Dava Newman is Apollo Professor of Astronautics and Engineering Systems at MIT, where her research focuses on aerospace biomedical engineering, including advanced space suit design and dynamics and control of astronaut motion, as well as mission analysis, engineering systems design, policy analysis, and assistive technologies for human locomotion.
In January 2015 President Barack Obama nominated Dava as deputy administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). She served in that position from May 2015 to January 2017, providing leadership, planning, and policy direction for NASA and representing the agency to the Executive Office of the President, Congress, heads of federal and other appropriate government agencies, international organizations, and external organizations and communities.
Dava is the author of the introductory engineering textbook Interactive Aerospace Engineering and Design (2002) and has published more than 250 papers in journals and refereed conferences. She has a BS in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame, MS degrees in aerospace engineering and technology and policy from MIT, and a PhD in aerospace biomedical engineering from MIT.