The retired NASA Senior Project Engineer (Aerospace Engineer), in the Systems Engineering Directrate (SED). Served as a Senior Technical Project/Program Lead, Project Manger, Principle Investigator, Senior Systems Manager, Instrument Manager, Consultant, or engineering specialist. He led multidiscipline engineering teams that perform research trade-off studies, design, structural and thermal analysis, development, assembly, developmental/ qualification/environmental testing, integration, and operation of aerospace flight experiments and/or laboratory research systems. Among his engineering activities was project management of both the private sector and Government organizations, LaRC representative for the NESC Mechanical Systems Super Problem Resolution Team, “Senior Engineer” on SED Chief Engineer’s Board, and LaRC’s representative to the AIAA Design Engineering Technical Committee. He has authored a number of publications, which are making impacts on the state-of-the-art design of research systems. The work is opening the way for further developments in the areas of robotics, actuator structures systems design.
His final assignment was as Deputy Project manager for the Launch Abort Systems Flight Test Article, which will be the first launch for the Orion project. Some of his other project assignments included:
Principle Investigator for the STAR project
Systems Engineer for the Scram Jet Experiment
Chief Engineer, subscale technology demonstrator
Lead Systems Engineer Hyper-X 43C project
Chief Engineer for the Variable Geometry Truss
Chief Engineer NGST high precision actuator
Erik Axdahl is a graduate research assistant with the National Institute of Aerospace working to develop advanced entry, descent, and landing technologies for NASA Langley Research Center. His current research includes inflatable decelerators for landing future large payloads on Mars. Erik graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Minnesota and is currently enrolled with the Georgia Tech aerospace program.
Bruce Banks is a consultant to Alphaport supporting the NASA Glenn Research Center after his retirement from 41 years at NASA. He has conducted research activities in electric propulsion technology, thin film coatings, surface texturing processes and space environment durability. He has authored 184 technical publications, 31 NASA Tech Briefs, 37 patents and conducted 57 space flight experiments during his career. He has received 147 invention and meritorious performance awards. Bruce Banks is the most patented researcher in the history of NASA Glenn Research Center.
Tom Benson is a senior research engineer at the NASA Glenn Research Center. For the last 35 years he has built, tested, verified and applied large computer programs that model the flow of gases through high speed airplane engine components. He is also the author of The Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics, an educational web site that describes the math and science associated with airplanes, turbine engines, model rockets, and kites.
Glenn has 34 years experience as an aerospace technician operating and maintaining subsonic, transonic and hypersonic wind tunnels and aero-acoustic facilities at NASA Langley Research Center. He has tested models of aircraft, Space Shuttle, hypersonic propulsion engines, reentry vehicles, and aircraft noise reduction concepts. He supported tests of a hypersonic scramjet engine that flew at Mach 10 and set a Guinness World Record.
Larry is a quality assurance specialist and certified metallurgist for NASA Langley Research Center. He inspects materials for aircraft, spacecraft, and wind tunnel models. These materials have been used on Earth-observing and Mars-observing satellites, a rocket-powered aircraft designed to fly on Mars, a cryogenic wind tunnel, and models of Orion, which will return humans to the moon.
Rich Coppenbarger has been with NASA Ames Research Center since 1988, he has a B.S in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. He earned his M.S in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Stanford University. Mr. Coppenbarger, has undertaken a pivotal role in transferring critical technologies – developed under NASA’s Airspace Systems Program – to the FAA for near-term deployment.
Luci is a senior flight operations engineer at NASA Langley Research Center. She is an expert on guiding scientists from ideas to proof of concept in a flight test. She knew from childhood that she wanted to be involved in aviation. She has conducted flight operations in many states and also has a background in flight simulation, aging aircraft, and runway friction studies.
Dr. Edwards is an internationally recognized expert in space environmental effects on materials. He has designed, assembled, and operated multiple space environment test facilities and worked with numerous NASA spacecraft programs to assess spacecraft materials performance in mission defined space environments. Dr. Edwards has worked in the discipline of space environments and effects for over 20 years and presently leads the Natural Environments Branch at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
Johnny is a technical team lead at NASA Langley Research Center. He has over 25 years experience in hypersonic aerothermodynamics wind tunnel operations, data acquisition, and model setup. He is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Metal.
