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Volume 9, Issue 8
August 2007

2007 Glenn Honor Awards

2007 NASA Honor Awards Ceremony

NASA Assistant Associate Administrator Christyl Johnson joined Center Director Dr. Woodrow Whitlow, Jr. in presenting NASA's most prestigious awards and expressing appreciation to the individuals and groups who have distinguished themselves beyond the agency's high standards of performance. Johnson said that based on some of the one-on-one discussions with leadership and staff during a recent review of facilities and resources at Lewis Field and Plum Brook, "it is clear that Glenn will be a valuable component of the Vision for Space Exploration." The following award recipients personify the exceptional talent, demonstrate a clear dedication to NASA and support the goals of the agency:

Exceptional Achievement Medals

Exceptional Achievement Medal
Portrait of Bilardo Portrait of Bland.
Bilardo Bland
Portrait of Dr. Choi. Portrait of Dr. Lawrence.
Dr. Choi Dr. Lawrence
Portrait of Dr. Nguyen. Portrait of Dr. Raj.
Dr. Nguyen Dr. Raj
Vincent J. Bilardo
For achievements in the formulation and advocacy of NASA Government-led design and development of the Ares I Upper Stage to enable the Ares I ascent development flight test.

Nola L. Bland
For exceptional performance in the implementation of the new Agency Learning Management System, SATERN, at GRC and contribution to the Agency implementation team.

Dr. Benjamin B. Choi
For outstanding contributions in pioneering research in self-levitated high-power-density motors for the Nation's future aerospace missions.

Dr. Charles Lawrence
For developing and commercializing an engine-airframe structural simulation code for steady state and transient conditions that is being used by NASA, Boeing, GE, P&W and others.

Dr. Quang-Viet Nguyen
For your innovations in optical diagnostics significantly contributing to fundamental/applied combustion research that advances NASA's aerospace technology leadership.

Dr. Sai V. Raj
For understanding life-limiting material properties/developing advance performing materials and demonstrating the viability of new engineering concepts for aerospace propulsion.

George C. Soulas (not pictured)
For extraordinary contributions to the development and transfer to industry of next-generation ion propulsion thruster technology.

Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal

Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal
Portrait of Dr. Murthy.
Dr. Murthy
Dr. Pappu L. Murthy
For outstanding contributions toward development of novel structural analysis tools for components using advanced composite materials.

Exceptional Service Medals

Exceptional Service Medal
Portrait of Baldwin. Portrait of Coleman.
Baldwin Coleman
Portrait of Dever. Portrait of Fujikawa.
Dever Fujikawa
Portrait of Greco. Portrait of Heryak.
Greco Heryak
Portrait of Hopkins. Portrait of Hudson.
Hopkins Hudson
Portrait of Dr. Miranda. Portrait of Dr. Opila.
Dr. Miranda Dr. Opila
Portrait of Pierce Portrait of Sagerser
Pierce Sagerser
Portrait of Schubert. Portrait of Shook.
Schubert Shook
Portrait of Dr. Urban. Portrait of Wiersma.
Dr. Urban Wiersma
  Portrait of Dr. Zeller.
  Dr. Zeller
Bernadette M. Baldwin
For exceptional leadership, professionalism, and dedication in providing legal services to GRC.

Kevin P. Coleman
For exceptional service in records, forms and history program development and management.

Joyce A. Dever
For exceptional service in providing technical excellence and fostering effective collaborations vital to mission success.

Gene Fujikawa
For outstanding technical and management leadership in digital communications for advancing space missions.

Frank J. Greco
For sustained leadership in advancing the Agency's safety and mission assurance engineering discipline.

Michael A. Heryak
For exceptional contributions and success in developing customer-focused networking and communications services for NASA.

Dale A. Hopkins
For exemplary leadership in providing breakthrough technologies for jet engine fan cases/containment systems and engine "blade-out" failure event simulation.

Avis V. Hudson
For knowledge, dedication and outstanding leadership skills that have significantly contributed to GRC's visibility in local, regional, and national outreach efforts.

James E. Hunter (not pictured)
For significant and sustained impact to many important NASA programs.

Dr. Felix A. Miranda
For outstanding technical and managerial leadership in Antenna and Microwave Technologies for Space Communication.

Dr. Elizabeth J. Opila
For outstanding accomplishments in the area of high-temperature degradation and durability of advanced ceramic material and its successful impact on aeronautics and space efforts.

Timothy C. Pierce
For dedicated service, technical skills and judgment in providing excellent procurement services to NASA programs and the Glenn Research Center.

David A. Sagerser
For significant and sustained performance within NASA's Advanced Aircraft Program and exceptional ingenuity in building successful collaborative relationships with the Department of Defense.

Kathleen E. Schubert
For exceptional abilities and accomplishments in integrating flight project activities at Glenn Research Center.

