Dr. Donna Cowell Senft, a senior level executive, is Chief Scientist, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. She serves as the AMC commander’s scientific adviser, providing authoritative scientific counsel, technical advice, and guidance throughout the command on AMC core area technical programs. As Chief Scientist, she also engages subject area experts, conducts efforts leading to technological enhancement of AMC capabilities, and advises on the status of scientific and technical quality of AMC, Air Force and Department of Defense programs and solutions to AMC needs.
Dr. Senft’s career has spanned both fundamental and applied research, technology transition to Air Force and DoD missions, and scientific and technical management. She has performed research in a number of technical fields and is the author of four patents and numerous technical articles in the areas of friction and wear, nanotechnology, spacecraft power, and surface science. She served a postdoctoral appointment at Sandia National Laboratories in the Materials Performance and Reliability branch. At the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate, she held positions as bench-level researcher, Advanced Space Power Program Manager, Chief of the Spacecraft Component Technologies Branch, and Technical Area Lead for Responsive Space. More recently at AFRL, Dr. Senft was Mission Area Lead for Space Communications, Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, managing a diverse portfolio that included technologies for next-generation space communications, GPS spacecraft, and GPS-denied navigation.
1983 Bachelor of Science, Engineering Science, Pennsylvania State University, University Park
1985 Master of Science, Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1994 Doctor of Philosophy, Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2008 Air War College, by correspondence
2009 Civilian Leadership Development Course, Office of Personnel Management, Charlottesville, Va.
2015 National and International Strategic Leadership Seminar, Washington, D.C.
1. 1995 – 1998, Postdoctoral Appointment, Materials Performance and Reliability: Adhesion/Corrosion/Tribology Department, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M.
2. 1998 – 2000, Director of Research-and-Development and Quality, Permacharge Corporation, Albuquerque, N.M.
3. 2000 – 2001, Research Physicist, Advanced Space Power Program, Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
4. 2001 – 2005, Program Manager, Advanced Space Power Program, Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
5. 2005 – 2010, Branch Chief, Spacecraft Component Technology Branch, Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
6. 2010 – 2011, Mission Area Lead, Responsive Space, Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
7. 2011 – 2015, Mission Area Lead, Space Communications, Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
8. October 2015 – present, Chief Scientist, Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
AWARDS AND HONORS
Air Force Exemplary Civilian Service Award
Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics – Associate Fellow
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
(Current as of July 2017)