A Senior Mechanical Engineering Technician with the National Aeronautical Space Administration, Glenn Research Center, located in Cleveland Ohio. Bob has 28 years of extensive experience using a variety of aerospace materials to help design and manufacture prototype and space flight hardware. Bob has a broad background working with industry, aerospace manufactures, and academia. Mr. Everett is often consulted for his expertise in Electro-discharge machining processes.
Mr. Fretter joined the NASA Ames Research Center in May 2001 acting as the Arc Jet Facilities Operational Manager for the Thermophysics Facilities Branch, Space Technology Division. In 2004, Mr. Fretter became the Manager of Arc Jet Business Development, spreading the word on the Ames Arc jets and Ballistic Ranges, capabilities, and costing options. Ernest also serves as the Arc Jet Spokesperson in tours and represents the Branch, Division and Ames Research Center at many NASA exhibits at various aerospace conferences nationwide. Prior to NASA employment, Mr. Fretter was a consultant to the Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerspaziali (CIRA) near Naples, Italy, acting as Commissioning Advisor to CIRA management for the start up of world’s largest Arcjet reentry simulation test facility.
As an aerospace engineer at NASA Langley Research Center, Greg has conducted wind tunnel investigations on various aircraft for 25 years. These investigations have included advanced fighters, National Aero-Space Plane, and subsonic transports. He has examined the effects of engine power, high-lift systems, control surface deflections, and variations in configurations, with results often leading to improvements in vehicle designs.
George is an Aerospace Engineer at NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC). He has supported the Integration and launch of many of NASA’s scientific and planetary missions such as the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), the GOES weather satellites, the Cassini mission, the Gravity Probe B mission, and recently the STEREO mission. He is the principal investigator for several research projects, and presently is developing the Ground Systems for the Constellation Program at KSC. He has a Master Degree in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida. George is fluent in French and Arabic. He lives with his wife and three boys in Melbourne, Florida.
I was born in 1958, the same year NASA was formed, and grew up on a little farm in rural Morgan County. My dad farmed and worked in a chemical plant on Redstone Arsenal. My mom kept house and made a garden. Life was as ordinary as country life gets, except when NASA ran a big engine test.
Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) began full-duration firings of the first stage of the Saturn V, the S-IC, in August 1965. The S-IC static test stand at MSFC faces west. My parents’ farm on Brindlee Mountain was 10 miles away to the south, but when the first stage would fire, it would shake our little house. The windows would rattle. I would run out in the yard, where I could HEAR the rumbling thunder of the engines. The ground would be shaking, the windows rattling, and in my chest, I could FEEL the vibrations. I knew then, THAT was NASA, and THAT was what I wanted to do.
I grew up, won a scholarship to The University of Alabama in Huntsville, and became an MSFC co-op student in March 1979. My first job was on the S-IC stand, the very stand where the Saturn V firings had occurred 14 years earlier. The S-IC was long gone, and we were doing cryostructural testing of the External Tank, but I was a NASA employee. NASA is the only full-time employer I have ever had, and being one of its employees is the only job I ever wanted.
I am presently completing a year-long assignment at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, and at the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. I will return to MSFC’s Engineering Directorate in September.
Wendy got interested in aircrafts and space flight during her time as a police officer leading to her profession as an aerospace engineer at NASA where she develops procedures to facilitate air traffic control. In addition she serves as the team project manager for an all-girls robotics team, the Space Cookies, and offers technical advice in building a robot for the FIRST Robotics challenge.
Bartt Hebert serves a Chief Engineer at the NASA John C Stennis Space Center in located southwest Mississippi. He has 20+ years experience in the design, construction, activation and operations of large scale rocket engine test facilities, including Space Shuttle Main Engine testing. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Casey Kirchner is a native of Omaha, NE, and a graduate of Purdue University (B.S. Aerospace Engineering) and University of New Orleans (M.S. Engineering Management). Casey first joined NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Here, she discovered that she enjoyed work related to rocket propulsion, and in time transferred to Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi. At Stennis, Casey has worked as a rocket engine test conductor and as a propulsion and piping design engineer.
Parimal Kopardekar holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering in Production Engineering. works as a Pricipal Investigator for the NextGen Airspace Systems Project at the NASA Ames Research Center. Prior to working at NASA, he worked for the Federal Aviation Administration where he conducted research and development activities in the area of air traffic management.
