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Steven L. Rickman - NASA Technical Fellow

[image-51]Mr. Rickman joined the NASA Engineering and Safety Center in January 2009 as the NASA Technical Fellow for Passive Thermal.  In this capacity, he leads a cross-agency Technical Discipline Team, leveraging expertise from within and outside of the Agency to solve high risk technical problems and foster a community of practice for the passive thermal control and thermal protection disciplines.

He began his career in 1981 as a cooperative education student at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center focusing on thermal-vacuum and structural dynamic testing.  He transferred to the Johnson Space Center in 1982 and was hired into the JSC Thermal Branch upon graduation in 1985.  Mr. Rickman was named Deputy Chief of the Thermal Branch in 1998 and Chief of the Thermal Design Branch in 2002.  He and his branch provided thermal technical expertise to the Columbia accident investigation.  He served as the NASA lead for the Flight-Day-Two Object Radar Team and worked with the U.S. Air Force on this facet of the investigation.  In 2006, he led the Tile Overlay Repair Development Team, focused on developing a repair for Space Shuttle tile damage.

Mr. Rickman's primary interest has been in the area of passive thermal control of orbiting spacecraft.  He's served on numerous design teams including the TransHab inflatable module project as lead environments engineer and lead thermal analyst.  As the NASA technical manager, he led the development of the Thermal Synthesizer System (TSS) analysis tool suite.  He was the thermal design engineer for the Inter-Mars Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter, the ISS Extravehicular Charged Particle Directional Spectrometer and the Mars Odyssey 2001 Martian Radiation Environment Experiment.  He also developed concurrent engineering techniques for representing thermal protection systems in spacecraft thermo-mechanical stress models.  He co-developed a general purpose on-orbit thermal environments tool which was used extensively during the STS 35 ASTRO-1 mission.

Mr. Rickman has authored or co-authored 14 technical papers and conference presentations including public testimony given with the U.S. Air Force to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.  He also authored a textbook chapter on natural and induced thermal environments.  He holds a U.S. patent as a co-inventor of an innovative space station concept.  Mr. Rickman has received numerous mentoring, Group Achievement, Tech Brief and Space Act Awards and has been honored with the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal.   In autumn 2011, he was named as Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Rice University.

He received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and earned his M.S. in Physical Science from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.  

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Steven L. Rickman - NASA Technical Fellow
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Page Last Updated: September 26th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator