Director, NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI)
Parimal Kopardekar (PK) serves as the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Mission Integration Manager to coordinate Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) activities enabling progress of AAM ecosystem. In addition to this strategic role, PK serves as the Director of NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) and a senior leader and advisor for ARMD. In this capacity, he is responsible for exploring new trends, research areas, collaborations, and partnerships relevant to aeronautics enterprise. His focus is on unmanned aircraft systems, advanced air mobility, wildland fire management, autonomy, and future airspace operations. Recently, he co-led a comprehensive needs assessment study for wildfire mitigations. In the past, he served as the NASA senior technologist for Air Transportation Systems. He invented Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) to safely enable large-scale drone operations at lower altitudes, which is now being globally adopted. He also chairs International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s unmanned aircraft system advisory group. He is a recipient of many awards, including American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Hap Arnold Award for Programmatic Excellence, NASA Government Invention of the Year, NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Award, NASA Engineer of the Year Award, and the prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America’s Promising Innovation Award. PK was named among 25 most influential people in drone industry. He serves as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Aerospace Operations and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He also serves as an adjunct faculty and teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses related to operations management, supply chain management, and innovation. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from University of Cincinnati and a Master of Science degree from University at Buffalo in Industrial Engineering, and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from University of Bombay in Production Engineering.