Tony D. Shook
For sustained engineering excellence and exceptional contributions to GRC's in-house turbine engine noise-reduction projects.

Dr. David L. Urban
For outstanding technical and managerial leadership that has enabled significant enhancements to combustion science and fire safety in microgravity environments.

Lynne M. Wiersma
For many years of exceptional support to the Center's program and project organizations.

Dr. Mary V. Zeller
For outstanding technical and outreach excellence as a successful manager and steward for the Agency.

Exceptional Administrative Achievement Medals

Exceptional Administrative Achievement Medal
Portrait of Collins. Portrait of Srneck.
Collins Srneck
Myrtle L. Collins
For outstanding administrative support of the Office of the Director and NASA Glenn Research Center.

Linda Srneck
For dedication and excellence in providing secretarial support to the engineers and support personnel.

Outstanding Leadership Medals

Outstanding Leadership Medal
Portrait of Banks. Portrait of Lester.
Banks Lester
Bruce A. Banks
For outstanding leadership and exemplary service to NASA and its customers.

Mary C. Lester
For outstanding leadership in all areas of the Logistics and Technical Information Division activities and in support of the Center's focus on safety.

Equal Employment Opportunity Medals

Equal Employment Opportunity Medal
Portrait of Dr. Lei. Portrait of Robinson.
Dr. Lei Robinson
Dr. Jih-Fen Lei
For exemplary commitment to and support of NASA Glenn Research Center's equal opportunity programs and goals through mentoring, coaching and advocacy.

Frank Robinson
For exemplary commitment to and support of NASA Glenn Research Center's equal opportunity programs and goals.

Group Achievement Awards
The following awards represent the outstanding performance of team alliance uniting Glenn personnel with those from other NASA centers, government agencies, industry, and academia to develop products and processes in support of NASA missions and areas of national concern.

CIO Collaborative Tools Team
NASA Glenn and RS Information Systems, Inc.
For contributions in increasing productivity, improving product quality and saving costs across the Agency through consulting and adoption support of collaboration tools.

Great Lakes Environmental Science Mission Team
NASA Glenn, NASA Wallops, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI)
For significant NASA/NOAA team performance to develop an advance mobile sensor platform for first-of-a-kind hyperspectral imaging of environmental phenomena in the Great Lakes.

Low Power SOICMOS Transceiver Team
NASA Glenn, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University and North Carolina State University
For the development of Low Power, Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) Transceiver Technology in support of NASA planetary robotic missions.

NASA Glenn Surface Mobility Team
NASA Glenn, OAI and U.S.Army Research Laboratory
For innovative technical and programmatic solutions and exceptional partnering approaches for the development of the next generation of planetary exploration mobility systems.

NEXT Thruster Development Team
NASA Glenn, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Aerojet-General Corporation, Alphaprt, Inc., ASRC Aerospace, Jacobs Sverdrup, and Sierra Lobo Corporation
For the highly successful design, fabrication, and testing of NEXT ion propulsion thruster technology.

Service Module Collaborative Concept Team
NASA Glenn, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Jacobs Sverdrup, Media Fusion, QUALIS, SAIC and SGTI
For successfully demonstrating independent, Government-led design activities for the Crew Exploration Vehicle Service Module through an inter-center collaborative design team.

John H. Glenn Research Center Awards

Portrait of Dr. Carney.
Dr. Carney
Abe Silverstein Medal
This award recognizes outstanding research contributions that have led to widely recognized practical applications.

Dr. Kelly S. Carney
For your Critical Analytical Technologies that enable a successful Space Shuttle Return to Flight Program.

Steven V. Szabo Engineering Excellence Award
This award recognizes excellence in engineering that contributes to the mission of the Glenn Research Center. It is the most prestigious engineering award given by Glenn. One award is given to an individual or team.

Image of 2007 Szabo award team. Credit: NASA/S. Jenise Veris, (SGTI) NASA Encapsulated Service Module Team
For the unique design of the Service Module (SM) that has saved the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), in particular the Service Module 1500 lbm as well as enable the SM to meet it's major power and heat rejection requirement.

Pictured, left to right: Thomas O. Cressman, Daniel A. Catalano, Thomas W. Goodnight, David R. McCurdy, Timothy M. Roach and Reza N. Zinolabedini.

Craftsmanship Awards
The award annually recognizes outstanding accomplishments in craftsmanship--one for manufacturing and one for assembly and build-up technologies--that contribute to the mission of the NASA Glenn Research Center.

Photo of the IMX team. Credit: NASA/S. Jenise Veris, (SGTI) Manufacturing Technologies Category
Hypersonic Inlet Mode Transition (IMX) Manufacturing Team
For fabrication and instrumentation of the IMX using the Machining and Instrumentation trades. This one-of-a-kind design and an experimental model will be tested to map inlet performance, boundary layer control configurations and bleed flow rate schedules for the Mach number ranges.

