Eugene W. Wasielewski earned a B.S. degree in mechanical and aeronautical engineering and an M.S. in engineering mechanics from the University of Michigan. He worked in the private aircraft industry before going to work for Lewis Laboratory from 1947 to 1956. There he directed the design and construction of major engine-testing laboratories and supersonic wind tunnels; he also served as chief of the engine research division and as assistant director. He returned to private industry and then became associate director of Goddard Space Flight Center in October 1960. As such, he was the principal institutional manager under the director of the center.