Center Snapshot - Don Morrison
Don Morrison. Image above: Don Morrison, a system engineer with Crewestone, has been working at NASA Langley for 23 years. Credit: NASA/Sean Smith

By: Denise Lineberry

Don Morrison is often called “MacGyver.”

“My house is where all the neighbors come when something is broke and needs fixing,” he said. “One even said that if it’s tossed out on the curb for the trash at my house, it couldn’t be fixed.”

The ability to fix things carries over into his career. Morrison is a system engineer for video services. “I install, maintain and repair all audio and video equipment used by the video services team for production of research videos and NASA EDGE,” he said.

Morrison could very well tell his own story.

“It all started when I was just a young lad tinkering in the garage with my dad,” he said. “Electronics amazed me.”

As a high school student at Phoebus, Morrison enrolled in Vocational Technical education, now New Horizons. He was learning about electronics when digital was born. The conclusion of his training was on-the-job.

“A former student came to the school looking for someone to come and work for their company. I was hired,” Morrison said.

When the company he was hired by, Navidyne went bankrupt, he was quickly picked up by RCA, a contractor, and his 23-year career at NASA Langley began. “The last day of work for Navidyne was a Friday and I started with RCA on Monday,” Morrison explained.

That is when he made the leap from audio technician to the video department. “I had to learn video off the seat of my pants. I was lucky to have had some great people to work with to help me along the way,” Morrison said.

His latest transition, three years ago, added Morrison’s talents to Crewestone Technologies. “With everything these days being digital, this area was just the thing for me,” Morrison said. “Everything I work with is digital.”

Morrison enjoys his job. “I get to work with NASA EDGE. I have traveled to many places, have met many people and seen many things that I would have never had the chance to if I had not worked with this group,” he said.

More important to Morrison is the fact that he is “alive today at 45, with a great job, a wife and son and having a house that I can call home.”

Morrison was born in Hampton and has lived here all of his life. “I had a great family life growing up. My dad and I spent a lot of time together hunting, fishing and just tinkering in the garage,” he said.

“My wife and I have traveled almost everywhere in Virginia. The mountains are one of the most enjoyable places we like to go,” Morrison said. “During the fall we like to camp, apple pick and do some of the fall festivals around Charlottesville.”

Morrison enjoys camping, fishing, cooking, woodworking, boating, traveling, remodeling his house, computers, gardening and watching his son play baseball.

“There are too many things I like to do,” Morrison said. “I would have to say that with the busy schedule that my family and I keep, just spending time with them is tops for me.”

In Morrison’s eyes, his accomplishments are of a simple nature: family, and job to provide for his family.

His aspirations are the hope of a parent. “If when my son reaches my age and has a good job and as good or better a life that I have had, I’ll be happy,” Morrison said.

Have someone in mind that you would like to see as a Center Snapshot? To nominate someone, send their name, phone number and email address to researcher-news@larc.nasa.gov.

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