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Center Begins Training For Exploration Efforts

On October 18 and 19, Glenn hosted the Space Mission Excellence Program (SMEP) Orientation aimed at developing certified systems engineers who will support current and future Exploration missions and space flight programs.

Image of NASA Chief Engineer Chris Scolese. C-2006-1844.  Credit:  NASA/Marvin Smith, RSISImage right: Standing, Olga Gonzalez-Sanabria, chief, Engineering and Technical Services, and Dan Gauntner, chief, Engineering Development Division, talk with SMEP participants, seated left to right, DeLoff, Niemira, Sorrells and Parrott, during the orientation. Credit: NASA/Marvin Smith

During the orientation, center and agency management, including NASA's Chief Engineer Chris Scolese, showed their support for the 24 competitively selected participants who were beginning the rigorous 12- to 24-month training program.

The participants include: Lynn Capadona, Ricaurte Chock, Vicki Crable, Ann Delleur, Richard DeLoof, Thomas Doehne, Charles Farrell, Julie Grantier, Randi Green, Teresa Kline, John Lucero, Leah McIntyre, Nancy McNelis, Charles Niederhaus, Deborah Niemira, Edith Parrott, Stephen Ryan, James Scott, Kathy Shepherd, Mark Sorrells, Todd Tofil, Larry Trase, Karen Weiland, and Glenda Yee. The 18 new systems engineers are assigned to the Engineering Systems Division under the direction of Marton Forkosh. As Workforce Development manager for Systems Engineering, Forkosh will also oversee the development activities of the remaining six participants currently in the Systems Engineering Branch.

"The group has already impressed us as smart, talented and focused," noted Co-lead for the SMEP program Adam Ross, Organization Development and Training Office. His partner, Kathy Clark, added, "Not only did they ask insightful questions of the speakers and engage in good discussion, they completed the two teambuilding tasks (during orientation) in record time."

Cynthia Forman, chief of Glenn's Organization Development and Training Office, noted that each of the participants is already well established in a science, engineering or information technology career.

Image of Gonzalez-Sanabria, Gauntner, DeLoff, Niemira, Sorrells and Parrott.  C-2006-1844.  Credit:  NASA/Marvin Smith, RSIS."The participants will take their valuable experience and either apply it to a whole new profession, or they will take their existing skills to a new level of proficiency," Forman said. "Their backgrounds will be assessed in relation to systems engineering competencies to determine what training and development courses they will require."

Image left: NASA Chief Engineer Chris Scolese reinforced the important role of systems engineers within the agency. Credit: NASA/Marvin Smith

The Systems Engineering Development Program retrains disciplined engineers using the Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership core curriculum, Caltech Systems Engineering Certificate program and on-the-job training. Additionally, technical mentorship, broadening assignments, knowledge sharing, human systems effectiveness and business coaching enrich the program.

Systems Engineering is Part I of the SMEP three-phase effort. Phase II, Safety and Mission Assurance, and Phase III, Space Flight Project Management, will begin in early 2007.

"Our goal is to develop a network of outstanding systems engineers," Forman explained. "Through the SMEP, we offer them a positive, challenging and enriching experience. Ultimately, we are building Glenn's reputation as a stronghold of systems engineering capability for NASA missions."

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Doreen Zudell
NASA's Glenn Research Center