air Force investment in basic research in turbulence modeling, flow control and turbomachinery flows. From 1993-1999, he worked at the Air Force Research Laboratory, developing laser-based wind tunnel velocimetry systems.
Beutner holds a bachelor's in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University, and both master's and doctorate degrees in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University. He was named an Outstanding Aerospace Alumni by Purdue University in 2007.
He has published research in aerodynamic measurement technologies and computational fluid dynamics validation. He is a professional engineer, registered in Ohio, and a member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and serves as deputy director of the Aerospace Sciences Group.