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Michael L. Meyer

NASA Technical Fellow for Cryogenics

Mr. Meyer currently serves as the NASA Technical Fellow for Cryogenics. He began his NASA career in 1989 as a research engineer in the Space Propulsion Technology Division of the Glenn Research Center (GRC), investigating novel liquid rocket engine propellant injection techniques, combustion phenomena, and thrust chamber cooling. He conducted numerous experiments exploring the cooling limits of various aerospace hydrocarbon fuels. This work led to collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory on a revision to the U.S. RP-1 kerosene rocket propellant specification and added an ultra-low sulfur version of the fuel, now called RP-2. In the mid-1990s he served as the NASA Technical Lead in the thermal vacuum and captive firing test of the Boeing Delta III Cryogenic Upper Stage in the Plum Brook Station In-Space Propulsion Research Facility (B-2). He also supported the X-33 Propellant Densification Skid Development Project which demonstrated skid-mounted systems capable of generating, and loading into the X-33, oxygen and hydrogen cooled well below their normal boiling points for increased density. Mr. Meyer was instrumental in planning liquid oxygen/liquid methane propulsion for the Exploration Systems Analysis Study (ESAS) Team, led development of planning for in-space transportation stage technology and system development for the Human Exploration Framework Team (HEFT), and served as Co-Chair in 2010, and Chair in 2014, of the small team developing the In-Space Propulsion Technology Roadmap for the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist.

Mr. Meyer was named Branch Chief of the GRC Propellant Systems Branch in 2003, Chief of the Propulsion and Propellants Branch in 2007, and Deputy Chief in 2011 and Acting Chief in 2013 of the Power and In-Space Propulsion Division. While in these various management roles, he also served as the technical lead of multiple cross-Agency cryogenic fluid management technology development projects, maturing thermal and fluid management capabilities for ground, launch, and in-space systems in support of NASA’s human exploration program needs. In 2010 Mr. Meyer successfully advocated for, and subsequently developed technical content of, the Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer (CPST) flight demonstration mission. He led the technology maturation element of the CPST Project to successful completion, preparing multiple cryogenic fluid management (CFM) technologies for flight demonstration.

Mr. Meyer’s efforts have resulted in multiple inter-Agency and international collaborations in research and technology development related to thermal management, propellants, and cryogenics. He is the primary author or co-author of over 50 technical publications in the space propulsion, propellants, and cryogenics system and technology areas. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA, has received numerous NASA Group Honor Awards, and was recognized with the NASA Exceptional Leadership Award.

He received a B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.