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Keith Henry
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
(Phone: 757/864-6120)
RELEASE : 04-076
NASA Names Deputy for Engineering and Safety Center

The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) has named Richard "Rick" Gilbrech as its new deputy director. Gilbrech was formerly a NESC principal engineer and, before that, was assistant director of NASA Stennis Space Center (SSC), Miss.

The NESC, an independent organization formed in November 2003 in the wake of the Space Shuttle Columbia accident, coordinates and conducts robust engineering testing and safety assessments to support critical NASA projects and programs.

Richard Gilbrech

While serving as a NESC principal engineer, Gilbrech led assessments of the CALIPSO satellite propulsion system and the Space Shuttle reaction jet driver. As the NESC deputy, he helps lead a staff of 30 at its headquarters at NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., and an extended staff of engineering specialists distributed throughout the Agency.

Image to right: Richard Gilbrech, Deputy Director of the NASA Engineering and Safty Center. Credit: NASA
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+ Biography

Gilbrech began his career with NASA at SSC in 1991 starting in Propulsion Test Technology. At Stennis, he served as project manager for the X-30 National Aerospace Plane project and, later, as project manager for the X-33 project. From 1998 to 2000, he served as chief of the Propulsion Test Engineering Directorate until departing for a six-month detail at Johnson Space Center (JSC) as technical assistant to the Space Shuttle Program Manager. He returned to SSC and was selected as deputy director of Propulsion Test. In 2003 he became manager of SSC's Program Integration Office responsible for managing NASA's rocket propulsion test facilities located at SSC and at multiple sites around the country.

Gilbrech received a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from Mississippi State University followed by a M.S. and Ph.D. in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology.

Significant awards include a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2002 and being named a Space Flight Awareness Launch Honoree in 1999.

Gilbrech considers Holly Grove, Ark., his hometown. He is married to Shelly Martin and has 2 children, Ryan, age 14, and Brandon, age 8.

He replaces Paul Munafo, who has taken a new safety-related position, assistant director for safety and engineering, at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.

For more information about NESC on the Internet, visit:

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text-only version of this release