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Glenn Mahone/Bob Jacobs
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1600)

Oct. 04, 2004
RELEASE : 04-330
NASA Chief Engineer Announces Retirement
NASA's Chief Engineer Theron Bradley, Jr., today announced his plan to retire, effective Nov. 1, 2004.

Administrator O'Keefe appointed Bradley in June 2002, where he was responsible for the overall review and technical readiness of all NASA programs.

"Theron has been a leader in NASA's engineering and safety assessment community. He has been a driving force helping the agency safely return to flight as we implement the Vision for Space Exploration," said Administrator O'Keefe. "He reinvigorated the role of the position of chief engineer at NASA, and I will miss his friendship, sound advice and counsel."

As Chief Engineer, Bradley established and implemented agency policy concerning program and project management. Reporting directly to the Administrator, Bradley drew on his vast experience in the U.S. Navy nuclear reactor community to help ensure development efforts and mission operations were planned and conducted on a sound engineering basis.

He helped provide focus and established agency-wide engineering policies, standards and practices. He was responsible for establishing and directing agency policy with regard to all engineering and related technical work, including providing advice and recommendations on engineering matters to senior agency managers across NASA. Bradley served as the Executive Secretary of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB). He has been a driving force managing NASA's implementation of the CAIB's engineering and safety assessment recommendations, so critical for Return to Flight. He was also chairman of the CONTOUR spacecraft Mishap Investigation Board. He served as the Chairman of the NASA Inventions and Contributions Board, and participated in leadership positions for various other NASA Boards and Councils.

Prior to joining NASA, Bradley was a senior civilian manager and nuclear engineer with the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, a joint activity of the Departments of Energy and Navy. He served from 1982 to 2002 as Manager of the Naval Reactors Idaho Branch Office. He directed and managed a 3000-employee facility that included four operational nuclear reactors and a state of the art material research and development activity.

Prior to 1982, Bradley held several senior positions within the Naval Reactors Headquarters organization. He served as Director, Submarine Systems, for the Trident submarine program. He was instrumental in the initial design of the nuclear propulsion plant for Nimitz class aircraft carriers and the advanced reactor design for Los Angeles class submarines. Bradley also directed technology research and development in the thermal/hydraulic, shock, vibration, noise, and structural mechanics areas. He holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Oregon State University. He completed Masters postgraduate work in Nuclear Engineering from Bettis Reactor Engineering School, and he has a law degree from LaSalle Extension University. He completed postgraduate work in Physics at the University of Idaho.

Bradley is a registered Professional Engineer in Nuclear Engineering and Mechanical Engineering in Idaho and Virginia. He is a member of the American Nuclear Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is also one of the first recipients of the National Nuclear Security Administration's Gold Award for consistently providing outstanding leadership and accomplishing a sustained level of exceptional achievement over an extended period.

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