Pictured, left to right: Steven M. Miller, Chris J. Conrad, Tonya L. Merriweather, Timothy J. Heineke, Timothy A. Dunlap and Walter A. Wozniak. Al V. Blaze (not pictured)

Portrait of Perez.
Assembly and Buildup Technologies Category
Michael Perez
For leadership and innovative design, machining and assembly of components, custom mounts, wires, etc. into a flight box, which was mounted on the side of Glenn's T-34 aircraft for the Great Lakes Environmental Aerial Monitory Mission.

Distinguished Publication Award
"A Phenomenological High Strain Rate Model with Failure for Ice," by Dr. Kelly S. Carney, David J. Benson, Paul DuBois, Ryan Lee
For developing a new model for predicting high velocity ice impact that benefits the flight safety of the Space Shuttle and commercial aviation.

Image of Native American Advisory Council. C-2007-01157_m. Credit: NASA/Marvin Smith (RSIS) Diversity Leadership Award
Native American Advisory Council (NAAC)
Among the Center's Office of Equal Opportunity Programs advisory groups, the Native American Advisory Council (NAAC) has excelled in its collective efforts to increase the representation and the understanding of Native Americans and contributing significantly to the valuing and affirming of diversity among the Center's workforce. Through the many and varied activities it has conducted or supported over the past year, the NAAC has effectively promoted the achievement and value of diversity.

Pictured, left to right: James B. Jackson, George R. Harpster, Avis V. Hudson, Jeremy W. John, Mark W. Manthey, Raquel L. Redhouse, Denise R. Busch and Joseph W. Connolly

Senior Executive Service Appointments
Thomas W. Hartline, director, Office of Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate
William R. Humphries, deputy director, Space Flight Systems Directorate
Robert W. Morehead, director, Space Flight Systems Directorate
George R. Schmidt, deputy director, Research and Technology Directorate
David L. Stringer, manager, Plum Brook Station

Career Service Awards
Fifty-Years of Service
Dr. Robert C. Hendricks, Research and Technology Directorate
David M. Herb (retired), Project Management Branch
Erwin V. Zaretsky, Structures and Materials Division

Forty-Five Years of Service
Clifford H. Arth, Communication System Integration Branch
Ernest Bertone II, Systems Management Branch
Ihor Kramarchuk, Digital Communications Branch
John J. Svoboda, Space Comb & Microgravity Technical Branch
Dr. Roy C. Tew, Jr., Thermal Energy Conversion Branch

Forty-Years of Service
Robert C. Anderson, Optical Instrumentation & NDE Branch
Elmer C. Bartels, Precision Machining Development Branch
Leo A. Burkardt, Projects Liaison & Integration Office
Robert L. Cataldo, Power Systems Analysis Branch
Dr. Christos C. Chamis, Research & Technology Directorate
Daniel D. Chrulski (retired), Space Combustion & Microgravity Technical Branch
John W. Gaff (retired), Office of the Director
Dr. Marvin E. Goldstein, Research & Technology Directorate
Dr. Hugh R. Gray, New Business & Partnership Office
Albert L. Johns, Inlet & Nozzle Branch
Robert S. Mattingly, Advance Metallics Branch
Dr. Jeffrey H. Miles, Acoustics Branch
Thomas C. Murray, IT Operations Office
Edward J. Pluta (retired), Space Combustion & Microgravity Technical Branch
Stephen M. Riddlebaugh, Technology Transfer & Partnership Office
John E. Rohde (retired), Vehicle Systems Projects Office
David A. Sagerser, Advanced Aircraft Projects Office
Lawrence J. Schroeder, Jr., Systems Management Branch
Ronald L. Shaw (retired), R&D Labs Technical Branch
Carl L. Silski, Procurement Division
Wendell White, Aeropower and Propulsion Technical Branch
Richard P. Woodward, Acoustics Branch

The following awards recognized at the ceremony were published with the recipients previously in the AeroSpace Frontiers newsletter. They include:
Senior Scientific and Professional Corps
Bruce M. Steinetz

Presidential Rank Awards
Vernon W. Wessel, Distinguished Executive in the Senior Executive Service
Olga D. Gonzalez-Sanabria, Meritorius Executive in the Senior Executive Service
Isaiah M. Blankson, Meritorius Senior Professional

By Doreen B. Zudell

Pilot Program Focuses on Positive Conflict Resolution

In an emerging workplace that includes a new mission, reorganization and additional personnel, positive communications is essential in NASA achieving its goals. A new agencywide effort titled the Conflict Management Initiative (CMI) will help provide an atmosphere that better ensures employee morale and productivity.

Sponsored by NASA's Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity (ODEO), CMI seeks to establish a new model for NASA civil servants to confront and address workplace conflict, individually and organizationally. The training is designed to assist the agency in managing institutional risk to mission success by providing managers, supervisors and employees with effective tools to more strategically address workplace conflicts and resolve them early on.

