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May 7, 2013

Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office

RELEASE 13-016
NASA Glenn Engineer Selected as Finalist in Service to America Award
CLEVELAND - Manan Vyas, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, has been named a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, also called the Sammies.

Recognizing Vyas' significant contributions to the field of hypersonic propulsion flows and embodiment of the true spirit of public service, Vyas was recognized as a finalist in the category of Call to Service at a ceremony today in Washington, D.C.

Mary Jo Long-Davis, chief of Glenn's Inlet and Nozzle Branch and Vyas' supervisor, said, "Manan has made critical contributions to one of the most challenging technical areas of aeronautics: hypersonic, or very high Mach number, propulsion. We consider this area of work the final frontier of aeronautics technology development."

Vyas contributed to two specific projects that increased our nation's knowledge in hypersonic propulsion and advanced our national security goal aimed at demonstrating sustained, controlled, hypersonic flight. His first accomplishment showed the critical effects of test media on combustion processes using computational fluid dynamics simulations. When successfully used, simulations are an important tool in the analysis of future propulsion systems and a means to predict the flight test conditions.

In the second project, Vyas worked as a key member of an expert team from NASA and the U.S. Air Force that investigated the unsuccessful Flight 2 of the X-51A hypersonic flight test demonstrator.

Vyas, who grew up in India, moved to the United States during his senior year in high school. In the wake of the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, and particularly the loss of Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla, Vyas answered his calling to engineering. He went on to obtain a bachelor of science and master of science in aerospace engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

While at NASA, Vyas has mentored several summer interns and spoken with numerous groups of students interested in engineering. A highlight of his community service includes speaking to a group of teenagers at a local juvenile detention center. He has also tutored students at Cleveland's MC2STEM High School.

The Sammies, annually honoring outstanding federal employees, are determined by the Partnership for Public Service. The Call to Service Medal recognizes a federal employee whose professional achievements reflect the important contributions that a new generation brings to public service. This medal is accompanied by a $5,000 monetary award. The medal winner will be selected from the finalists and announced in October.

Named the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals in honor of the partnership's late founder, the awards spotlight the inspiring and high impact accomplishments of dedicated federal employees, and reflect the important and effective work of our government as well as the value of a strong federal career workforce.

For a print quality image of Manan Vyas, visit:


For more information about the Service to America awards, visit:


For information about NASA's Glenn Research Center, visit:



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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
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