2016 Speaker Profile – Buell, Walter

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Dr. Walter F. Buell

Principal Director, Electronics and Photonics Laboratory, The Aerospace Corporation


Dr. Walter F. Buell is the principal director of the Electronics and Photonics Laboratory at The Aerospace Corporation, where he leads three research and development departments totaling about 100 scientists and engineers performing basic and applied research.  His group also directly support U.S. government programs in the areas of energy technology, microelectronics, and photonics. 


Dr. Buell has been with Aerospace since 1997 and has been the principal investigator for laser-cooled atomic clocks and synthetic-aperture ladar programs at Aerospace. He has published more than 25 papers on atomic, molecular, and optical physics and holds three patents.


He was recently vice-chair of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Review of Advancements in Active Electro-Optical Systems to Avoid Technological Surprise Adverse to U.S. National Security. 


He is currently chair pro-tem of the Aerospace Diversity Action Committee, where he provides guidance to the affinity group management sponsors.  He was previously a management sponsor to the Aerospace Women’s Committee and was also a member of the committee that developed and implemented the Aerospace Mentoring Initiative.  He is a member of the American Physical Society Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs, a member of the American Physical Society Industrial Physics Advisory Board, and is serving as an advisor to the American Association of Physics Teachers on a proposal addressing inequity in STEM as part of the National Science Foundation’s NSF INCLUDES Program.


The Aerospace Corporation is a California nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center and has approximately 3,600 employees. It provides guidance and advice to military, civil, and commercial customers to ensure the success of complex, technology-based programs. The Aerospace Corporation is headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., with multiple locations across the United States.