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For release: 09/12/03
Release #: 03-157


NASA Marshall Center's Robert Sackheim, Paul Munafo honored by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Sackheim
Munafo

Robert Sackheim, assistant director and chief engineer for space propulsion at the Marshall Center, and Dr. Paul Munafo, manager of Marshall's Materials, Processes and Manufacturing Department, were recently honored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Alabama-Mississippi Section. The AIAA is the nation's largest society devoted to the advancement of aviation, space and defense.

Photo: Sackheim (top), Munafo (NASA/MSFC)


Robert L. Sackheim, assistant director and chief engineer for space propulsion at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and Dr. Paul Munafo, manager of Marshall's Materials, Processes and Manufacturing Department, were recently honored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Alabama-Mississippi Section.

The AIAA chapter, part of the nation's largest society devoted to the advancement of aviation, space and defense, recently honored both at its 51st annual Installation and Awards Dinner in Huntsville.

Sackheim was awarded the 2002-2003 Holger Toftoy Award, named for U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Holger Toftoy, former deputy commanding general of the Army Ordnance Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. The award recognizes outstanding technical management in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. Sackheim is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has received numerous other honors and awards throughout his career, has authored more than 150 technical papers and holds eight patents for spacecraft and launch vehicle propulsion.

Sackheim earned his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., and a master's degree in chemical engineering from Columbia University in New York City. He joined the Marshall Center in 1999 after 35 years in various technical and management positions with TRW Space and Electronics Group of Redondo Beach, Calif.

Munafo received the 2002-2003 Hermann Oberth Award. Named for the Romanian-born rocket scientist who is considered one of the pioneers of modern rocketry, the award honors outstanding individual scientific achievement in the fields of astronautics and space science.

Munafo has also received numerous NASA awards during his career, including the space agency's Outstanding Leadership Medal, recently conferred by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. The award was presented to Munafo for his exceptional dedication and commitment to the agency's highest standards of excellence. In less than a month, working 10 to 16 hour days seven days a week, Munafo led the team that developed a complex welding procedure to repair tiny cracks in the Shuttle Orbiter flow liners, a problem that kept the fleet out of service for three months during the summer of 2002.

Munafo earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge in 1962, and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1971. In 1996, Munafo earned a doctorate degree in materials science from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. He joined the Marshall Center in 1975.

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