Dr. L. Dale Thomas

Professor/Eminent Scholar, INDUSTRIAL & SYSTEMS ENGINEERING AND ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT

I hope to instill in students a passion for architecting and building systems. That passion must be accompanied by comprehensive knowledge of engineering basics and teamwork skills, as very few systems are comprised of a single engineering discipline and virtually all systems are architected and built by an engineering team."

Biography

UAH Alumnus (1988) Dr. L. Dale Thomas joined ISEEM in Fall 2015 as a full professor and was Board-appointed as the Eminent Scholar in Systems Engineering. Within a year, he established the UAH Complex Systems Integration Laboratory (CSIL), UAH's advanced systems engineering research facility focusing on Model-Based Systems Engineering. Among several projects, the lab is assisting the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) with cube satellites to be deployed during the first Space Launch System in 2019. In July 2017, he was appointed as the Deputy Director of the UAH Propulsion Research Center (PRC). In that role, he will lead the Propulsion Systems Engineering research team and engage in strategic planning activities.

Dr. Thomas brings 32 years of NASA experience to his current work on campus. He worked as an aerospace systems engineer on projects based at MSFC in Huntsville and Johnson Space Center in Houston, including the Space Station Freedom Project, the International Space Station Program, the NASA Space Launch Initiative, and the Constellation Program. In 2011 he was appointed MSFC's Associate Center Director, a role he maintained until his 2015 retirement from NASA.

In July 2017, Dr. Thomas was appointed Director of the Alabama Space Grant Consortium, the congress-created body that implements a portfolio of programs in research, education and public service projects in science and engineering. Dr. Thomas’ core objective in assuming the role is to strengthen ties between academic researchers and industry.

Dr. Thomas has authored numerous technical papers and chapters in two textbooks, and served as an editor for the systems engineering textbook Applied Systems Engineering. He travels nationwide presenting elements of his research on models based systems engineering. Alongside other colleagues in UAH College of Engineering, Dr. Thomas served as a conference co-chair of the 14th Conference on Systems Engineering Research hosted by UAH in March 2016.

Video (Feb. 21, 2016): An Intersection of Needs, Trends, and Methods in Cyber-Physical Systems Engineering

Dr. L. Dale Thomas's Curriculum Vitae


Education

  • Ph.D., Systems Engineering-Computer Engineering | Mathematics, University of Alabama-Huntsville, 1988
  • M.S., Industrial Engineering-Electronic Engineering, North Carolina State University, 1983
  • B.S.E., Industrial & Systems Engineering, University of Alabama-Huntsville, 1981

Classes Taught


Recent Publications & Papers

C.A. McLemore, L.D. Thomas, & G.M. Nicholls, “An Investigation of Knowledge Workers’ Perspectives on Managers’ Emotional Intelligence and Relationship to Organizational Commitment: A Summary of Results from a High Technology Organization and Recommendations for Future Research,” 2017 International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM), Huntsville, Alabama, October 18-21, 2017. (submitted)

B. Mesmer, A. Salado, L.D. Thomas, M. Bott, G. Bhatia, and E. Patterson, “The Value of Rigor in MBSE Research and a Vision for the Future,” Systems Engineering. (submitted)

R.A. Frederick Jr., P. Ligrani, and L.D. Thomas, "Propulsion Research and Academic Programs at the University of Alabama in Huntsville," AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum, Atlanta, Georgia, July 10-12, 2017.

A. Aueron and L.D. Thomas, “Modeling Nuclear Thermal Propulsion with Model Based Systems Engineering,” AIAA Space 2017 Conference & Exposition, Orlando, Florida, September 12-14, 2017. (submitted)

R. Childress-Thompson, L.D. Thomas, and P. Farrington, “Parameter Validation for Evaluation of Spaceflight Hardware Reusability,” Joint Army Navy NASA Airforce (JANNAF) In-Space Chemical Propulsion Technical Interchange Meeting, Huntsville, Alabama, April 4-6, 2017.

 A. Aueron and L.D. Thomas, “Nuclear Thermal Propulsion System Modeling using Model Based Systems Engineering,” Joint Army Navy NASA Airforce (JANNAF) In-Space Chemical Propulsion Technical Interchange Meeting, Huntsville, Alabama, April 4-6, 2017.

P. Zhang, J. Wade, R. Turner, D. Bodner, and L.D. Thomas, “SEEA: Accelerated Learning and Learning Assessment for Systems Engineering Education,” 15th Conference on Systems Engineering Research, Los Angeles, California, March 23-25, 2017.

E. Patterson and L.D. Thomas, “Human Mental Models and their effects on human and system interactions within Socio-Technical Systems,” 15th Conference on Systems Engineering Research, Los Angeles, California, March 23-25, 2017.

L.D. Thomas and K. Burris, “Generational Evolution in Complex Engineered Systems,” 15th Conference on Systems Engineering Research, Los Angeles, California, March 23-25, 2017.

L. Walker & L.D. Thomas, “Integrated System Modeling in SysML for Small Satellites,” AIAA SciTech 2017, Grapevine, Texas, January 9-13, 2017.

C.A. McLemore, L.D. Thomas, & G.M. Nicholls, “Discovering the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Organizational Commitment: Pilot Study Results and Implications for Further Study,” American Society for Engineering Management 2016 International Annual Conference, Concord, North Carolina, October 26-29, 2016.

K. Burris & L.D. Thomas, “Systems Generational Evolution,” Fifth Annual World Conference of the Society for Industrial and Systems Engineering, San Francisco, California, October 13-14, 2016.

L.D. Thomas & B. Mesmer, “Virtual Systems Integration using Model Based Systems Engineering,” AIAA Space 2016 Conference & Exposition, Long Beach, California, September 13-16, 2016.

A.E. Patterson, L.D. Thomas, & S.L. Messimer, “Systems Engineering and the Disruptive Effects of Additive Technologies on Product Lifecycle,” Joint Army Navy NASA Airforce (JANNAF) Liquid Propulsion Subcommittee and Advanced Materials Panel Additive Manufacturing for Propulsion Applications Technical Interchange Meeting, Huntsville, Alabama, August 23-25, 2016.

K. Burris & L.D. Thomas, “The palm: a systems generational evolution story,” 2016 Conference on Systems Engineering Research, Huntsville, Alabama, March 22-24, 2016.


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