Kevin currently serves as a Senior Systems Engineer for the Crew Exploration Vehicle Thermal Protection System Advanced Development Project (CEV TPS ADP) at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, focusing on subsystem and interface requirements development. Mr. Langan began his career at the Air Force Research Laboratory, where he specialized in flight performance methods, trajectory optimization development, and applied aerodynamics. At NASA, Mr. Langan has been involved in numerous projects including the Hyper-X Project and the Next Generation Launch Vehicle’s Systems Analysis Project, where he developed organizational design and modeling techniques. Mr. Langan is employed with Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), also in Hampton, VA.
Nils Larson is a research pilot in the Flight Crew Branch of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. Larson joined NASA in February 2007 and will fly the F-15, F-18, T-38 and ER-2.
Prior to joining NASA, Larson was on active duty with the U.S. Air Force. He has accumulated more that 4,900 hours of military and civilian flight experience in more than 70 fixed and rotary winged aircraft.
Larson completed undergraduate pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Chandler, Ariz., in 1987. He remained at Williams as a T-37 instructor pilot.
In 1991, Larson was assigned to Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as a U-2 pilot. He flew 88 operational missions from Korea, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Panama and other locations.
Larson graduated from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in Class 95A. He became a flight commander and assistant operations officer for the 445th squadron at Edwards. He flew the radar, avionics integration and engine tests in F-15 A-D, the early flights of the glass cockpit T-38C and airworthiness flights of the Coast Guard RU-38.
He was selected to serve as an Air Force exchange instructor at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, Md. He taught systems and fixed-wing flight test and flew as an instructor pilot in the F-18, T-2, U-6A Beaver and X-26 Schweizer sailplane.
Larson commanded U-2 operations for Warner Robins Air Logistics Center's Detachment 2 located in Palmdale, Calif. In addition to flying the U-2, Larson supervised the aircraft's depot maintenance and flight test.
He was the deputy group commander for the 412th Operations Group at Edwards before retiring from active duty in 2007 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
His first experience with NASA was at the Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, where he served a college summer internship working on arcjet engines.
Larson is a native of Bethany, W.Va,, and received his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in astronautical engineering. He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
Joe Lavelle is a Senior Research Engineer at NASA Ames near San Francisco, California, where he manages the 3D vision research laboratory and has been working for the last 23 years. His laboratory has produced 3D vision systems for critical NASA applications including inspection and evaluation of Space Shuttle Tiles and health monitoring of space craft, and planetary rover guidance and terrain mapping. He received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2007.
A three time recipient of the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) Craftsmanship Award, Herb began his career at NASA in the Wood Model Shop in 1979 where he used a wide range of materials to design and build research hardware that supported both aeronautics and space research projects. In 1990, Herb tested a variety of carbon fiber materials that supported GRC's jet engine development projects. In 1999, he contributed in the development of the current Rapid Prototyping Department in the Manufacturing Technologies Division where he utilizes the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS),Stereolithograghy (SLA), and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technologies to support aeronautics research projects.
Sally Ann Little is another NASA engineer who is getting to live her childhood dream of working for the space program. She is from rural, southeastern Ohio where it's still dark enough to see the stars at night. She is currently at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama running the Propulsion Research and Development Laboratory. During the critical period of recovery and return-to-flight after the Challenger tragedy, Sally Ann served as the Center Director's top assistant. Previously, she conducted numerous applied research studies involving earth-based simulations and spaceflights on the Space Shuttle to address space environmental effects issues for Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station and other long-duration spacecraft.
Bryon Maynard is a Rocket Propulsion Test System Engineer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He is a recognized expert for Thrust Measurement of Space Propulsion Systems. Maynard prepared flight hardware for missions on Space Shuttle during his early years with NASA. He is currently working on the development and building of a new facility to test future Space Vehicle Propulsion Systems at altitude. B.S. in Physics from University of South Florida and M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida.
Bradley Messer is currently Chief, Systems Engineering and Integration Division, Engineering and Science Directorate at NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, responsible for managing systems engineering on a number of propulsion ground test programs including the J2-X. Previously, Mr. Messer served as a senior project engineer for the Space Shuttle Program, External Tank Project Office at Marshall Space Flight Centers Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) during their Return to Flight effort. Brad received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering at the Mississippi State University.
