Missile defense pioneer, Dr. Julian Davidson, dies at 86 - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Missile defense pioneer, Dr. Julian Davidson, dies at 86

Dr. Davidson (Source: Davidson Technologies) Dr. Davidson (Source: Davidson Technologies)

Dr. Julian Davidson, founder of Davidson Technologies, has died at the age of 86.

Davidson died Thursday night at UAB Hospital in Birmingham.

He was a pioneer of space and missile defense with a career that spanned nearly 60 years. Davidson also contributed to the Huntsville Community.

A public memorial service will be held for him at the Davidson Center at the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville at 2PM on Monday, February 4th.

Below is Davidson's bio:

Dr. Julian Davidson is a native of Oakman, Alabama, in Walker County.  He received a bachelor's degree of Electrical Engineering from Auburn University, and a Doctor of Science degree from the Southeastern Institute of Technology.  He has nearly 60 years of professional experience in missile systems technology and electronic systems including 50 years experience in missile defense technology.

Dr. Davidson founded Davidson Technologies Incorporated in 1996.  He currently serves as Chairman of the Board.  Davidson Technologies provides high-level technical and managerial consulting work on government programs in the defense industry, primarily in the ballistic missile defense area (both strategic and tactical). 

Dr. Davidson spent over 16 years in the Ballistic Missile Defense programs area and held positions of increasing levels of responsibility culminating with his appointment as BMD Deputy Program Manager.  As Deputy Program Manager, his responsibilities included testifying before Congress on all matters related to U.S. BMD programs and policy.  He also managed an organization with several thousand personnel and controlled programs with funding levels of several billions of dollars.  During his tenure with this program, Dr. Davidson was the first director of the Advanced Ballistic Missile Defense Agency where he was responsible for all U.S. BMD advanced technology development.  Before this, Dr. Davidson was involved with the system design of BMD including the design of radar interceptor missiles, and data processing hardware and software as well as system engineering and integration.  Dr. Davidson performed the deployment analysis that led to the decision for the first and only deployment of the ballistic missile defense system in the United States. Dr. Davidson pioneered the use of System Engineering for Ballistic Missile Defense. 

After leaving the federal government, Dr. Davidson held senior positions with Burroughs Corporation, Science Applications International Corporation and Booz-Allen & Hamilton Incorporated.


Dr. Davidson has served as member and chairman of numerous committees and panels dealing with missiles including BMD and military and space systems.  He has served as the Chairman of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Mission and Flight Readiness Boeing Independent Review Team.  Dr. Davidson has written several policy and technical papers addressing the GMD systems including organizational studies and issues.

Dr. Davidson is a former chairman of the Air Force Studies Board of the National Research Council and a former Vice Chairman of the Technology Assessment Committee of the U.S. Space Command for the National Research Council.  Dr. Davidson twice received the Army Exceptional Civilian Service Award and he has received the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award and the Medaris Award.  He is a member of the U.S. Army Strategic Defense Employee Hall of Fame.

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