Dr. Whalen has over 30 years experience as an engineering manager in the satellite
communications business. He has worked for manufacturers (Loral, RCA/Lockheed) and
operators (RCA/SES Americom, AsiaSat)-as well as for systems engineering organizations
(BDM, Ford Aerospace). His original expertise was in flight dynamics (orbit and
attitude control), but his experience evolved into mission management and executive
management. His technical career peaked as Chief Engineer (General Manager Engineering)
for Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company in Hong Kong.
Much of Dr. Whalen's career was spent in other countries-especially Japan, India,
and Hong Kong. He is a fluent/native speaker of English and Spanish, with some basic
capabilities in French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Italian, and Chinese.
His initial experience as Supervisor Celestial Mechanics at Western Union in 1974-1975
caused him to wonder at the decisions of upper management. These decisions seemed
to run counter to what was best from an engineering point of view. This began an
interest in the politics and economics of engineering development that lead to an
Executive MBA and a PhD in Public Policy (Science & Technology/Space Policy).
Dr. Whalen's current efforts revolve around the completion of his book on the COMSAT
Corporation-the second volume of what he hopes will be a trilogy on the development
of satellite communications. The first volume, Origins of Satellite Communications
1945-1965, covered the early interest in satellite communications and technical/political
developments up through the launch of Early Bird in 1965. The COMSAT book covers
"international satellite communications" from the origins of COMSAT and Intelsat
in the early 1960s to the dissolution of COMSAT in 2001. The third volume will emphasize
the development of television distribution and broadcasting via satellite.
He also contributes articles and presentations on satellite communications and other
current topics of interest, including: export control, militarization of space,
launch vehicles, and applications satellites. His chapter on the societal implications
of applications satellites will appear in a NASA publication to be released in early
BA, Astronomy, Boston University
MS, Astronomy, University of Massachusetts
MBA, Executive Program, College of William & Mary
PhD, Public Policy, George Washington University