NASA People

Center Snapshot: Norma Farr
06.29.09
Norma Farr. Image above: Norma Farr rides her Honda Shadow 750 to work one or two days each week. She considers herself a "fair weather rider." NASA/Sean Smith

By: Denise Lineberry

Norma Farr received her mathematics degree when Christopher Newport University was known as the "Shoe Box in the Middle of the Road."

Settled on Shoe Lane in Newport News, the then-Christopher Newport College provided Farr with the education she needed to blossom in her 24-year career at NASA Langley, first with Computer Sciences Corporation and now with Analytical Services and Materials.

As the group lead for the Geometry Lab, Farr and her group help researchers "get what they need from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) geometry, whether that is to support Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), the creation of test articles or the development of CAD from measured data."

Farr enjoys being able to get her work done while helping others complete their's. "Most people that need information that is contained in CAD software do not have the tools or the training to get what they need in the format they need it," she said.

And that's where she and her expertise help. Her knowledge of the system has grown as much as the ever-changing Christopher Newport University.

Farr has stayed close by to witness all of the changes of her alma mater and the rest of the area. She was born and raised in Hampton and lives in Newport News. "I have never lived more than 20 minutes away from where I live today," she said.

Her work for NASA spreads much further than her living quarters.

"I’ve had the opportunity to work on nearly every cool configuration that flies or is launched: Hyper-X, the shuttle, the ARES family of launch vehicles, F-15 Eagle, V-22 Osprey," Farr said.

According to Farr, the people she works with and for also make her work worthwhile. And her association with NASA Langley folks doesn't end when the CAD requests stop rolling in. "I am one of the five bartenders at NASA Langley's favorite watering hole, Afterburners," she said.

Farr enjoys playing volleyball and is learning to ride a motorcycle and play golf.

"Well, I own the clubs and show up at the course," she said. “But there’s almost always that one great shot that makes up for all the lost balls and bad shots. That’s why golfers keep coming back for more.”