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Richard P. Scudder

Senior Unmanned Systems Engineer

University of Dayton Research Institute: Sensor and Software Systems


Email: Richard Scudder
Phone: 937-656-9024 | 937-266-4871
WPAFB Bldg 15 Rm 104
Website: Visit Site


Richard Scudder is Group Lead for the UDRI Engineering Systems Solutions (ESS) Group which is the successor to the Center for UAS Exploitation (CUE) established in September 2009 to meet increasing demand for sensor & payload integration, rapid prototyping, and test & evaluation (T&E) of unmanned systems. ESS is co-located with the Air Force Research Laboratory Center for Rapid Innovation (AFRL-CRI) at the Wright Brothers Institute Tec^Edge Works facility. UDRI ESS supports multi-disciplinary collaboration between a wide spectrum of government, industry, and academic partners. Seven workcenters have been established and outfitted with state-of-the art CAD suites and CNC fabrication equipment for the forward- and reverse-engineering of urgent warfighter requirements and 21st century updates to legacy systems:

  • Communication & Navigation
  • Power & Propulsion
  • Rapid Prototyping & Precision Fabrication (electromechanical, electronics, structures)     
  • Control Systems
  • T & E  

Richard served in the United States Navy for 28 years culminating in the rank of Captain (O-6). CAPT(ret) Scudder completed five and a half world-wide deployments aboard five different Carrier Battle Groups, and saw action in Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM, DESERT FOX, and SOUTHERN WATCH. He also deployed with Joint Task Force 188 for Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in Haiti. He served as Commanding Officer of the HS-7 “Dusty Dogs” from 1999-2000, and Vice Commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) 2006-2009.

His Navy shore tours were focused exclusively on T&E of Navy aviation platforms and weapons. While serving with the VX-1 “Pioneers,” he conducted the Operational Evaluation of the new SH-60F helicopter contributing to its DoD production approval and Fleet introduction. As Assistant Program Manager for T&E at the Naval Air Systems Command, he coordinated all aspects of developmental, live fire and operational testing for fifteen acquisition programs including the USMC H-1 Upgrades, H-53, and H-60 series aircraft; Standoff Land Attack Missile; and the Joint Standoff Weapon family of precision strike munitions. The DoD designated him as an Acquisition Professional in June 1997. Prior to his final assignment at AFIT, CAPT(ret) Scudder served as T&E Division Director (N912) on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff, coordinating policy, oversight and Congressional liaison for all of the Navy’s acquisition programs and T&E infrastructure.


  • M.A., National Security and Strategic Studies, Naval War College, Newport, RI, 2002
  • Graduate Certificate, Aviation Safety, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, 1992
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Bridgeport (Connecticut), 1981

Qualifications and Designations

  • FAA Commercial and Instrument pilot (fixed and rotary wing)
  • Department of Defense Acquisition Professional
  • Defense Acquisition Workforce Certifications
  • Test and Evaluation (Level III)
  • Program Management (Level II)
  • Systems Programming, R&D and Engineering (Level III)

Aviation Experience

4,250 mishap-free flight hours in 17 models of Navy and civilian aircraft