Who's Who at NASA

Who's Who : Materials
Q&A: Professor Jaime Grunlan, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Professor Grunlan and his team are developing a new flame-retardant coating using renewable, nontoxic materials readily found in nature that could provide effective fire protection for several widely used materials.

Who's Who : Electronics & Computers
5 Ws of the Heart Energy Harvester

Who

Millions of people who rely on pacemakers, defibrillators, and other livesaving implantable devices powered by batteries that need to be replaced every five to 10 years.

Who's Who : Materials
Dr. Haimei Zheng, Staff Scientist, Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

Dr. Zheng and her team of scientists from Berkeley Lab and Nanyang Technical University in Singapore made metal-organic spongy photocatalysts that convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO) in the presence of...

Who's Who : Physical Sciences
Dr. (James) Ira Thorpe, Astrophysicist, Gravitational Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Gravitational waves from colliding black holes were first observed by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) instruments in 2015. Building on these efforts on the ground, an international group of...

Who's Who : Photonics/Optics
Dr. Keiko Munechika, Manager, Nanofabrication, aBeam Technologies, Hayward, CA

Dr. Munechika — along with Alexander Kosh­elev and Giuseppe Calafiore at aBeam Technologies, and Stefano Cabrini at the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — is developing a process that would enable widespread adoption of nano-optic...

Who's Who : Imaging
Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D. C.

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), managed at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., is responsible for early detection of potentially hazardous objects, like asteroids and comets, and issuing warnings about their potential impacts. This requires...

Who's Who : Materials
Adam Sidor, NASA Research Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) — heatshields — form the outer surface of spacecraft and provide protection as the vehicle plunges through planetary atmospheres. Conformal ablative materials are currently being developed to improve TPS performance. Adam Sidor is...

Who's Who : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Nick Krotkov, Atmospheric Scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Using data from NASA’s Earth Observing System Aura satellite, launched in 2004, a team led by Michigan Technological University created a global map of volcanic emissions. Scientist Nick Krotkov will use the information to refine climate models and better...

Who's Who : Aerospace
Brooke Thornton, Mission Operations Manager, NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

On February 19, The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III instrument launched aboard a cargo capsule to the International Space Station. SAGE III — equipped with a telescope, grating spectrometer, and charge coupled device detector array...

Who's Who : Communications
Darmindra Arumugam, Senior Research Technologist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

In outdoor locations, firefighters and emergency responders can use GPS technology to track one another. Indoor environments like high-rises and steel-reinforced structures, however, frequently block radio signals. With the development of POINTER (Precision...

Who's Who : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Farzin Amzajerdian, Principal Investigator, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Since 2003, Farzin Amzajerdian has worked on the Navigation Doppler Lidar (NDL), a sensor designed to support safe and precise vehicle landings on Mars and other destinations. The breadbox-sized NDL contains three lasers, a small electronics box, and lenses...

Who's Who : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Branimir Blagojevic, Technologist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

During his time with former employer Science and Engineering Services, LLC, Branimir Blagojevic helped build a remote-sensing device that detected biological agents. The technology, originally made for the Department of Defense (DoD), may soon find a place on Mars....

Who's Who : Aerospace
Jason Dworkin, Project Scientist, OSIRIS-REx, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

On September 8, NASA launched OSIRIS-Rex (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer). The probe will spend two years in space, chasing down an asteroid known as Bennu. Discoveries from the mission could help...

Who's Who : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Edward Chow, AUDREY Program Manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Edward Chow leads the development of AUDREY, the Assistant for Understanding Data through Reasoning, Extraction, and sYnthesis. The artificial-intelligence system captures a variety of sensor data, including gases, temperature, and location signals. By sending alerts...

Who's Who : Materials
Dr. Bin Chen, Materials Scientist, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dr. Bin Chen has led the development of nanomaterials and ultra-sensitive detection techniques. Her materials development work directly supports radiation-shielding efforts, artificial photosynthesis, and sustainable energy conversion and storage, including applications...

Who's Who
Stevan Spremo, Project Manager, COTSAT-1, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Stevan Spremo is the project manager of COTSAT-1, or Cost Optimized Test of Spacecraft Avionics and Technologies. The ongoing development project aims to build a fully functional spacecraft for $500,000 in parts and $2 million labor. The prototype is the first of...

