Wesley L. Harris

Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
I believe the relationship between a faculty mentor and their student is one that requires mutual respect and trust. Especially at first, the power balance favors the faculty member in the partnership. Hence, it is incumbent upon me to reach out to my students.

Contact Info

Office Phone





Administrative Contact

Britton "Bryt" Bradley

Financial Contact

Quentin Alexander

Specialization and Research Interests

Fluid dynamics: unsteady aerodynamics, aeroacoustics; rotorcraft technology; economic incentives: defense systems acquisition, lean financial management methods; sustainment of capital assets; sickle cell pathology: onset dynamics of crisis.

Academic Degrees

B.A.E. (with Honors), 1964, University of Virginia
M.A, 1966, Princeton University
Ph.D., 1968, Princeton University

Society Memberships

African Scientific Institute, Fellow; American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow; American Helicopter Society, Fellow, Director; American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Honorary Fellow; American Physical Society; American Society for Engineering Education; Mathematical Association of America; National Academy of Engineering; National Technical Association, Fellow; Cosmos Club, Washington, DC; Union of Concerned Scientists, Board Member.

Positions Held at MIT

Founding Director, MIT Hypersonics Research Team, 2015 – present; Associate Provost for Faculty Equity, 2008-2013; Head, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2003-2008; Housemaster, New House, 2002-present; Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2001-present; Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1996-2001; M.L. King Jr. Visiting Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1995-1996; Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1981-1985; Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1979-1981; Director of the Office of Minority Education, 1975-1979; Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and of Ocean Engineering, 1973-1979.

Positions Held outside MIT

AIAA 2026 Fellows Selection, Chair; AIAA Honors and Awards Committee; Vice President, National Academy of Engineering (2022-Present); NASA Headquarters, Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, 1993-1995; University of Tennessee, Space Institute, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, 1990-1993; University of Connecticut, School of Engineering Dean, 1985-1990; Harris Analytical and Planning, President and Owner, 1980-1985; NASA Headquarters, Manager, Computational Methods 1979-1980; Southern University, Department of Physics, Associate Professor 1970-1971; University of Virginia, School of Engineering, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering, Assistant Professor 1968-1970, Associate Professor 1971-1972.

Awards & Honors

Tau Beta Pi
The Jefferson Society
Sigma XI
SIAM Visiting Lecturer
Irwin Sizer Award, MIT
Eminent Scholar, Norfolk State University
Scholar in Residence, Millersville State College
American Academy of Mechanics
Honorary Alumni, University of Connecticut
Milton Pikarsky Memorial Lecturer
Herbert S. and Jane Gregory Distinguished Lecturer
Confrerie des Chavaliers du Tastevin