Ralph R. Roe, Jr. began his career at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in 1983, serving initially as a Propulsion Systems Test Engineer. Mr. Roe served as a section, branch and division chief of the Fluid Systems Division in Space Shuttle Engineering at KSC. He was named Space Shuttle Process Engineering Director in October 1996, with responsibility for the engineering management and technical expertise of personnel involved in prelaunch, landing, recovery and turnaround operations for the Space Shuttle fleet. Mr. Roe then served as the Space Shuttle Launch Director for four missions including John Glenn's return to space and the first International Space Station flight. Mr. Roe served as Manager of the Space Shuttle Vehicle Engineering Office at the NASA Johnson Space Center where he was responsible for the Orbiter fleet, flight software, flight crew equipment and robotic arm from August 1999 to August 2003.
In 2003, Ralph developed the concept for and became the first director of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC), located at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The NESC was formed following the Space Shuttle Columbia accident to provide the agency the technical expertise, skills, and resources to offer an independent look at NASA’s most difficult problems. With over 500 engineering and safety assessments across all of NASA’s missions in the past 10 years, the NESC has become an invaluable resource for the agency to solve difficult technical challenges.
He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Science Degree in Engineering Management from the University of Central Florida.