Three people at table. Credit: NASA/Doreen B. Zudell (SGTI)Image right: left to right, Zolo, Wessel and Aguilar support the CMI through their involvement on the steering committee. Credit: NASA/Doreen B. Zudell

Glenn, along with NASA Johnson Space Center and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, is participating in the CMI pilot program. With assistance from an external contractor, Glenn held focus group sessions for managers, supervisors and non-supervisory employees in early July.

"The focus sessions enabled employees to share their opinions as to what they perceive are the center's challenges and needs in regard to workplace conflict," explained Associate Director Bill Wessel, who chairs the CMI pilot at Glenn. "This feedback will help us gain the direction so that we can tailor the training program to meet our needs."

Next month, about 200 employees (supervisory and nonsupervisory) will participate in a 1-day conflict management training session that will include discussion on communications and conflict resolution skills. After finalization of the training program, ODEO will work with center management to conduct careful review and analysis of current center and agency Equal Opportunity Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) programs.

Wessel stressed that employees are participating in this pilot program on a volunteer basis and that exchange of information is strictly confidential. CMI is intended as an additional option to the formal Equal Employment Opportunity complaint process and the NASA Glenn-International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), Local 28, LESA grievance process.

A steering committee, comprising Wessel; Kenny Aguilar, Center Operations; Laura Henry and Bill Sikora, Office of the Chief Counsel; Kimberly Mordaunt, Organization Development and Training Office; Lori Pietravoia, Program and Policy Office; Robert Romero, Office of Equal Opportunity Programs; Dr. Rickey Shyne, Facilities and Test Directorate; and Sandra Zolo, LESA Union representative, serve on the CMI Advisory Team. Management, labor relations and the union are working together for a successful module useful in daily life.

"This initiative centers on open and honest communications," Wessel said. "CMI will help us confidently embrace new opportunities so that we can continue our tradition of excellence."

By Doreen B. Zudell

GSEPG Aids Software Development

For software managers and developers to effectively meet the scientific and technological goals of the agency, they must assess their engineering processes and work to a set of standards established through the NASA Software Engineering Initiative (SEI).

Image of Aguilar. Credit: NASA/S. Jenise Veris, SGTI.The Office of the Chief Engineer chartered SEI in 2002 with the goal of improving the safety, quality and reliability of the software produced agencywide. NASA Process Requirements (NPR) 7150.2 (Software Engineering Requirements) is a minimum set of requirements established for software developed for NASA programs and projects following the Columbia Accident Investigation Board report.

In support of quality software, NASA Technical Fellow Michael Aguilar from NASA Goddard, and Denise Varga, Glenn's Software Engineering Process Group (GSEPG) lead, provided an update on SEI activities and introduced current research and resources for advancing software engineering during the GSEPG's awareness event on June 4.

Image left: Aguilar describes NESC's support to Space Shuttle Program technical investigations. Credit: NASA/S. Jenise Veris

Varga oversees a group of 12 software engineers who have dedicated the past two years to identifying software deficiencies and developing new processes, training and tools to ensure Glenn engineers are compliant with NPR 7150.2.

During the awareness event, Varga also unveiled the GSEPG's new Web site. Software@Glenn features various tools, guidelines and processes that will enable software teams to reduce costs, improve quality and maintain schedules for software acquisition, management, development, maintenance operations and assurance activities.

"Our processes guide software engineers through the different phases of the software development life cycle--from concept, design, code, test, maintenance and actual delivery of software," Varga explained. "The Web site features templates, checklists and sample documents that may be used to track their performance daily."

Derrick Cheston, Glenn's chief engineer for the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC), introduced Aguilar as another valuable resource for guidance and knowledge-sharing activities. As the NASA Technical Fellow for Software Engineering, Aguilar is 1 of 12 engineers agencywide who are considered "elite" in their respective disciplines. They provide leadership in establishing agency-level standards and specifications as members of the NESC.

Aguilar discussed NESC's software quality assurance program and the lessons learned from past space missions. Aguilar's work at Goddard Space Flight Center generated a lot of interest from participants, as he is helping to develop test science instrument software for the James Webb Space Telescope.

"The implementation of software engineering standards has never been as crucial to the success of NASA's missions as they are now," said Cheston. "I commend the GSEPG and the Glenn software engineering community for emphasizing its importance by inviting Michael to share knowledge and best practices from his vast experiences. The event enabled him to forge a partnership for the future, which is a critical element of the Technical Fellows Program--providing stewardship of the discipline."

