Mr. Darrell K. Phillipson, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is Director, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB), Ohio. In this capacity, he leads the Department of the Air Force’s science and technology (S&T) programs in functional materials, structural materials, manufacturing technology, and systems support for advanced, next-generation space, missile and aircraft applications. The Materials and Manufacturing Directorate consists of a workforce of more than 900 military members, civilians, and contractors executing an annual budget in excess of $400 million.
Mr. Phillipson began his Air Force career in 1989 as an enlisted Airman in Strategic Air Command and was commissioned as an officer after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy. Upon commissioning, he was awarded a scholarship to attend graduate school at Arizona State University where he received a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has held diverse technical and leadership positions encompassing a diverse range of perspectives (enlisted, officer, civil servant, contractor, & business owner). Throughout his career, Mr. Phillipson has excelled in organizational leadership, personnel development, program management, engineering management, supervision, and systems engineering. Mr. Phillipson has held numerous Air Force roles, which include serving as Air Force Science & Technology Authorizing Official, Air Force S&T Principal to the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program, and AFRL Chief Information Officer.
Mr. Phillipson entered federal civilian service in 2007 as Deputy Chief of the AFRL Plans and Programs Space Sector and was Vice Director of AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing prior to being selected for his current position. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2022.
1995 Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, USAF Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1996 Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
1999 Squadron Officer School
2008 Air War College
1. 1989 – 1990, Missile & Space Electronic Maintenance Specialist (E-3; 2MO31A), F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.
2. 1990 – 1991, Cadet, US Air Force Academy Preparatory School, Colorado Springs, Colo.
3. 1991 – 1995, Cadet, US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
4. 1995 – 1996, Student, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Ariz.
5. 1996 – 2001, Chief, Advanced Optics & Imaging Division; Lead Engineer, Advanced Imaging System Program Office; Satellite Systems Engineer, AFRL/RD, Kirtland AFB, New Mex.
6. 2001 – 2003, Senior Systems Engineer, Spectrum Astro Incorporated, Gilbert, Ariz.
7. 2003 – 2004, Registered Representative and Agent, First Command Financial Planning, Glendale, Ariz.
8. 2004 – 2007, Lead Systems Engineer & IR&D Program Manager, Lockheed Martin, Goodyear, Ariz.
9. 2006 – 2007, Horizontal Integration Lead, Lockheed Martin, Goodyear, Ariz.
10. 2007 – 2009, Deputy Chief, Space Division, Plans and Programs Directorate, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
11. 2009 – 2010, Chief, Transformation Branch, Plans and Programs Directorate, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
12. 2010 – 2011, Chief, Strategic Planning & Transformation Division, Plans and Programs Directorate, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
13. 2011 – 2014, Chief, Systems Engineering Division, Engineering and Technical Management Directorate, HQ Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
14. 2014 – 2019, Director, Research Collaboration & Computing Directorate, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
15. 2019 – 2022, Vice Director, 711th Human Performance Wing, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
16. 2022 – present, Director, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
MAJOR AWARDS AND HONORS
Air Force Achievement Medal, 1999
Air Force Commendation Medal, 2000
Lockheed Martin Significant & Special Recognition Awards, 2004 & 2006
AFRL HQ Manager of the Quarter, 4th Quarter, 2008
Air Force Special Act, Demo and Performance Awards, 2008-2011, 2014-2017, & 2019-2021
Air Force Notable Achievement Award, 2012
HQ Air Force Materiel Command Engineering and Technical Management Civilian of the Year, 2013
Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, 2014
(Current as of April 2022)