What is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?
My job has two parts. One is being a supervisor, which means working with my people to ensure that they have all the resources needed to perform their jobs. The other is being a systems review manager, which means working with the Goddard flight projects to provide help throughout the project life cycle.
I work with a lot of people so interfacing with people is a big part of my job. One of the main functions of a systems manager review job is to work with the projects and perform reviews, which require teamwork and collaboration. I put together a team of senior, experienced people to assess each project for technical, schedule, and budget progress as they go through the project life cycle. The team uses a set of specific criteria to assess the project at different development points and sometimes, based on the results of the review, we need to use diplomacy to convince a project to make changes
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Photo of Bob Savage. Credit: NASA/W. Hrybyk
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Bob Savage distributing school supplies to poor children on a mission trip to Camalote, Honduras in 2007. Credit: R. Savage
What is the most interesting project you ever worked on?
At one time, I was manager for a technology development program. I was able to develop different kinds of technologies dealing with space operations. Some of the communications equipment, software, and flight dynamics developments were on the leading edge of technology at that time. It was quite an experience working with so many smart people on these different technologies. At this point in my career, I can see some of these technologies developed back then in use on missions today.
Is there something surprising about you, your hobbies, interests, activities outside of work that people do not generally know?
From 2007–2010, I went on several mission trips sponsored by the Oakridge Community Church of Clarksville, Maryland. We traveled to different cities in Honduras taking clothing and food to some of the poorer areas. We also replaced roofs on school buildings damaged by hurricanes, built a complete school house, and provided shoes to kids in an orphanage. I did not go this year because my oldest daughter was married, but I hope to return next year. During one of these trips, I had the opportunity to talk to kids at a local high school about NASA. I tried to let them know that anybody can be in science and engineering if they work hard enough. I tried to inspire them.