Dr. John Daniel “Danny” Olivas, PE
NASA Astronaut (Ret.)
Director – Systems Engineering
Danny Olivas is the Director of Systems Engineering providing direct support of Collins Aerospace’s next-generation space suit and advanced life support space systems, from both an engineering and operational perspective. He is also a subject matter expert in both mechanical and materials engineering, supporting civil litigation in accident and incident investigations involving engineered products and operational processes.
During his twelve-year career with NASA, Olivas was a Mission Specialist and veteran of two space flights, STS-117 and STS-128. He completed five spacewalks, including his on-orbit repair to the external thermal protection system of the Space Shuttle. As a member of the Spacecraft Crew Survival Integrated Investigation Team, he performed extensive materials investigations on the remnants of the Columbia Crew Module. Before joining NASA, he was a program manager for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; he conducted research in microelectronic component survivability for space missions destined to explore the solar system and deep space.
He is a recipient of two NASA Space Flight Medals and the NASA Exceptional Service and Exceptional Achievement Medals. Olivas received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and materials science from Rice University. He and his wife of 30-plus years, Marie, have five adult children.