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For release: 08/17/04
Release #: 04-216  

West Berlin, N.J., native David McDaniels honored with Research and Technology Award from NASA's Marshall Center

Photo description: McDaniels

West Berlin, N.J., native David McDaniels — an aerospace engineer at Marshall Center — is the recipient of a Marshall Center Research and Technology Award, recognizing his notable achievements in technology development.

Photo: McDaniels (NASA/MSFC)


West Berlin, N.J., native David McDaniels — an aerospace engineer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. — is the recipient of a Marshall Center Research and Technology Award, recognizing his notable achievements in technology development.

McDaniels is a member of the Fluid Physics & Dynamics Group in the Marshall Center 's Space Transportation Directorate, which pursues advanced guidance, control and navigation research and technology intended to dramatically improve safety and reliability for space vehicles.

At the recent Marshall Center Honor Awards ceremony, McDaniels was cited for his "exemplary teamwork, personal initiative, innovation and dedication" to the success of the Altitude Compensating Nozzle Technology Team. The team studied different concepts of propulsion nozzles — a rocket engine part that accelerates exhaust gases from the combustion chamber to a high velocity. The team's mission was to determine which types of nozzles are best for different vehicles and what challenges would be encountered with certain design concepts.

"It's good to be able to do work you enjoy, but it's even better to be recognized for your efforts," said McDaniels. "When you are part of a capable team things fall into place, problems get solved and quality data is the result."

McDaniels joined NASA at the Marshall Center in 1987. Among his awards are two received this year: the Marshall Group Achievement Award for work on Gravity Probe B — a NASA-sponsored experiment to test Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity — and a Space Transportation Directorate "Above & Beyond" Award for his aerodynamics analysis support of the X-43C project — a flight demonstration vehicle powered by an experimental air-breathing engine. In May 2004, his paper, "Experimental Results for an Annular Aerospike Nozzle with Differential Throttling," was presented at the 52 nd Joint Army Navy NASA Air Force Propulsion Meeting in Las Vegas.

McDaniels graduated from Edgewood Regional High School in Atco, N.J., in 1980. He received his bachelor's degree in aerospace and ocean engineering in 1984 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in Blacksburg, and his master's degree in aerospace engineering in 1986 from the University of Tennessee Space Institute in Tullahoma.

McDaniels and his wife have one son and live in Huntsville. McDaniels' parents — Ted and Peggy McDaniels — reside in West Berlin.

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