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Portrait of Maria Babula with U.S. and NASA flags in background.

Maria Babula

Deputy Director of Research and Engineering

Maria Babula serves as the deputy director of Research and Engineering at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. She shares responsibility with the director of Research and Engineering for leading and managing approximately 1,000 scientists, engineers, and administrative staff. The team supports NASA’s missions through research and development in propulsion, communications, power, and materials and structures for extreme environments.  

Prior to her new position, Babula served as associate director of Research and Engineering at Glenn. In that role, she supported the director and deputy director in leading and managing the directorate. 

Previously, Babula served in other supervisory positions including chief of the Knowledge Management and Collaborative Technologies Branch, the Computation Sciences Branch, and the Mission Design and Analysis Branch. She also served in interim capacities as deputy chief of the Electrical Systems Division and integration operations manager for the Engineering Directorate. Babula began her NASA career at Glenn in 1990 as a software engineer, performing independent validation and verification of flight software for multiple expendable launch vehicle missions.  

Babula is a native of Toledo, Ohio, and holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Toledo. She is the recipient of numerous awards including NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal, NASA’s Software of the Year Award, the R&D 100 Award, and the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer.