Lesa B. Roe, Director of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., today named Dr. Richard J. Gilbrech to the position of Deputy Director. NASA Langley, founded in 1917, is the nation's first civilian aeronautical research facility and NASA's original field center.
Image to right: Dr. Richard J. Gilbrech. Credit: NASA.
As Deputy, Gilbrech will assist in the general management of the Center and will act with the authority of the Director in her absence. He will help plan, organize and direct Center and intercenter activities to advance research significant to national aerospace programs and objectives.
"Rick's rich experience in areas from aeronautics to propulsion testing to shuttle management will help ensure that Langley plays a critical role in the Vision for Space Exploration," said Roe. "I am pleased to have Rick as my partner to lead Langley Research Center into the next hundred years of flight."
Before being named to his new position, Gilbrech had served as Deputy Director of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center, located at Langley.
Gilbrech started his NASA career in 1991 at the Stennis Space Center in the area of propulsion test technology. In 1995, he was selected as the Stennis National Aerospace Plane project manager responsible for the construction, activation and operation of a facility to test actively-cooled structures. Later in 1995, he was named the X-33 project manager, responsible for converting the A-1 test stand at Stennis from space shuttle main engine testing to linear aerospike turbopump single and dual engine testing. From 1998 to 2000, he served as chief of the Propulsion Test Engineering Directorate at Stennis.
Gilbrech accepted a six-month detail at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in late 2000 where he served as technical assistant to the space shuttle program manager. He then returned to Stennis as Deputy Director of propulsion testing.
In 2003, he was named manager of the Propulsion Integration Office responsible for managing NASA's rocket propulsion test facilities at Stennis, the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville Ala.; Johnson Space Center's White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, N.M.; and Glenn Research Center's Plumbrook Station, Sandusky, Ohio.
In late 2003, he relocated to Langley where he served as a principal engineer in the NASA Engineering and Safety Center.
Gilbrech earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Mississippi State University. He earned master's and doctoral degrees in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology with a minor in planetary science.
The recipient of numerous awards, Gilbrech has received NASA's prestigious Exceptional Achievement Medal. He lives in Williamsburg, Va., with his wife Shelly and two sons, Ryan and Brandon.
- end -