News Releases

Jennifer Stanfield
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.

RELEASE : 12-021
NASA Marshall Center’s Garry Lyles Awarded National Space Club's 2012 Astronautics Engineer Award
Huntsville, Ala. – Garry Lyles, chief engineer for the Space Launch System Program Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., recently was awarded the 2012 Astronautics Engineer Award by the National Space Club. The award is presented annually to a space engineer who has made an outstanding personal contribution to the national space program.

The National Space Club is a nonprofit organization devoted to fostering excellence in space activity through interaction between industry and government, and through a continuing program of educational support.

Lyles was chosen for the award for his multi-decade work in engineering management for the nation’s human spaceflight systems. "His dedication, exceptional leadership and engineering expertise in the development of new space transportation architecture has demonstrated his allegiance to America’s space program and advancement of the nation’s future in space," said Norman L. Baker, chairman of the Astronautics Engineer Award.

Lyles will receive his award at the National Space Club's Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner March 30 in Washington.

Lyles has an extensive NASA career. In his current role, which he assumed in August 2011, he is responsible for technical direction of all Space Launch System program activities, which will lead to a new U.S. heavy-lift launch vehicle for NASA’s next generation of human space exploration.

He was associate director for technical management in Marshall's Engineering Directorate from 2007 to 2011. He provided leadership during development studies for NASA’s next-generation heavy-lift vehicle, as well as being responsible for implementing engineering best-practices to track product delivery and resolution support for the Ares I upper-stage and vehicle-integration projects.

From 2005 to 2007, Lyles served as the first chief engineer for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. In 2004, he was deputy director of Project Constellation at NASA Headquarters, establishing the initial office structure and recruiting agency personnel to formulate a plan for transitioning the Orbital Space Plane and Next Generation Launch Technology Program to the Vision for Space Exploration.

He was manager of the Propulsion Projects Office for the Space Launch Initiative -- also known as the Next Generation Launch Technology Program -- at Marshall from 2001 to 2004. He also provided technical support to the Integrated Space Transportation Plan after the space shuttle Columbia accident in 2003.

From 1996 to 2001, he served as program manager for the Advanced Space Transportation Program Office. He was acting chief engineer for the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project Office from 1995 to 1996. Also in 1996, was appointed to the Senior Executive Service -- the personnel system covering top managerial positions in approximately 75 federal agencies.

He was the NASA resident manager at Canoga Park Resident Management Office in the Space Shuttle Projects Office at the Rocketdyne space shuttle main engine production facility in Canoga Park, Calif., from 1993 to 1995.

From 1988 to 1993, Lyles served in the Propulsion Laboratory at the Marshall Center, first as branch chief of the Liquid Propulsion Branch and then as deputy division chief and division chief of the Propulsion Systems Division. From 1986 to 1988, he was part of both the external tank and solid rocket motor contingency teams after the space shuttle Challenger accident, relocating to Ogden, Utah, to serve as NASA’s lead engineer for an internal motor thermal redesign.

Lyles began his career at NASA in 1976 as an aerospace engineer in the Propulsion Laboratory at the Marshall Center. A native of Albertville, Ala., he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1975 from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Lyles is married to the former Diane Miller of Cumberland, Md. They have four children and live in Madison, Ala.

› Photo

- end -

text-only version of this release