For Release: June 2, 1997
RELEASE NO. 97-041
NASA LANGLEY ENGINEER CHOSEN AS DISCOVER MAGAZINE AWARD
Mark Froggatt, a NASA Langley Research Center engineer was named
one of the winners in the 8th Annual Discover Magazine Awards for
Technological Innovation, Saturday at Epcot Center in Florida.
Winner Froggatt, an electrical engineer in the Nondestructive
Evaluation Sciences Branch, won from four finalists in the Aviation
and Aerospace category for its fiber optic strain sensor. The
finalists were chosen from more than 4,000 entries.
"I am very surprised," Froggatt said about winning. "I think
what I do is fairly mundane and uninteresting to other people."
The fiber optic sensor, originally designed to be used as a
structural testing device for the X-33, can be used to measure the
stress damage on the Space Shuttle without dismantling the craft,
which will save time and money. The fiber optic cables would be
glued to various shuttle components, allowing stress detection by
measuring light beamed through the cable from a built-in
Winners in eight categories were awarded by science-enthusiast
celebrities including Ann Druyan, wife of the late Carl Sagan, who
presented Froggatt with his award.
Froggatt, received his bachelor's and master's degrees from
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He began his
career with NASA Langley in 1990, as an electrical engineer. While
working with NASA, he is currently working on his doctorate from
the University of Rochester, Institute of Fiber Optics.
The Aviation and Aerospace category was judged by Buzz Aldrin,
Gemini and Apollo astronaut; Donald E. Fink, Jr. Publisher of
Flight & Space Magazine; Walter "Wally" Schirra, one of
NASA's original seven astronauts; and Patty Wagstaff, three-time
winner and first woman recipient of the U.S. Aerobatic Championship
Award. The July issue of the monthly magazine will feature the
winners and the finalists of this prestigious program.
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