Women in Technology Hall of Fame

Dr. Bonnie J Dunbar

Dr. Bonnie J Dunbar

NASA Astronaut, Assistant Director of University Research/ Affairs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA

Inducted in 2000

Bonnie Dunbar is a professor of aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University and serves as director of the Institute for Engineering Education and Innovation.

As NASA mission specialist astronaut and veteran of five space flights, Bonnie spent over 50 days in space. She served as the payload commander on two flights, including the first space shuttle docking mission to the Russian Space Station, Mir.

Before working with NASA, she was a senior research engineer at the Rockwell International Space Division, where she helped develop the equipment and processes for manufacturing the thermal protection system for the space shuttle.

Bonnie has received many awards and honors.

These include: the James I. Mueller Award from the American Ceramics Society (ACerS); five NASA Space Flight Medals; the NASA Superior Accomplishment Award; the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal; the NASA Outstanding Leadership Award; the NASA Distinguished Service Medal; the Design News Engineering Achievement Award; the Judith A. Resnik Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; the Resnik Challenger Medal from the Society of Women Engineers; the Pathfinder Award from the Museum of Flight and the National Engineering Award from the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons.

She also received: the Exceptional Service Award from NASA; the University of Houston Distinguished Engineering Alumna; the President's Award from the Materials Research Society; the Schwaltzwalder P.A.C.E. Award from the ACerS; the University of Washington Engineering Alumni Achievement; Exceptional Service Medal from NASA; General Jimmy Doolittle Fellow of the Aerospace Education Foundation; the Public Service in Space Award from the Evergreen Safety Council; the Greaves-Walker Award from the ACerS; and the Rockwell International Engineer of the Year.

Bonnie has held board positions, memberships, and fellowships with the following organizations: American Society of Mechanical Engineers; ACerS (life membership); NICE Systems Ltd.; Keramos; the Society of Biomedical Engineering; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Tau Beta Pi; (MRS); board of directors at the Arnold Air Society and Angel Flight; board of trustees at Silver Wings; the International Academy of Astronautics; the Experimental Aircraft Association; SWE; the Association of Space Explorers; the National Science Foundation; she is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; she was a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineers.

Bonnie earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ceramic engineering from the University of Washington, and her PhD in mechanical and biomedical engineering from the University of Houston.

Astronaut Scholarship