By S. Jenise Veris

Occupational Health Fair Attracts Hundreds, Raises Awareness

Overview of crowd. Credit: NASA An estimated 800 employees who attended the Occupational Health Fair on July 11 received a variety of information designed to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Image right: An estimated 800 employees attended the Occupational Health Fair.
Credit: NASA

Coordinated by Singleton Health Services (SHS), under Glenn's Occupational Health Branch, the lively event supported the theme "Celebrate Your Health" with health- and fitness-related literature, demonstrations, prize drawings and souvenir giveaways.

Jean Farah, SHS/Medical Services office manager, explained that in addition to promoting health in general, the fair educated and/or updated employees on the many services offered through the Occupational Health Branch. "We conducted a wellness survey that proved to be a win-win situation," she said. "Employees who filled out the survey received lunch, and the survey results will help us gain a better idea of what services employees are utilizing and how we might serve them better in the future."

Employee programs available under the SHS umbrella include the Fitness Center, Employee Assistance Program, Medical Services and Nutrition Services.

Thirty onsite and offsite vendors--ranging from local pharmacies and hospitals to food and equipment suppliers to onsite programs and services--interacted with employees during the four-hour event.

"The response (employees and vendors) to the health fair was outstanding," said Tony Christian, Occupational Health Branch, SHS COTR.

Gayle Reid, chief, Occupational Health Branch, affirmed the value of the event. "It was an excellent opportunity for center employees to learn more about what we do and how much Glenn cares about their health and wellness."

Image of employees registering at door. Employees wait in line for food. Safety and Mission Assurance Director stops by vendor tables at Health Fair.
Employees registered for prizes upon entering the health fair. Employees were treated to a healthy lunch after filling out a questionnaire. Director of Safety and Mission Assurance Thomas Hartline welcomed the crowd and then took some time to talk to the vendors.
Employees discuss heart defibulator. Employee Assistance Program vendor talks with employee. Pharmacist takes empolyee's blood pressure.
Employees learned about the value of the heart defibulator program. Representatives from the Employee Assistance Program shared information on services available to employees. Representatives from Walgreens Pharmacy gave blood pressure checks and answered general questions.
Fitness Center employees discuss healthy eating with employees. Employee tests vision impairment goggles. Wild Oats Marketplace representative talks with employee.
Members of the Fitness Center staff talked about nutrition and appropriate serving portions. Employees tested goggles that simulate how alcohol or other drugs can impair vision. A Wild Oats representative provided samples of healthy snacks.

Photos by Eli Abumeri, Jean Farah and Doreen B. Zudell

Doreen B. Zudell

Web Site Features NASA Medical Spinoffs

Computer animation of human body.Image left: This animated human body lights up targeted body systems to highlight the space program's contributions to medical science. Credit: NASA

Glenn's Web Portal Team recently created a new interactive Web site titled "NASA Anatomy: How Space Technology Improves Human Health." Developed in Flash, this online feature highlights the space program's contributions to medical science. An animation of the human body acts as an interface to view nine short videos that describe how space technology has aided the treatment of various body systems. Topics covered include medical imaging, sorbent dialysis, robotic surgery, vision screening and much more.

NASA Anatomy was published on the agency's Web portal in the Spinoffs section, as well as NASA Glenn's Web portal multimedia section. It was also included in an agency press release announcing the American Medical Association's endorsement of human spaceflight. The team that created the feature included Kathleen Zona, Jan Wittry and Jennifer Sapienza, Community and Media Relations Office; and Emery Adanich, Erik Mindek, William Fletcher and Gary Nolan, Imaging Technology Center.

To view NASA Anatomy and other interactive features, visit

Image ofOff The Clock
Ever wonder what your coworkers do in their spare time?

Downey Spreads Harmony Through Barbershop Quartet

Quartet sing in crowded stadium. Is it possible to bring harmony to the chaos of day-to-day living? Al Downey, Electron and Optical Devices Branch, has been doing so for the past 30 years.

As a member of the Rhythm 'n' Rhyme (RnR) Barbershop Quartet, Downey performs at festivals, events and competitions locally and throughout Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, recreating a simpler, more relaxed time in American history through this unique a cappella art form.

Image right: left to right, Bill Fernkorn, Downey, Dr. Jim Kasten, and Ron Granneman performed the National Anthem at Jacobs Field on June 30.

Recently, Downey and fellow members of RnR brought that nostalgia to Jacobs Field when they performed the U.S. National Anthem in front of Cleveland Indians fans on June 30. This was their second appearance at the stadium. RnR has a long and varied list of performances, including an appearance on FOX 8 in the Morning. Vocals from that segment are still occasionally aired during the Coffee Quiz.

Downey was introduced to barbershop quartet-style music while performing in "The Music Man" as a student at Elyria High School. He has continued performing in quartets and choruses through the years, including while attending Cleveland State University to obtain a degree in electrical engineering.

"I instantly fell in love with this style of music and knew that I had to pursue it further," Downey said. "It has turned out to be a wonderful hobby that I can do throughout my lifetime."

