John W. Vinson

John Vinson

Title: Program Manager
Company: Lockheed Martin
Location: Thousand Oaks, California, United States

John W. Vinson, Program Manager at Lockheed Martin, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Engineers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in aerospace engineering.

Like many of his contemporaries, Mr. Vinson became involved in his profession because he grew up during the space race era. He was one of a generation of small children watching television as they counted down to launch Alan Shepard and John Glenn into space. All of those events and sending someone to the moon inspired him to go into aerospace. What has ensued is a career spanning more than four decades with achievements such as the completion of DARPA ARES (an aerial reconfigurable embedded system), PDR & CDR, and flight test planning. Mr. Vinson is also a co-patentee of the Gas Turbine Carburetor and the Bimodal Swirler Inject for the Gas Turbine Carburetor.

Mr. Vinson first set out to become an aerospace engineer at the University of Illinois, receiving a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical and astronautical engineering in 1977. He continued his academic pursuits at the University of Cincinnati, whereupon he earned a Master of Science in aerospace engineering in 1982. While under matriculation, he worked as an engineer at GE Aircraft Engineers and then became the Manager of Combustor Design with the company in 1984. In the following years, he worked as the Manager of Augmentor Design, the Manager of Aerospace Plane Propulsion module Design and as the Manager of Demonstrator Engine Cycle Design, all with GE Aircraft Services. In 1989, he joined Rockwell International as a technical staff member of the hypersonic and combined cycle of the Rocketdyne Division. He remained in this position until 1996. That same year, he became working with Skunk Words of Lockheed Martin. His most recent position within the company, which he began in 2017, is as the Program Manager of the MQ-25. He has also managed and held leadership roles of Next Generation Unmanned Systems, the Advanced System Development, the Vehicle Sciences and Systems, the Propulsion Integrated Product Team and the Venture Star X-33/RLV Propulsion.

Mr. Vinson has received several accolades for his work throughout his career, including an award for the Unmanned Carrier Aviation Air System and the Award for NASA’s Quiet Supersonic Technology. His career development has been aided by memberships to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the National Management Association. He considers the highlight of his career to be the work he contributed to the linear aerospike engine for the X33 program. It was a unique rocket engine design that was intended to advance the state of art in rocket engines.

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