Perhaps the most successful aeronautical research program ever conducted by NASA, the X-15 paved the way
for hypersonic flight as well as space travel. Even today, this aircraft holds most altitude and speed
records for man-piloted winged aircraft.
Biography: Matt Walker is a mechanical engineer who specializes in thermodynamics, combustion, and
fluids. His past research has involved catalytically assisted combustion of kerosene fuels in
reciprocating engines. Currently, he works for a premier rocket systems company performing fluid dynamic
and combustion analyses that support various space and defense programs. His primary interests are
high-speed airbreathing propulsion and advanced solid rocket technologies. Projects that Matt has
supported include the X-43 scramjet research vehicle, NASA's Rocket Based Combined Cycle flight test
fixture, and the Ares 1 Crew Launch Vehicle. Matt is married with two children and is currently working on
his doctorate degree in chemical engineering.
Professional Interests: Airbreathing propulsion, thermodynamics, combustion, gas dynamics,
rocketry, computer programming.
Personal Interests: Aviation history, radio controlled airplanes, motorcycles, camping, hunting,
fly fishing, engineering education.
Selected Memberships: Academy of Model Aeronautics
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Order of the Engineer
Selected Honors & Awards:
Selected Publications: Walker, M., Clarke, E., Cordon, D., Steciak, J., Beyerlein, S., Cherry, M., JP-8 Genset Operation
Under Cold Chamber Conditions, Joint Meeting of the US Sections of the Combustion Institute, Chicago,
Walker, M., Clarke, E., Cordon, D., Steciak, J., Beyerlein, S., Cherry, M., Modeling
Catalytically-Assisted Combustion of JP-8 Fuel in Small Homogeneous Charge Engines, Meeting of the
Western States Section of the Combustion Institute, San Diego, CA, 2002.
Walker, M., Cordon, D., Clarke, E., Beyerlein, S., Steciak, J., Cherry, M., Gasoline Genset
Conversion for JP-8 Operation, Meeting of the Western States Section of the Combustion Institute, Salt
Lake City, UT, 2001.
Gerbus, D., Cordon, D., Walker, M., Drew, R., Odom, E., Beyerlein, S., Rink, K., Improving the
Professional Skills of Engineering Graduate Students through Capstone Project Mentoring in IEWorks,
Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition.
Cordon, D., Clarke, E., Westra, L., Allen, N., Cunnington, M., Drew, B., Gerbus, D., Klein, M.,
Walker, M., Odom, E., Beyerlein, S., Rink, K., Shop Orientation to Enhance Design for Manufacturing in
Capstone Projects, Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference