Stephanie Suzanne Stilson
NASA Deep Dive Team Lead
Technical Capability Assessment Team
Stephanie Suzanne Stilson is currently on a detail assignment at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., assisting the Technical Capability Assessment Team (TCAT) as a deep dive team lead. In this role, she conducts detailed assessments of particular solutions and technical capabilities to enable NASA leadership to make informed decisions on investing/divesting strategically within the budget while strengthening innovation in critical areas needed to advance our mission.
Prior to this assignment, Stilson was a NASA senior technologist within the Strategic Integration Division of the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., developing policy, requirements and strategy for NASA's technology development activities and investments.
Stilson joined NASA in 1989 as a cooperative education student while attending North Carolina State University in the pursuit of a double major in computer and electrical engineering. During this time, she worked in the Space Shuttle Mission Planning Office, Shuttle Payload Networks and Communications Section, and Shuttle Payload Spacelab Experiment Checkout Section.
In 1995, Stilson began full-time NASA employment in the Payload Flight Operations Directorate as an electrical networks engineer supporting the Spacelab program. Her responsibilities included reviewing drawings, writing procedures, and conducting electrical power and network system checkout on Spacelab modules, such as the United States Microgravity Lab-2 and Life and Microgravity Spacelab-1. She also was responsible for pyrotechnic testing on the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.
From 1997 to 1999, Stilson served as an experiment engineer, generating and executing procedures to check out Spacelab experiments. These experiments included the European Space Agency's Electromagnetic Containerless Processing Facility (TEMPUS) on the Microgravity Science Laboratory-1 and MSL-2, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Confined Helium Experiment (CHeX) on the U.S. Microgravity Payload-4, and the National Space Development Agency of Japan's Vestibular Function Experiment Unit on Neurolab.
In 1999, Stilson worked as a test engineer for the International Space Station Electrical Power and Distribution System, and then advanced to the position of test director for the ISS Multi-Element Integration Test 1 - Test Configuration 4. As test director, Stilson provided leadership, direction and oversight to planning, technical procedure development, operational implementation and management of the integrated test team.
From 2000 to 2011, Stilson was the flow director for space shuttle Discovery, integrating, scheduling and conducting the ground processing efforts for 11 of Discovery's missions. These missions included NASA's return to flight after the loss of Columbia (STS-114), delivery of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) during STS-124, and the last mission for Discovery (STS-133).
In 2006, Stilson was selected to participate in a six-month rotational assignment at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where she served as technical assistant to the Space Shuttle Program manager.
At the conclusion of Discovery's last mission in March 2011, Stilson became flow director for the transition and retirement of the space shuttle orbiter fleet, responsible for preparing and delivering Enterprise, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour to their final display sites.
Stilson has received numerous honors including multiple "On the Spot" Awards, Group Achievement Awards, a Certificate of Commendation, the 2005 Center Director's Award, and NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal.
Born in Athens, Georgia, Stilson graduated from Cape Coral High School in Cape Coral, Florida. She received Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical and computer engineering from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, as well as a Master of Science in engineering management and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.