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For Release: March 14, 2003

Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office

Manzo Wins Women in Engineering Award

Michelle Manzo, a senior engineer in the Electrochemistry Branch at NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, recently received the first "Women in Engineering Achievement Award" sponsored by Design News magazine. This award was created to recognize a leading female engineer who is dedicated to improving the human condition.

The award and a $20,000 educational grant were given to Manzo at the Design News awards banquet in Chicago on Tuesday, March 4 to recognize her leadership in developing and ensuring the availability of long life batteries for NASA missions. Manzo chose the Ernest B. Yeager Center for Electrochemical Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, to receive the educational grant.

Manzo played a key role in ensuring that the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) flew with batteries that would provide a long life with minimal servicing. Manzo was the only NASA member of a government and industry team formed to assess the risks associated with old and new battery chemistry options for servicing the HST. The new battery chemistry, recommended by the team, was used to replace standard batteries originally planned for the HST. The standard nickel-cadmium batteries would have required replacement within two or three years. Since the HST was deployed in space in 1990, the nickel-hydrogen batteries have not needed replacement and have required only minimal attention.

"Michelle's leadership efforts have demonstrated the powerful role model that she is to the engineering community and to young women who will certainly be encouraged to follow in her footsteps," said Dr. Valerie Lyons, division chief of Glenn's Power and On-Board Propulsion Technology Division.

In 1988, Manzo received an R&D 100 Award for a long cycle life nickel-hydrogen cell battery and a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 1998. She has also worked on batteries used by the International Space Station and two of the Mars Observer missions.

Manzo received her bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics from Anderson-Broaddus College, Philippi, W.Va. and a master's degree in engineering science from The University of Toledo.

A print quality photo of Manzo is available at:

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