Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
Oct. 27, 2004
NASA Engineer Named Professor at Tuskegee University
NASA veteran Herb Sims has been named adjunct assistant professor to Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala. His appointment continues a long-standing collaboration aimed at strengthening the university's engineering program.
Sims is an in-space propulsion engineer in the Propulsion Research Center's Energetics Research Group at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Huntsville, Ala.
Sims was named to the faculty position through the NASA Administrator's Fellowship Program. The program is designed to enhance the professional development of NASA employees and the science, technology, engineering and mathematics faculty of minority institutions. It also seeks to increase response by these participants to NASA's overall research and development mission.
The fellowship program has two components, a NASA employee serving in a minority institution and a faculty member at a minority institution serving at a NASA Center. The program is managed by NASA Headquarters and implemented by the MSFC Equal Opportunity Office.
"This program allows students to take what they learned in class and apply it in a working environment, to actually get in the lab and do the research," Sims said. "As a result, these students not only benefit from NASA technology, but also get valuable, hands-on experience," he added.
Sims is a 1991 graduate of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He received his master's degree and doctorate in the same field from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1996 and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2000, respectively.
After graduation, Sims joined the MSFC team as an engineer in the Astrionics Laboratory of the Engineering Directorate. From 1991 to 1999, his primary responsibilities included work on electronic systems for NASA spacecrafts, including the telemetry systems, which transmit and receive data, for the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
Sims also worked on the support crew for the Hubble Space Telescope service missions, from 1993 to 1997, helping train astronauts to conduct maintenance on the telescope, which was launched in 1990. Sims was named to his current MSFC position in 2001.
"I was destined to be an engineer. I come from a long line of engineers, my father, two brothers, three uncles, three cousins, and I am sure I'm forgetting a few people. But, being an engineer at NASA, well that's just extraordinary," Sims said.
In the early 60s and 70s, Sims remembers his parents letting him stay home from school to watch each Apollo launch. This inspired him to dream about working for NASA and perhaps even going into space.
Media organizations interested in interviewing Sims should contact Betty Humphery, MSFC Office of Public Affairs, at: 256/544-0034.
For more information about the NASA Administrator's Fellowship Program and Marshall's Equal Opportunity Office, visit:
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:
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