Elizabeth Messer is currently a Process Integration Engineer for the Engineering and Science Directorate at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, responsible for designing and managing the SSC Design and Data Management System. She leads a team in developing and improving test and test support processes. Previously, Ms. Messer served as a Test Conductor for the E1 Test Stand and Facility Lead/Test Engineer at the B2 Test Stand. Before arriving at Stennis Space Center in 1996, Ms. Messer worked at Marshall Space Flight Center as a Rocket Turbomachinery Development Engineer and then as a Space Shuttle Main Engine Operations Engineer. Ms. Messer received her B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from Mississippi State University in 1988.
Mrs. Miller has worked as a research engineer at the NASA Glenn Research Center for 27 years. Her primary focus has been on environmental durability testing of power system materials to the low Earth orbit environment. She has also been heavily involved in the development of coatings and surface modification techniques to make materials more durable and/or to enhance properties such as heat transfer and optical performance for Earth applications as well as space based applications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, summa cum laude, from Cleveland State University in Cleveland Ohio and Masters Degrees in both Materials Science and Business Administration (Weatherhead School of Management) from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Her research has resulted in ninety-two publications. She holds five patents and has received numerous awards including a 2002 R&D 100 Award, Most Innovative New Technology award from R&D Magazine, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the Outstanding Federal Service Award from the Federal Executive Board. She also is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Ohio.
Candice Nance works as a Marketing Coordinator for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs at NASA Ames Research Center in the heart of California's Silicon Valley. The SBIR and STTR Programs provide opportunities for small businesses and research institutions to work with NASA to advance proposed innovations and transition resulting technologies, products and services into NASA mission programs and other markets. Candice's job duties combine her experience in marketing with her technical experience as a private pilot.
Rosa Obregón, a native of Corpus Christi, TX, is the lead mechanical engineer for the Engineering and Science Directorate's E-1 Test Stand at NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. She has been a test conductor for a hybrid rocket test program and the Return-to-Flight External Tank Ice Frost Formation test program which resulted in recognition by Latina Magazine as part of the "Top 10 Women of the Year" in 2005. Prior to Stennis, Ms. Obregón interned at NASA Glenn Research Center's National Center for Microgravity Research (NCMR). Ms. Obregón received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from MIT in 2004 and is currently working on her MBA at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Although Sam Ortega graduated from a Texas High School, he attended 9 different schools from 1st grade through college and claims a majority of the United States as his hometown. Moving around the U.S. provided a diverse background and a desire to experience new things. As an engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center Sam has maintained the ability to experience a wide array of areas working as a structural analyst, microgravity scientist and a solid rocket propulsion engineer.
Ben Powell is the Operations Manager for the B-Test Complex (Engineering and Science Directorate) at Stennis Space Center (SSC). With a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Mississippi State University (MSU), Mr. Powell’s engineering experience spans years of working developmental propulsion test programs (special emphasis on Test Facility Control Systems, Instrumentation, and Mechanical Engineering) and support to the Rocket Propulsion Test Management Board for the Agency. Mr. Powell’s current assignments include management of the multi-million dollar test facility and support systems in support of commercial and NASA propulsion test projects.
Christine Powell is the Branch Lead for Systems and Test Integration (Engineering and Science Directorate) at Stennis Space Center (SSC). With a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Mississippi State University (MSU) and a Master of Science Degree in Engineering Management from the University of New Orleans (UNO), Ms Powell’s engineering experience spans years of working developmental propulsion test programs (special emphasis on Test Facility Control Systems, Instrumentation and Systems Engineering). Ms Powell’s current assignments include representing SSC within the Agency’s Systems Engineering Working Group (SEWG) and leading a team of systems engineers supporting Propulsion Test Facility and Infrastructure efforts to test the J-2X Engine.
Dr. Prevot received his doctorate in aerospace engineering from the Munich University of the German Armed forces in 1995. For the past fifteen years, Tom has been engaged in research on future air transportation concepts with a focus on air traffic controller and flight crew interaction with advanced air and ground automation.
Ron Reisman has BA in Philosophy and Classical Greek, and an MS in Computer Science. He joined NASA Ames Research Center in 1988 as one of the original members of the Center Tracon Automation System development team. Since the late 1990s he has worked on traffic flow management research and development. He is currently supporting the Next Generation Air Traffic System research.
