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Meet a NASA Glenn Employee: Ron Colantonio
March 9, 2012

Thousands of talented, dedicated and passionate people work at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. They are rocket scientists and engineers. They are researchers and physicists and chemists. They are aviation specialists, public affairs officers, administrative assistants, security officers, logistics managers and more. With countless specializations in myriad fields, the people of Glenn share one goal: working for the public in support of NASA's mission.

The diverse Glenn workforce is comprised of civil servants and on-site support contractors. Workers perform a large variety of different jobs at NASA Glenn. "My Job at NASA Glenn" is a series that introduces some of these workers. Learn about different employees and the interesting jobs they perform, and how their education prepared them to make unique and important contributions to NASA.

Ron Colantonio

Ron ColantonioRon Colantonio
Image Credit: NASA
Job Title:
Atmospheric Environment Safety Technologies Project Manager in the Aviation Safety Program

What that means:
I manage the NASA knowledge and technology developments that can lead to safer aircraft in the areas of engine icing, airframe icing, atmospheric hazard sensing and lightning on aircraft composites.

What I do:
Working with four NASA centers and domestic and international partners, I manage the resources and technical plans that address aviation weather hazard safety issues. I help ensure that my project meets the needs of the aviation safety community including aviation regulatory bodies. I also monitor technical progress and the changes in the aviation community towards better ensuring that NASA research has value and is effective.

The coolest / most interesting part of my job is:
Working with a stellar team that will make safer aviation systems to avoid aircraft accidents and safety incidents- saving lives!

My favorite project that I have worked, or that I am working on, is:
About 150 aircraft engine icing incidents have occurred over the past two and a half decades, affecting turbofan jet engines installed on aircraft ranging from business charters to commercial airliners flying at altitudes up to 41,000 feet. My project is leading an international team that will head to Darwin, Australia, in early 2013 to conduct flight experiments that will characterize the range of environmental conditions in which compression system icing internal to the engine can take place. I am very excited and proud of NASA for proactively addressing this important aviation safety issue.

The accomplishment that I am most proud of is:
I am very proud of all the talent I see at NASA; talent that is used to address important issues and challenges facing the future. I am convinced that NASA can rise to any occasion and investigate and solve problems for a better future.

A Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education helped me by:
My STEM education gave me skills and knowledge that when applied correctly with other NASA team member expertise can address technical challenges facing society. Over the last 25 years at NASA, I have applied my mechanical engineering skills to address engine combustion emissions and testing, microgravity combustion and aircraft safety challenges.

Good advice for students, including STEM students, is:
Head knowledge is powerful but perseverance and passion can take that knowledge to great heights and change the world we live in. Find that "eye of the tiger" and take off in your schooling and career. Also remember, to be truly effective, we cannot be an island unto ourselves- learn to be a team player and build a character that accepts diverse ideas and perspectives. This will definitely help meet your career objectives.

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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator