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Press Release 93-12
Lori J. Rachul
(Bus: 216/433-8806)

Three NASA Lewis Research Center Employees Promoted to Branch Chiefs

Cleveland, OH -- Three NASA Lewis Research Center employees were recently selected to serve as branch chiefs: Richard A. Blech, chief of the Computational Technologies Branch; Dr. Robert Thompson, chief of the Microgravity Fluids Branch; and Dr. Mary Zeller, chief of the Surface Science Branch.

Blech has been an employee of Lewis for 15 years. He began his Lewis career as an aerospace engineer and performed research activities in parallel computing and propulsion simulation. More recently, he served as Deputy Chief of the Computational Technologies Branch.

As Chief of the Computational Technologies Branch, Blech will be responsible for planning and coordinating research in the use of advanced computational technology for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and propulsion system simulation. Advanced computational technology includes areas such as parallel processing, graphics and expert systems.

Blech earned his bachelor of electrical engineering degree from Cleveland State University and has pursued graduate studies in control systems and computer architecture at the University of Toledo. Blech and his wife, Mary Ellen, reside in Strongsville, Ohio. They have three children.

Thompson joined Lewis in 1962 and is well known for his years of research in high-temperature aircraft, rocket engine components and in the area of low-gravity fluids phenomena. More recently, he served as project scientist for the Surface Tension Driven Convection Experiment which has flown successfully on the space shuttle.

As Chief of the Microgravity Fluids Branch, Thompson is responsible for planning, coordinating and supervising research performed in microgravity science specific to the fluids area. Research activities include both theoretical and experimental ground-based investigation along with the definition, development and conduct of space flight experiments.

Thompson earned his bachelor of aeronautical engineering degree from the Univer-sity of Pittsburgh, Pa, his master's degree in mechanical engineering and his doctorate degree in engineering science from the University of Toledo, Ohio. Thompson and his wife, Loretta, reside in Elyria, Ohio. They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.

Zeller joined Lewis in 1988 as a research engineer investigating thin-film sensors for aeronautics and space applications. Before coming to Lewis her research activities included high temperature microelectronics, semiconductors, corrosion, adhesion and ceramics.

As Chief of the Surface Science Branch, Zeller will plan and coordinate research conducted in the area of tribology and surface analysis of high temperature materials.

Zeller earned her bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Ohio's Notre Dame College, her master's degree in chemistry from John Carroll University, Ohio, and her doctorate degree in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame, Ind. Zeller resides in Rocky River, Ohio.

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