Quinlan works a senior aerospace engineer in the Aeronautics Systems Analysis Branch and leads a team of conceptual aircraft designers and systems analysts with a focus on applications to large, commercial, transport aircraft for the NASA Advanced Air Transport Technology Project. As the AATT lead for Systems Analysis & Integration, he manages the development and execution of a broad portfolio of aircraft concept development, design, and technology assessment ranging from current state-of-the-art to 2045 and beyond. 

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering at UVA in 2009 and his Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering in 2015. His academic career also includes a master’s degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining NASA, Quinlan collaborated closely with researchers at Sandia National Laboratories, the National Institute of Aerospace, NASA Langley Research Center and NASA Headquarters throughout his master’s and Ph.D. programs.

While a student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 11 years ago, Quinlan led an AWARD-WINNING AIRCRAFT DESIGN PROJECT as a part of his own capstone project. Fast-forward to present day, when he works as a senior aerospace engineer at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

His previous research experience extends beyond aircraft design, to include computational fluid dynamics for supersonic combustion, aeroelastic analysis of advanced aircraft concepts, model-based engineering and optimization and space systems architecture analysis. These prior research efforts led to: novel combustion models for supersonic combustion, helping to drastically speed up large-eddy simulations of scramjet combustors; NASA software for automating parametric aeroservoelastic analyses of advanced aircraft concepts like the hybrid wing body and NASA D8; and development of innovative space systems architectures for orbital debris remediation. 

Quinlan began teaching the fourth-year, aerospace engineering aircraft design capstone course sequence in fall, 2020.