Downey, who sings bass, explained that the most distinctive facet of barbershop harmony is the phenomenon known as expanded sound. It is created when the harmonics in the individually sung tones reinforce each other to produce audible overtones or undertones. Barbershoppers call this ringing a chord. He said that singing in a quartet or chorus and creating that fifth voice is one of the most thrilling musical sensations you'll ever experience.

As a member of the Elyria Chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, Inc., Downey has had many opportunities to enjoy this dynamic hobby. He is also a member and director of the Elyria Cascade Chordsmen, a larger group of singers who perform in chorus.

Downey isn't the only member of his family who finds this hobby so appealing. Downey has four sons, two of which have sung with their father and have participated in youth barbershop quartet competitions. Two of the boys also share their father's love for NASA. Joe, a University of Toledo student, is a co-op at NASA Glenn. Another son, John, co-ops at NASA Langley while pursuing an advanced degree at Carnegie-Melion University. Downey has worked at NASA Glenn for 30 years and is currently leading an effort to improve radio communications technology for future spacecraft.

"Barbershop quartet singing is a hobby that spans many generations, races, nationalities and professions," Downey said. "It combines good friendships, fellowship and down right fun."

By Doreen B. Zudell

Straight from the DirectorPortrait of Dr. Whitlow
IR&D Fund Boosts Tomorrow's Technology

Where do you go for funding if you have an unproven idea that you believe could provide high payback to a current Glenn or NASA program or might open an avenue for a new future effort?

A few years ago, a small group of Glenn researchers deduced that aerogels, an extremely fragile insulating material used in limited applications, could be made a lot stronger. They applied for modest funding under Glenn's Independent Research and Development (IR&D) Fund. By modifying the surface chemistry of aerogels, the research team created a new family of aerogels that are, pound-for-pound, ten times stronger than steel.

This achievement was recognized for its breakthrough technology with the Nanotech Briefs magazine Nano 50 Award and NASA's Inventions and Contributions Board Exceptional Space Act Award. This work is now supported by several projects within the Aeronautics program. Additionally, commercial applications are being developed with two industry partners through the Glenn Alliance for Technology Exchange.

Female researcher in laboratory. Credit: C-2007-189, NASA/Michelle Murphy (RSIS)Image left: Lynn Capadona, Systems Engineering Branch, with an aerogel. Credit: NASA/Michelle Murphy

Like the aerogel team, other Glenn researchers who believed their ideas could make a technological difference have utilized the IR&D Fund to bring an idea in its infancy to enough maturity to advocate for traditional sources of funding.

The IR&D Fund is currently funded at approximately 1 percent of the center's overall budget, which is a typical funding level for this type of activity at other NASA centers and in industry. Despite this modest investment, between Fiscal Year 01 and Fiscal Year 04, research supported by the IR&D Fund accounted for 20 percent of all patents awarded to Glenn and for 10 percent of all Disclosures of Invention filed by Glenn researchers. Pretty impressive!

The IR&D funding level has fluctuated over recent years as the center continues to struggle with increasing demands on its overhead accounts. When sufficient funding is available, the Chief Scientist's office issues a call for new IR&D proposals. IR&D efforts are typically funded for a maximum of three years, subject to an annual progress review.

Current IR&D efforts range from improving satellite measurements of rainfall (a joint effort with Goddard Spaceflight Center) to improved models of lunar dust. For more information on all current IR&D activities and past successes, I encourage you to visit the IR&D website at

News Briefs

Glenn Sheds Light on Renewable Energy Efforts

Glenn display at SOLAR 2007. Credit: NASA/William Saettel Image right: Dave Bents, Electrochemistry Branch, far left, demonstrates a hydrogen fuel cell system to conference attendees. Credit: NASA/William Saettel

Glenn joined 160 manufacturers, dealers, distributors and other related businesses in displaying technology applicable to renewable and sustainable energy efficiency (RE/EE) during SOLAR 2007, the 36th Annual Solar Energy Conference held July 7-12 in Cleveland. The conference, presented by the American Solar Energy Society and Green Energy, Inc., featured workshops, forums and exhibits exploring the theme "Sustainable Energy Puts America to Work." Members of the Photovoltaic and Power Technologies Branch and the Electrochemistry Branch staffed two NASA exhibits--one for public awareness and another for partnership opportunities. The exhibits highlighted Glenn's advanced energy R&D efforts related to wind turbines, photovoltaics, fuel cells and batteries as more efficient sources of energy to supply power needed not only for astronauts to reach the moon and beyond, but also to achieve energy independence here on Earth. Interested participants also toured selected Glenn facilities and were briefed on the center's technical achievements and the applicability of that technology to future Exploration missions as well as potential RE/EE partnerships.