Who's Who : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Dr. Patrick Fink, Chief Technologist, Wireless Communication Systems Branch, Johnson Space Center, Houston TX

Dr. Patrick Fink leads technology development of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. The RFID technology will support NASA's efforts to track its various inventories on the International Space Station, from personal supplies...

Who's Who
Joe Munchak, Research Meteorologist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Using the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory satellite, launched in 2014, NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency researchers have taken the first 3D images of raindrops and snowflakes. The GPM snapshots will help research meteorologist...

Who's Who
John Hanson, Nodes Deputy Project Manager and Technical Lead, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

On December 6, 2015, two small satellites, or CubeSats, successfully launched to the International Space Station. As part of NASA’s Nodes mission, the CubeSats will soon communicate with each other and demonstrate the benefits of a...

Who's Who
Mike Krainak, Laser and Electro-Optics Branch Head, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

In 2020, NASA's first-ever integrated-photonics modem will be tested aboard the International Space Station. Mike Krainak leads the development of the modem, which integrates optics-based functions such as lasers, switches, and wires onto a microchip....

Who's Who
Jim Heidmann, Project Manager for NASA’s Advanced Air Transport Technology Project, and Jason Welstead, Aerospace Engineer

Jim Heidmann of Glenn Research Center (Cleveland, OH) and Jason Welstead of Langley Research Center (Hampton, VA) have led NASA efforts to develop all-electric and hybrid-electric designs for large passenger aircraft....

Who's Who
Dave McNally, Aerospace Engineer, Air Traffic Management, and Kapil Sheth, Aerospace Research Engineer, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

Convective weather, such as severe thunderstorm activity, is the leading cause of delay in the U.S. National Airspace System. Two NASA-developed tools – the Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR) tool...

Who's Who
MEET NASA'S PLANETARY PROTECTION OFFICER

Dr. Catharine A. Conley, Planetary Protection Officer, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

As NASA plans launches to Mars, Europa, and beyond, the agency's Office of Planetary Protection ensures that the environments are shielded against contamination, especially bacteria and microbes from Earth....

Who's Who
Dr. Catherine A. Conley, Planetary Protection Officer, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

As NASA plans launches to Mars, Europa, and beyond, the agency's Office of Planetary Protection ensures that the environments are shielded against contamination, especially bacteria and microbes from Earth. Dr. Catherine Conley oversees and audits the...

Who's Who
Dr. Santo A. Padula, Materials Research Engineer, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Dr. Santo Padula has developed testing techniques to support the development of advanced materials like metallic foams and shape memory alloys (SMAs). SMAs are metals that “remember” their original shape. With the application of heat, a deformed SMA...

Who's Who
Al Bowers, Chief Scientist, Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA

Al Bowers is the program manager of Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Lower Drag, or Prandtl-d. The project’s researchers validated elements of a boomerang-shaped wing design that could greatly improve the efficiency of future aircraft.

Who's Who
Amy Keith, Environmental Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Environmental engineer Amy Keith and her team developed a low-cost detector of contaminants in plants and surrounding groundwater. The non-destructive technology scans the surface of a leaf for spectral signatures. NASA currently seeks a development partner for the...

Who's Who : Materials
Kenneth O’Connor, Coatings Engineer, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Kenneth O’Connor has worked with NASA Goddard engineers to develop a nanotextured coating with hydrophobic properties. The technology minimizes dust, liquid, and ice accumulation on its surface, similar to a leaf on the lotus plant. See below for details on a...

Who's Who
Walt Bruce, Convective Heating for Improvement for Emergency Fire Shelters (CHIEFS) Senior Engineer and Anthony Calomino, Materials and Structures Engineer

After a 2013 wildfire led to the loss of 19 elite Arizona firefighters, Langley Research Center engineers, including Walt Bruce and Anthony Calomino, worked with the U.S. Department of...

Who's Who : Aerospace
Kimberly Hambuchen, Deputy Project Manager, Human Robotics System Project, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

Kim Hambuchen is currently building user interfaces for Vakyrie, a six-foot-two, 286-pound humanoid robot. The two-legged Valkyrie builds on NASA’s Robonaut, a robotic assistant currently onboard the International Space Station.

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