Robert Makofski, 81, an aeronautical engineer who held several administrative positions at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, died Dec. 25 of cancer at a hospital in Rockport, Maine.

His wife, Cathy L. Makofski, confirmed the death.

Mr. Makofski joined the Hopkins laboratory in 1957 and worked on designing hypersonic wind tunnels. He later became assistant director for development and assistant director for laboratory operations before retiring in 1997.

He served on a transportation research board of the National Academy of Sciences and on transportation committees for the old Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. He also was a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins’s main campus in Baltimore and was affiliated with the university’s Center for Metropolitan Planning and Research in the 1970s.

Robert Anthony Makofski was a native of Wanamie, Pa., and a 1952 aeronautical engineering graduate of Pennsylvania State University. He received a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Virginia in 1956.

Before moving to Camden, Maine, in 2004, Mr. Makofski lived in Columbia. He was a former board chairman of Howard County General Hospital.

His first marriage, to Lillian Zapora, ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife since 1993, Cathy Lickteig Makofski of Camden; three children from his first marriage, Richard Makofski of Waller, Tex., David Makofski of Elkridge, Md., and Kathleen Moxley of Ellicott City; two stepchildren, Alex Goldstein of Phoenix and Anna Black of St. Leonard, Md.; a sister; and four granddaughters.

A son from his first marriage, Stephen Makofski, died in 2008.

— Matt Schudel