Workshop Identifies Potential Obstacles

Facilitators address employees sitting at tables. Credit: NASA/Doreen B. Zudell (SGTI) Image left: Paul Robert, standing left, and Christine Hudson (SAIC), Infrastructure and Administration at Headquarters, conducted the workshop. Credit: NASA/Doreen B. Zudell

Glenn recently participated in a two-day Encroachment Assessment Workshop designed to identify potential obstacles that may have a negative impact on achieving the center's mission. Sponsored by the Office of Infrastructure and Administration at Headquarters, the workshop gathered representatives from multiple organizations to brainstorm roadblocks or encroachments, such as aging infrastructure and rising utility costs, and suggest strategies to lessen the negative impact. Center Director Dr. Woodrow Whitlow Jr. briefed employees on the center's portfolio, providing a springboard for participants to identify potential challenges. Headquarters is conducting similar workshops at each NASA center. Results from Glenn's workshop will be provided later this month, with agencywide results expected in early 2008.

Employees Enjoy Free Movie Screening

Riley takes questions from the audience. C-2007-1165. NASA/Quentin Schwinn (RSIS). Image right: Riley at private screening with Glenn employees. Credit: NASA/Quentin Schwinn

On Friday, July 20, three hundred Glenn employees enjoyed a screening of β€œIn the Shadow of the Moon,” a documentary film chronicling the Apollo era. The free movie screening, which featured surviving crew members from every single Apollo mission that flew to the Moon, was held for employees at Glenn and other NASA centers on the same day to help commemorate the anniversary of the first walk on the moon, July 20, 1969. After the afternoon screening, Co-Producer/Assistant Director Chris Riley was on hand to answer questions from staff on his experience in helping to create the documentary.

Glenn Showcases Exploration--Past and Present--at Festival

Choreographer and Glenn engineer talk to the audience. Credit: James Levin, Ingenuity Festival '07 Image left: Sarah Morrison, choreographer and principal of MorrisonDance, joins Gail Perusek, Structural Systems Dynamics Branch, to discuss the "Walking on Other Worlds" video filmed by Glenn's Imaging Technology Center. Credit: James Levin, Ingenuity '07

NASA Glenn brought the wonders of space to Earth at the Palace Theatre during Cleveland's Third Annual IngenuityFest, July 19-22. On Thursday, the premiere of "Walking on Other Worlds" teamed MorrisonDance with Glenn on an innovative video production using dance choreography and green screen technology showcasing the enhanced Zero-gravity Locomotion Simulator (eZLS). The eZLS helps to evaluate astronauts exercise needs more effectively. The screening of the award-winning documentary "In the Shadow of the Moon," on Friday, marked the 38th anniversary of the first walk on the Moon. Retired astronaut Guy Bluford and the film's Co-Producer/Assistant Director Chris Riley participated in a Q&A at its conclusion. On Saturday, Scott Graham, Launch Systems Project Office, and Jim Free, Orion Project Office, updated the audience on the development of new rockets and spaceships associated with the Constellation Program. A 3D theater presentation by Glenn's G-VIS Lab, on Sunday, highlighted a wide range of other Glenn research and technology. Glenn's "Journey to Tomorrow" trailer was on hand throughout the weekend to provide educational and interactive activities that engage the whole family.

Calendar of Events

WOMEN'S RETIREMENT LUNCHEON: The next luncheon for Glenn female retirees will be Thursday, August 16, noon, at Station Restaurant, 30 Depot Street, Berea. For further information, contact Mary Beranek, 440-238–6501.

THIRD SATURDAY EVENT--VOYAGER: Glenn's Third Saturday Event at the Visitor Center (VC) on August 18 will focus on "Voyager: The Grandest Tour." Visitors can celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Voyager space missions and learn what they have taught us about our solar system. At 11 a.m., during the "Voyager's Grand Mission" presentation, Jeff Kilmer, JPL solar system ambassador, will talk about the Voyager missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, as well as their current exploration of the heliosheath. He also will discuss NASA Glenn's role in developing the Centaur upper stage rocket used to launch these spacecraft. At 1 p.m., during the "Voyager's Legacy" presentation, Michael Blair, aerospace lecturer, Community and Media Relations, will discuss other outer planetary missions, such as Galileo, Cassini and New Horizons, which have followed the path blazed by Voyager. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Glenn's participation in the Voyager launches, the VC and the United States Postal Service will offer a special pictorial stamp cancellation and cachet during this event. For questions about this program, contact the VC at 216-433-9653 or visit for more details.

CENTER PICNIC: Mark your calendar for August 21 to attend the Centerwide picnic. All civil servant and support service contractors are invited to attend. The event runs from 2-6 p.m. at the Picnic Grounds.

