Chad J. R. Ohlandt

Photo of Chad Ohlandt
Senior Engineer
Washington Office


Ph.D. in aerospace engineering and scientific computing, University of Michigan; M.S. in aerospace engineering, Pennsylvania State University; S.B. in astronautical engineering, M.I.T.


Chad Ohlandt (he/his) is a senior engineer at the RAND Corporation, focusing on defense acquisition, technology policy, and Indo-Pacific issues. His work revolves around the development of requirements and acquisition of advanced aerospace systems to meet civilian, commercial, and national security needs. He also studies foreign aerospace industrial policy and programs including competition, cooperation, and global supply chains with an emphasis on Asia and China.

Ohlandt has served as a senior acquisition analyst in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, & Logistics) providing analysis on the performance of the defense acquisition system from 2011-2013.  He worked in Beijing at the Chinese Academy of Sciences with the NSF East Asia Summer Institute in the summer of 2004 and was a Fulbright scholar in Taiwan in 1999-2000.  He has expertise in computational fluid dynamics, supercomputing, plasma physics, nuclear fusion, hypersonics, and space propulsion.

He has a B.S. in astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a M.S. aerospace engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering and scientific computing from the University of Michigan.

Recent Projects

  • Organization and management of cost analysis community
  • China’s aerospace industry and technical capacity
  • Acquisition management of missile defense systems
  • Aeronautics flight test infrastructure and wind tunnels

Selected Publications

Chad J. R. Ohlandt, Lyle J. Morris, Julia A. Thompson, Arthur Chan, Andrew Scobell, Chinese Investment in U.S. Aviation, RAND (RR-1755), 2017

Jan Osburg, Philip S. Anton, Frank Camm, Jeremy M. Eckhause, Jaime L. Hastings, Jakub P. Hlavka, James G. Kallimani, Thomas Light, Chad J. R. Ohlandt, Douglas Shontz, Abbie Tingstad, Jia Xu, Expanding Flight Research: Capabilities, Needs, and Management Options for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, RAND (RR-1361), 2016

Chad J. R. Ohlandt, "Competition and Collaboration in Space between the U.S., China, and Australia: Woomera to WGS and the Impact of Changing U.S. National Space Security Policy," Asian Survey, 54(2), 2014

Chad J. R. Ohlandt, "Dispelling the Myths of DoD’s Affordability Policy," Defense AT&L Magazine, 42(5), 2013

Philip S. Anton, Liisa Ecola, James G. Kallimani, Thomas Light, Chad J. R. Ohlandt, Jan Osburg, Clifford Grammich, Advancing Aeronautics: a decision framework for selecting research agendas, RAND (MG-997), 2011

Roger Cliff, Chad J. R. Ohlandt, David Yang, Ready for Takeoff: China's Advancing Aerospace Industry, RAND (MG-1100), 2011


  • The United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket launches from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, July 30, 2020, photo by Frank Michaux/NASA

    Navigating Norms for the New Space Era

    To make better progress on global norms for responsible behavior in space, the U.S. defense and intelligence communities might first consider reaching a consensus among themselves on what these norms should be. Until they reconcile their differences the United States will be less likely be in a position to play a leadership role.

    Feb 8, 2021 The National Interest

  • Visitors look at a model of C919 passenger plane during the Asian Aerospace Show in Hong Kong, March 8, 2011

    Should Boeing Fear the PRC's Aerospace Industry? Not in This Decade but Maybe Later

    The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China will probably begin producing its first large commercial aircraft later this decade. But the C919 is unlikely to be technologically or commercially competitive when it arrives, writes Chad J. R. Ohlandt.

    May 14, 2012 Zócalo Public Square