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For release: 09/29/03
Release #: 03-170

Indianapolis native Dan Dumbacher named outstanding mechanical engineer by Purdue University

Photo description: Dumbacher

Dan Dumbacher, manager of the X-37 flight demonstrator project at the Marshall Center, has been awarded the Outstanding Mechanical Engineer Award by his alma mater, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. The award recognizes alumni who demonstrate exemplary accomplishments and leadership in industry, academia and government service.

Photo: Dumbacher (NASA/MSFC)


Dan Dumbacher, manager of the X-37 flight demonstrator project at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has been awarded the Outstanding Mechanical Engineer Award by his alma mater, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

Dumbacher was honored Sept. 25 at the Outstanding Mechanical Engineer Awards Banquet in conjunction with the university’s President Council’s Annual Weekend. Since 1991, Purdue's School of Mechanical Engineering has recognized alumni who demonstrate exemplary accomplishments and leadership in industry, academia and government service. To date, 167 alumni have been honored.

Dumbacher earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue in 1981, and a master’s degree in administrative science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1984. He also has completed the Senior Managers in Government study program at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

As X-37 project manager, Dumbacher is responsible for the design, development and testing of the X-37 flight demonstrator. The X-37 will test and validate technologies in the environment of space, as well as test system performance during the phases of orbital flight, reentry and landing. Results from the X-37 project will aid in the design and development of the nation’s next space vehicle — the Orbital Space Plane, which will provide crew rescue and transfer to and from the International Space Station.

Prior to his current assignment, Dumbacher was deputy program manager of the Orbital Space Plane and Space Launch Initiative programs. He has worked on several major NASA programs, including the X-33 flight demonstrator and the DC-XA Delta Clipper vehicle. He worked as assistant manager for the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project and served one year in the Space Shuttle program office at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Dumbacher began his NASA career in 1979 as a summer engineering aide in the Marshall Center's Structures and Propulsion Laboratory. He received a career appointment as an aerospace engineer in 1981.

A native of Indianapolis, Dumbacher is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He has been awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, which recognizes significant, specific contributions to NASA's mission and the NASA Space Shuttle Program Award.

For more information:
News release
Photos
X-37 fact sheet


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