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Joseph W. Pellicciotti

Joseph W. Pellicciotti

NASA Chief Engineer

Joseph Pellicciotti was named NASA’s chief engineer in April 2023. In this role, he provides policy direction, oversight, and assessment for the agency’s engineering communities and serves as a principal advisor to the NASA administrator and other senior officials on matters pertaining to the technical readiness and execution of agency programs and projects.

Pellicciotti came to NASA in 2001 and, in his time with the agency, has served in several key positions. Before being named to his current role, he was NASA’s deputy chief engineer and previously served as the chief engineer in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate where he had technical oversight for more than 40 space science missions in development.

Before coming to NASA Headquarters, Pellicciotti was the technical fellow for mechanical systems at the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) before becoming the chief engineer for the NESC. In those positions, Pellicciotti provided design consulting for existing and new technology development while leading or contributing to flight and test anomaly investigations. He is a board member for many project review panels due to his expertise in mechanical and spacecraft systems.

Pellicciotti also held positions as the chief engineer for the Mechanical Systems Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the Lockheed Martin Technical Operations mechanical systems manager for the Hubble Space Telescope Flight Systems and Servicing contract responsible for hardware development activity that included launch, landing, and on-orbit servicing mission load analyses, in addition to hardware design, manufacture, and test.

His experience over 30 years with NASA and in the private sector includes design of structure and mechanisms for commercial, military, and civil spacecraft. He has received several government and industry awards including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, Outstanding Leadership Medal, Goddard Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate Engineering Excellence Award, along with NASA and industry individual recognition and group achievement awards. Throughout his career, he has authored and co-authored several published papers related to space mechanical systems. 

Pellicciotti has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in business management from LaSalle University. 

Visit the Office of the Chief Engineer page.