For release: 11-01-04
Release #: 04-261
Steven D. Pearson has been named manager of the newly created Instrument & Payload Systems Department at Marshall Center. As manager of the department — part of Marshall’s Engineering Directorate — Pearson is responsible for overseeing the mechanical and electrical design and development of flight hardware and software for space systems; and managing the fabrication, assembly and integrated testing of flight hardware. The directorate provides research and development engineering services for the Marshall Center.Photo: Pearson (NASA/MSFC)
Steven D. Pearson has been named manager of the newly created Instrument & Payload Systems Department at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.
As manager of the department — part of Marshall's Engineering Directorate — Pearson is responsible for overseeing the mechanical and electrical design and development of flight hardware and software for space systems; and managing the fabrication, assembly and integrated testing of flight hardware. The directorate provides research and development engineering services for the Marshall Center.
“It is truly exciting to be a part of NASA during these times of change — changes that will help us fulfill the Agency's mission to explore our galaxies,” said Pearson. “I'm honored to be part of such an energized and dedicated department and to be working along side a team of very talented individuals, both NASA and contractor team members, who are focused on developing and actually building spaceflight hardware.”
Pearson previously served as deputy manager of Marshall's Avionics Department in the Engineering Directorate. He was responsible for leading more than 200 NASA team members in research, design, development, testing and verification of advanced flight and ground support avionics systems. These systems include all electrical and electronic hardware and software necessary for avionics architectures — or flight vehicle electronics designs — and their flight and ground support equipment.
Pearson began his career at NASA in 1979 as an engineering co-op student at the Marshall Center. He joined the Agency full-time as an electrical engineer in 1981 and became the team lead for the Electromagnetic Compatibility and Lightning Safety Protection Team in 1991. He was named branch chief for the Electromagnetics and Aerospace Environments Branch in 1993, and manager of NASA's Space Environments and Effects program in 1995. The program is responsible for identifying the effects of the harsh environments of space, and development of ways to control or alleviate the problems. In 1999, he was named manager of the Engineering Technology Development Office and chief technologist of the Engineering Directorate.
Pearson has received numerous honors during his time at Marshall. He was awarded NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2003 for providing agency-wide leadership in the development of state-of-the-art advanced technologies in support of NASA programs and projects. In 2002, he was named an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the nation's largest society devoted to the advancement of aviation, space and defense. The institute also recognized Pearson in 1998 with its Holger Toftoy award for outstanding technical management in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. Pearson represents the Marshall Center on the institute's Technical Committee on Management.
Pearson recently was appointed to the federal government's Senior Executive Service — the personnel system that covers most of the top managerial, supervisory and policy positions in the executive branch.
A Huntsville native, Pearson received his bachelor's degree in 1981 in engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He earned his master's degree in 1986 in engineering management from the Florida Institute of Technology in Huntsville.
Pearson and his wife, Jane, have two children and live in Harvest, Ala. He is a second-generation NASA employee. His father, Pete, was a mechanical engineering technician at the Marshall Center during the Apollo and Skylab era.
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