SEPTEMBER FACILITY TOUR--NASA'S DROP ZONE: Glenn's Zero Gravity Research Facility houses the largest drop tower of its kind in the United States. Drop in for a visit during the facility tour on September 1. Call 216-433-9653 up to one month in advance to make your reservation. One-hour tours begin in the Visitor Center Auditorium at the following times: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

AFGE MEETING: AFGE Local 2182 will hold its next monthly membership meeting on Wednesday, September 5 at 5 p.m. at Denny's Restaurant, 25912 Lorain Road, North Olmsted.

LESA MEETING: LESA/IFPTE, Local 28, will hold its next monthly membership meeting on Wednesday, September 12, at noon in the Employee Center.

SEPTEMBER THIRD SATURDAY EVENT: Mark your calendar for September 15 to enjoy the Space Memorabilia Show at the Visitor Center (VC). Glenn's VC and host the 3rd annual space memorabilia show, highlighting space artifacts from the beginning of the space age to the present. More details will be provided in the September issue of AeroSpace Frontiers. For more information, contact the VC at 216-433-9653.

NERVOUS ABOUT PUBLIC SPEAKING?: The Aerospace Toastmasters Club invites employees to attend its weekly meetings. Toastmasters helps participants enhance their public speaking, oral communication and leadership skills. Meetings are held Thursdays from 12 to 12:45 p.m. in the 10-by 10-Supersonic Wind Tunnel Office and Control Building, Room 123. Before attending, please call Wai Wan (3-5599) or Stefanie Hirt (3-6782) to confirm a scheduled meeting.

DESTRESS ON WEDNESDAYS: Learn to manage stress rather than letting it manage you! Spend 45 minutes in this NEW relaxation class to help your mind function more efficiently in the workplace. Classes, sponsored by the Organization Development and Training Office and Singleton Health Services, are held every Wednesday from 11:15 a.m. to noon in the Small Dining Room. Come dressed as you are. No special attire needed. POC: Fitness Center, 216-433-6313.


AIAA Young Professional Paper Award

Portrait of DeCastro.
Jonathan DeCastro, ASRC/Controls and Dynamics Branch, received the 2007 Best Young Professional Paper award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Northern Ohio Section for his paper titled: "Rate-Based Model Predictive Control for Turbofan Engine Clearance." The paper describes a novel, reliable control algorithm for active turbine tip clearance contol in gas turbine engines that maintain tight clearances without compromising any safety margins. Originally presented at the 2006 Joint Propulsion Conference, the paper was published recently in the Journal of Propulsion and Power, July/August.

European Ceramic Society International Award

Potrait of Dr. Singh.
Dr. Singh
Dr. Mrityunjay "Jay" Singh, OAI/Ceramics Branch, received the European Ceramic Society International Award "for outstanding contributions to science and technology of engineering ceramics and composites as well as enhancing understanding and collaboration within the international ceramic community." Singh accepted the award and delivered the keynote plenary address before more than 1100 delegates from 29 countries at the 10th International Conference and Exhibition of the European Ceramic Society, June 17-21, in Berlin, Germany. Initiated in 1994, the International Award recognizes "a ceramist making significant contributions from a country outside Europe." Singh is the fourth award recipient from the USA.

In Memory

Blueprint Lead Was Reliable Resource

Pamela E. Smith, 65, an SGT, Inc. employee supporting the Facilities Division on the TIALS contract, died on July 3. Smith was the lead in the Drawing File Management, Maintenance and Reproduction Office.

Image of Smith on the job. Credit: NASAImage left: Smith at the counter of the Blueprints and Drawings area. Credit: NASA

During her 28 years of service, Smith played a critical role transitioning new technology and production processes that enabled the area to run more effectively and efficiently. When she started, copies of drawings were made with an ammonia blueprint machine. Keeping pace with today's technology, she learned to electronically scan and store them.

"Pam was considered the pillar of Glenn's Blueprint and Drawings Department supporting the same area since she came to the center," said Sue Silver, SGTI Administrative and Clerical Services Manager. "Over the years, she gained a great deal of knowledge on the job and became an excellent resource for information on any building on the center."

Smith's exemplary record of customer service, dependability as employee, and loyalty as a friend were the characteristics COTR Brad Kaustinen and coworkers commonly expressed about her.

"Pam and I worked side-by-side for the past 26 years--my entire career at this center. She always made time to listen to fellow workers and they admired her ability to be objective," said Marian Coad, SGTI/Maintenance and Reproduction Office, a coworker and close friend. "We became like family, sharing laughter and providing strength to one another when needed. I feel blessed to have known her."

In Appreciation

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of my NASA friends for the many prayers, cards and kind words following the passing of my mother. Your support during this difficult time provided great comfort to my family and me.

--Kevin Coleman and Family


Portrait of Banks.
Bruce Banks, Space Environmental Durability Branch, retired on August 3, 2007, with 43 years of federal service, including 41 with NASA.

Betty Jane Waszil, Logistics and Technical Information Division, retired on July 3, 2007, with 43 years of federal service, including 41 with NASA.

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