Kennedy News

Bruce Buckingham
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(321) 867-2468

April 1, 2002
RELEASE : 28-02
KSC Shuttle Vehicle Manager Honored As Black Engineer Of The Year
Kelvin Manning, lead vehicle manager and Atlantis vehicle manager at Kennedy Space Center, was recently honored as the 2002 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Outstanding Technical Contributions in Government.

Manning and his Atlantis team are finishing final preparations for the STS-110 mission launch targeted for April 4.

The vehicle manager received his award Feb. 16 at the 16th Annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards Ceremony at the Baltimore Convention Center.

"Being presented the award was a humbling experience," Manning said. "It's not just about me. I realize that the whole Atlantis team makes me look good. My wife, family and friends have offered tremendous support."

The award was sponsored by the US Black Engineer & Information Technology Magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Lockheed Martin Corp.

Daimler Chrysler sponsored the award ceremony, which featured a variety of government leaders and corporate executives as presenters.

Manning was nominated for the award by Michelle Amos, chairperson of the Black Employee Strategy Team (BEST) at KSC. His nomination came with full Center support especially from the Shuttle Directorate, Amos said.

"Kelvin is an amazing leader and we're proud that he's a part of our KSC team," Amos said.

Manning has served his entire career in the aerospace industry beginning with a stint in the Air Force. He got an early start in leadership training as an Eagle Scout and still volunteers to encourage youth with the Boy Scouts of America, as well as BEST.

After graduating from the Air Force Academy in 1981, Manning was assigned to Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida panhandle. There he maintained a catalog of all Earth-orbiting objects in the Alternate Space Surveillance Center.

Later he worked at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) inside of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, CO where he ran a team of orbital analysts calculating satellite orbits and providing NASA with Space Shuttle collision-avoidance data. He also reported the team's predictions for external tank impacts and provided critical support for the recovery of lost satellites.

Afterwards as a civilian, Manning worked for GE Aerospace, Military and Data Systems Operations in Springfield, Va., and later with McDonnell Douglas in Washington, D.C. writing pre- and post-mission reports for senior NASA managers, assisting in development of contingency action plans and the like.

In 1992, Manning started with NASA KSC in the Shuttle Processing Directorate and has moved steadily up the ranks to his current position.

Each year USBE awards candidates like Manning whose qualifications and performance place them in the ranks of the nation's highest achievers in technology.

The three-day Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference is America's premier celebration of African-American success in engineering, science and technology.

Antonio Watson, conference chair explained the importance of the award: "For many of the winners, the award is special because it makes them role models for thousands of young people and inspiration for thousands of their peers.

"These honorees are more than role models, leaders, and professionals on the cutting edge of technology. They are hard working stakeholders in their organizations, proud to stand before the technical community as examples of boundless possibilities."

A photo of Manning is available at:
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