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Robert S. Ryan

Throughout his career at NASA Robert S. Ryan has focused his activities and lead developments along a path associated with the following unique combination: 1. launch vehicle and space systems design, 2. technology development, 3. leadership inspiration, and 4. teaching/mentoring.  Since he retired from NASA in 1996, he has continued his career along that path.  He is achieving those same goals today as an aerospace consultant for various companies and NASA and as a Technical Training Coordinator for NASA.

In the consultant role he has advised the Boeing Company in Huntsville, Alabama, on the Space Station design, and Lockheed Martin Corporation in Huntsville on the Space Shuttle Super Light Weight tank design.  He has consulted with NASA on the Space Launch Initiative, the Next Generation Launch Technology, Orbital Space Plane, the Exploration Program’s Crew Launch Vehicle and Cargo Launch Vehicle, NASA NESC Smart Buyer Activity, Nuclear Propulsion Technology, MLAS Alternate Abort System test program and flight, Constellation Program, Commercial Launch Vehicles and Robust and Reliable Human Spacecraft System.  In addition, he served as chairman of the X-33 Composite Fuel Tank Failure investigation, a member of the Air Force IUS failure team, and member of the Joint NASA and Air Force Launch Vehicle Integration 120 Day Study Team.

Robert S. Ryan’s role as a Technical Training Coordinator for NASA has been equally fruitful.  He has developed and taught the following courses: "Space Launch and Transportation Systems Design", "Comprehensive Systems Skills Initiative", "Coaching and Mentoring", and "Lessons Learned".  He has supported NESC classes in Loads and in Structures, teaching sections of the class.  He has taught the Systems Engineering section twice for the NASA Program Project Development Program led by JSC.  In addition, he is a contributing editor on the text book "Textbook for Space Transportation System Design" and "System Engineering".  He is a co-author on the NASA TP "Launch Vehicle Design Process"; NASA CR "Lessons Learned in Engineering"; NASA CR "Engineering the System"; and is in the process of writing two additional NASA CR’s: 1. "Coaching and Mentoring" and 2. "Engineering Excellence".  He wrote a chapter in "50 Years of Shock and Vibration" and in "Systems Engineering" and a Agard Book, "Winds and Launch Vehicle Response".  In the role of a Technical Training Coordinator, he has also supported the Student Launch Initiative, developed a certification program for Lead Systems Engineers and Program Managers, and participates in welcoming coop students to MSFC.

Among his numerous awards, he was a NASA Flight Honoree for the Space Shuttle 100th flight and received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and three Exceptional Service Medals.  His is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) was named the Mississippi/Alabama Section AIAA Engineer of the Year, was honored with the AIAA Herman Oberth Award by the Mississippi/Alabama Section, received the AIAA Structural Dynamics and Materials Medal, and was awarded the first AIAA Crichlow Trust Prize ($100,000).

He is a 150 Distinguish Faculty Fellow of the University of Alabama, Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame, University of North Alabama Alumni of the Year and Morgan County Aabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Robert S. Ryan has contributed over one hundred and ten publications throughout his career.

  Robert Ryan

Robert S. Ryan