MIT Sloan Executive Education
Certificate Holder Profile
Walter D. Downing
Executive Vice President
Southwest Research Institute
Walter Downing serves as the chief operating officer of SwRI, an independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organization that provides innovative technical solutions in the physical sciences and engineering disciplines. He directs the activities of eleven technical operating divisions. He is also a member of the SwRI Board of Directors.
Prior to assuming responsibility for SwRI's technical operations, Walter served as a senior research engineer in electronics systems. He was promoted to positions of increasing management responsibility as section manager and department director before becoming vice president of the Avionics and Support Systems Division. As division vice president, his job functions included planning, organizing, and directing research and development in the field of avionics and associated aerospace electronics, including technologies for training, maintenance, and logistics support.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the MIT Sloan programs in executive management and leadership and gained useful insight into the problems and issues that a new technical executive must learn to deal with on a daily basis. I was particularly impressed by the practical examples of management practices based on research performed by the Sloan faculty.”
Walter holds a BS in electrical engineering from Southern Methodist University and an MBA in management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is a registered professional engineer in the states of Texas and Florida. He has been a management instructor at the University of Texas at San Antonio and serves on several colleges' industry advisory boards.