Dale Stuart, ScD, PhD

1982 Hertz Fellow
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Dale Stuart has achieved world-class recognition in numerous endeavors. Her diverse range of interests and careers tell the story of a person fulfilling dreams and living life with intensity and passion.

Dale received her doctorate of science in aerospace engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and then joined Thompson Ramo Wooldridge Inc. (TRW) as an aerospace engineer, designing satellites and scientific spacecraft for NASA. She was responsible for spacecraft mission planning and spacecraft flight software development. She received five promotions in three years on the basis of her leadership, management, and technical skills.

Despite her professional success, Dale left the field of aerospace to pursue a career as a competition skydiver. Dale became a seven-time world champion in freestyle skydiving, an event that involves performing a choreographed routine of gymnastics and dance-type moves during the 60 seconds of freefall before opening her parachute. As the multi-time world champion, Dale made numerous appearances on primetime network television and performed skydiving stunts in Hollywood movies and TV shows. Her elegant performances boosted the public image of the sport from one comprised of daredevil thrillseekers to one with sophisticated and refined performers.

Dale competed as a sponsored professional athlete for seven years and upon retiring from competition, she served as a U.S. National and FAI International Judge. She developed the U.S. national and international judge training curricula and delivered the first official U.S. national and international judge certification courses.

Following her skydiving career, Dale returned to school and obtained her PhD in clinical psychology, graduating at the top of her class. She then started a private clinical practice to focus on her interest in working with and supporting the growth of other gifted individuals. She has been a frequent invited presenter and keynote speaker at conferences focusing on the unique social and emotional needs of the gifted.

At our February 2021 Innovation Hour, Dale led a conversation about career transition within and outside of the sciences.

Graduate Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aerospace Engineering
A Guidance Algorithm for Cooperative Tether-Mediated Orbital Rendezvous

Undergraduate Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


1992–1993, Senior Leadership Program, TRW
1991, Woman of Achievement Award, TRW
1990, Leadership Award, YWCA
1989-1992, High-Potentials Management Program, TRW
1987, Hertz Thesis Prize, Fannie and John Hertz Foundation
1985, First place, Graduate Technical Paper Competition, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics National
1984, First place, International Student Technical Paper Competition, International Astronautical Federation
1982, James Means Prize in Flight Vehicle Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology