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Volume 46 | Issue 5 | June 2004


photo: Barbeque Master, Jay Levine.
Steven Schmidt. NASA Photo

Petersen names Steve Schmidt as new Dryden deputy director

By Glenn Mahone and Doc Mirelson
NASA Headquarters Public Affairs

Former Dryden engineer Steven Schmidt has been named Deputy Center Director by Dryden Center Director Kevin Petersen.

"I'm pleased and excited to have Steve back at Dryden," said Petersen in the June 10 announcement. "His experience and technical expertise will be invaluable assets as we continue to advance aviation research and development."

Schmidt has served as special assistant to NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe since January 2002. He currently is serving as executive director for the President's Space Commission and also served as executive secretary for management on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board and as executive assistant for the International Space Station management and Cost Evaluation Task Force.

"Steve is a great addition to the Dryden leadership team," said NASA Deputy Administrator Frederick Gregory. "His diverse background, knowledge of aeronautics research, management skills and business acumen will be invaluable as we implement the vision for space exploration."

Schmidt joined NASA in November 1994. He was involved with various programs at Dryden, including the X-33, X-38, X-43A, F-15 ACTIVE and SR-71, until December 2001, when he became assistant to the associate center director for planning.

Before joining NASA, Schmidt was employed by Rockwell International. He began there as an aerospace engineer in 1983 in the company's Space Shuttle manufacturing operations facility in Palmdale. In 1984, he became a project engineer at Rockwell's B-1B bomber facilities in El Segundo, Calif., and was a qualified flight crewmember in the full-scale development, testing and acceptance flight-testing in the B-1B program.

He also was involved in the C-130 gunship, Australian F-111 Pave Tack, X-30 National Aerospace Plane and other development programs. Until 1994, he was lead flight test engineer on the X-31 Enhanced Fighter Maneuverability program as well as on various other research and development programs.

Schmidt began his aeronautics career in 1977 as an aerospace engineer at the Air Force Fight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, and was employed on programs there through 1982. He was involved in many research and development programs as an aerospace/flight test engineer, including the A-10, F-4, F-16, F-111, B-1A/B and B-52 programs. He also qualified as a flight crewmember on those programs.

Schmidt is a graduate of California State University, Fresno, where he received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1977 and completed work toward a master of science in mechanical engineering. In 2000, he completed a certificate in public administration from Syracuse University, N.Y. He also completed a fellowship in the National Security Studies Program at Syracuse. He graduated with honors from Syracuse University with a degree in public administration in 2001.