Photo of Sheila Widnall

Sheila Widnall

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Professional Bio

Dr. Sheila Widnall served as the first female Secretary of the Air Force from 1993 to 1997. She was responsible for and had the authority to conduct all Department of the Air Force matters that include recruiting, organizing, training, administration, logistical support, maintenance and welfare of personnel. Sheila also served as a faculty member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 28 years and became an associate provost at the university in 1992. A professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, she is internationally known for her work in fluid dynamics, specifically in the areas of aircraft turbulence and the spiraling airflow, called vortices, created by helicopters. She currently works with the Lean Advancement Initiative.
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