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Professional Background


September 2012 - January 2022

Technical Assistant for Solid Propulsion, Propulsion Department

Served as the Technical Assistant for Solid Rocket Propulsion for the Marshall Propulsion Department. My responsibilities included serving as a solid rocket propulsion expert to advise programs within Agency, the DoD and other US Government agencies; developing new solid rocket motor technologies/manufacturing techniques/facilities and advising Department and Center management on issues related to the US and Foreign Solid Rocket Propulsion Industrial Base.  I also worked to develop new mission applications for solid rocket technology to enable missions that could not be accomplished by any other propulsion technology.  This included NASA interplanetary missions such as the Europa Lander Mission, the Mars Ascent Vehicle and a potential Lunar Polar Sample Return mission.  For these missions I performed preliminary mission design, analysis and trade studies including orbital trajectory analysis, atmospheric flight mechanics, mission timeline development and surface stay modeling.

January 2008 - August 2012

Chief Engineer, First Stage Booster, Ares Launch Vehicle

Served as the Chief Engineer for the First Stage Solid Rocket Booster of the Ares Launch Vehicle. Led a technical team consisting of several hundred NASA engineers and a prime contractor to perform the vehicle design, predict performance, and execute the manufacture, assembly and launch operations for the flight hardware.

October 2005 - January 2008

Deputy Project Manager, Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster

Served as the Deputy Project Manager of the Solid Rocket Booster Project. Shared responsibility for all phases of management of a highly complex spaceflight system development organization involving project planning, contract management, budgeting, scheduling, engineering design, test, assembly and launch operations. Planned and directed the project to ensure the best results for safety for manufacturing, assembly, launch and booster recovery operations. Supervised the prime contractor in-plant operations at Kennedy Space Center.  Gained extensive practical experience and developed in-depth knowledge and understanding of overall management and technical aspects of in managing large NASA programs. Served as the SRB Flight Readiness Board Chairman and supported all levels of the Space Shuttle Flight Readiness Certification process. Served as the Mission Management team member for the Solid Rocket Booster element.  Served as final authority on booster launch readiness and gave the Booster “Go for Launch” call during terminal countdown for Shuttle launches.

June 2004 - October 2005

MSFC Propulsion Resident Manager at KSC

Served as the MSFC Propulsion Resident Manager and the senior Marshall representative at the Kennedy Space Center. Served as the on-site team lead supporting the Space Shuttle propulsion ground operations and launch processing. Responsibilities include support to all Space Shuttle propulsion elements including solid rocket boosters, main engines and external tank. Worked closely with the propulsion element Project Managers, their Chief Engineers and Chief Safety Officer to ensure flight readiness and hardware integrity. Supported all launch preparation activities including hardware stacking, mating, logistics and resolution of launch site technical issues.

February 2003 - June 2004

Member, Columbia Accident Investigation Team

Served as Propulsion Lead for Solid Rocket Motor Investigation Team for the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.  Served as technical expert for the propulsion system aspects of the investigation.

May 2000 - July 2004

Solid Rocket Propulsion Team Lead

Served as Solid Rocket team lead for the Vehicle & Systems Development Department, Space Transportation Directorate.  Directed employees who provided independent technical assessment of all engineering change proposals, manufacturing process change proposals, and discrepant flight hardware dispositions.  Represented the Space Transportation Directorate in the Space Shuttle flight certification process. Supported the disposition of all RSRM related Space Shuttle flight safety, flight hardware assessments, and systems integration issues. Served as a member of the post flight assessment team. Planned, organized, and provided technical leadership for anomaly and failure investigation teams supporting solid rocket systems, primarily space shuttle related. Served as principal expert for bounding-value/worst-case statistical assessments, and flight risk assessments for hardware deviations and performance anomalies. Performed independent trending analyses of anomalies, discrepancies, nonconformances, mishaps, and close calls. Formulated NASA’s fundamental rules for flight safety now popularized as the "Seven Elements of Good Flight Rationale".

September 1998 - June 2000

Systems Engineer, National Missile Defense Joint Program Office

Served as a systems engineer for the Test Resources Branch of the National Missile Defense (NMD) Joint Program Office. Responsible for the technical and management aspects of test resource design, development and systems integration efforts to support systems testing of the NMD system architecture. Advised Director, System Test, and Evaluation of problems or potential problems. Served as technical expert in the areas of system integration, systems requirements, system, subsystem and interface design, system software requirements and evaluation of overall software and hardware performance.

October 1997 - October 1998

Staff Specialist, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense/Pentagon

Provided program oversight for weapon systems within the Office of The Director, Strategic and Tactical Systems, Deputy Director (Missile Warfare). Areas of focus included air defense interceptor missiles with special emphasis on those technologies relevant to vehicle control, propulsion, launching systems and aerodynamics.  Provided oversight regarding plans for and progress of development and acquisition programs in the missile warfare area. Provided review of service plans and proposals. Monitored the services' compliance with and execution of USD (A&T) or Secretary of Defense guidance and direction. Assisted the Deputy Director of Missile Warfare in the formulation of long-range strategy and system planning for maintaining adequate military capabilities in assigned planning areas at affordable cost. Reviewed the annual DoD authorization and appropriation acts, and any relevant special legislation, for provisions that specifically and directly affect assigned planning or mission areas or programs. Developed USD (A&T) or SecDef responses to congressional and other inquiries. Represented DoD, USD for Acquisition, Director (S&TS), Deputy Director (Missile Warfare), as assigned, on committees, boards, task forces, etc., or at meetings, symposia, etc., relating to areas of responsibility.

July 1996 - November 1997

Interceptor Missile Avionics & Software Test Lead

Planned, organized, directed testing activities for the interceptor missile element flight avionics and software for the Integrated System Test Capability (ISTC) - the systems level hardware-in-the-loop test facility for the National Missile Defense (NMD) program. Responsible for procurement and integration of interceptor hardware and software to support the integrated ground test program. Provided technical leadership for design, development, and implementation of the weapon system test environment. Planned, organized, and led the activities of a 40-man contractor team with total budget of over $30 million. Responsible for Verification, Validation and Accreditation of the ISTC to support program acquisition milestones.

November 1995 - July 1996

Chief Engineer, Outrider UAV Project Office, USN

Served as the Chief Engineer for the Outrider Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program - a high mobility, day/night, land/sea operation reconnaissance aircraft. Led the technical effort to produce, test and deploy system. Responsible for the overall avionics, propulsion, performance, software, sensor payload, ground support equipment and system integration. Chairman of Air Vehicle Integrated Product Team. Provided technical leadership for competitive procurement (SSEB) effort of system through advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD) program.

June 1992 - November 1995

Subsystem Manager, Outrider UAV Project Office, USN

Directed management and technical activities in the Aerophysics Division of the Arrow Missile Program - a cooperative research & development effort between the United States and the Government of Israel to provide a theater air defense capability against tactical ballistic missile attacks. Served as project engineer and technical specialist with responsibility for the overall aerodynamics, thermal protection, stage separation, seeker window cooling and ground testing. Conducted aerodynamic / aerothermal test programs in the US and Israel.

August 1987 - May 1992

Test Project Engineer, Reentry Systems Division, Von Karman Gas Dynamics Facility, Arnold Engineering Development Center

Served as a Subsystem Manager of the Aerophysics Division in the Arrow Missile Program - a cooperative research & development effort between the United States and the Government of Israel to provide theater air defense capability against tactical ballistic missile attacks. Provided technical leadership as subsystem manager for the overall aerodynamics, thermal protection, stage separation, seeker window cooling and ground testing. Conducted aerodynamic/aerothermal test programs in the U.S. and Israel.

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