As a young Star Trek fan, Ms. Riley was inspired by the diversity of the crew and knew that one day she wanted to work in the same type of inclusive environment. So, today she manages engineers who build and test much of the equipment that gets installed during a Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission. She ensures that the equipment that allows the spacecraft to point and turn to its new imaging targets works properly and she trains the astronauts to perform on-orbit equipment replacement. In the past 15 years, Ms. Riley also provided engineering support for the Landsat and Earth Observing Satellite Terra missions.
Steve Taylor is currently Deputy Chief, Systems Engineering and Integration Division, Engineering and Science Directorate at NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, responsible for the managing systems engineering on a number of propulsion ground test programs including the J-2x. Previously, Mr. Taylor served as a Test Director in NASA Stennis’ E-Complex on a number of propulsion test development programs. Steve received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University and a M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Dr. Ethiraj “ Raj” Venkatapathy is currently the Flight System Lead responsible for the hardware development, testing and analysis in support of the CEV Orion Heat Shield design. Currently NASA is assessing two different heat shield concepts and as a result, NASA team headed by Raj under the CEV TPS Advanced Development Project oversee the development of a heat shield based on Apollo design as well as another design based on the heat shield used in Stardust Capsule. Raj’s technical team is spread around 8 NASA Centers and the team manages multiple contractor work forces spread between southern California to Maine.
In addition, Raj is currently the Chief Technologist of the Space Technology Division at NASA Ames Research Center and his responsibilities include oversight of technical work for both human and robotic missions. He has been a NASA employee for the past 6 years and prior to that he was the President/Director of Research for a small Research Company called ELORET. He has been supporting NASA missions for the past 30 years including Space Shuttle Orbiter, Galileo Probe, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Exploration Rovers, Stardust Sample Return Mission, Genesis Sample Return Mission, Mars Science Laboratory, X-33, X-34, X-38, etc. He has been involved with NASA missions studies for future human missions to Mars and robotic missions to Venus, Saturn and Jupiter.
The primary area of his focus in all of these missions has been entry heating and thermal protection system.
Kate Wallace is an electrical engineer at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. She has worked in both main lines of business at Stennis, propulsion testing and remonte sensing. She has done extensive work in instrumentation, control systems, and data collection for all of the Stennis test stands. She is currently the Elementary and Secondary Education Lead and focuses on bringing the excitement of NASA to school-age children.
Dr. Robert D. Windhorst received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Davis, and was granted a PhD from Santa Clara University. Currently, he serves as chief of the Aerospace Operations Modeling Branch, a position he has held for two years. From this position, he directs research of concepts for managing air traffic.
Bill Wrobel, Assistant Associate Administrator for Launch Services at NASA Headquarters. Bill has responsibility for the administration, management and direction for the acquisition and certification of expendable launch vehicles within NASA. In addition, he manages the overall policy definition, strategic planning, direction and administration of the Rocket Propulsion Test program.
1974-1979 Student of Engineering(Naval Architecture) at the University of Tokyo
1982 Master’s degree in Engineering at the School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo
1982-1983 Engineer of the Structure Department, NASDA
1983-1985 Engineer of the Test Department, NASDA
1985-1986 Engineer of the Space Experiment Group, NASDA
1987-1987 Liaison Engineer at Johnson Space Center
1988-1990 Deputy manager of the General Affairs Division, General Affairs Department, NASDA
1991-1991 Visiting researcher of the Space Policy Institute, George Washington University, and Intern of the Science Committee, US Congress
1992-1997 Associate Senior Engineer of the Space Environment Utilization Group, NASDA Participate in the Space Station Redesign Activities and IGA & MOU renegotiation
1998-1999 Director of the Office of International Affairs, Research and Development Bureau, Science and Technology Agency
2000-2002 Senior Engineer of the Innovative Information Technology Development Group, NASDA
2003-2005 Manager of the Planning and Management Division, Information Systems Department, JAXA
2005-2007 Director of the Systems Engineering Office, JAXA
2007-Current Director of JAXA Washington D.C. Office
Mr. Younes is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN). He is responsible for NASA’s space communications and navigation infrastructure and services. Mr. Younes manages the SCAN Program Office at NASA Headquarters and oversees all NASA telecommunications and navigation projects and networks, including NASA’s Space Network, Near-earth Network, and Deep Space Network. Mr. Younes is also responsible for the development of enabling technologies critical to meeting the Agency’s vision for an integrated SCaN architecture aligned with NASA’s future space exploration needs.