Who's Who at NASA

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...

News : 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.

Who's Who
Kurt Leucht, Command & Control Software Developer, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Project Lead Kurt Leucht has spent recent months testing the software of NASA's "Swarmie" robots. Using an evolving genetic algorithm, the robots operate as connected, ant-like swarms. The technology could prove to be valuable as humans explore harsh, remote, or...

Who's Who
Dr. David W. Miller, Chief Technologist, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Dr. David Miller began his term as the NASA chief technologist on March 17, 2014. He currently serves as the agency’s principal advisor and advocate on NASA technology policy and programs. Miller, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has also...

Who's Who : Photonics/Optics
Emily Wilson, Scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Emily Wilson developed a miniaturized laser heterodyne radiometer (mini-LHR) to measure the emissions of carbon dioxide and methane from melting permafrost. Wilson’s technology will be one of several NASA instruments sent to Alaska in June to analyze trace gases in the...

Who's Who
Carolyn Parcheta, NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

A geologist by training, Carolyn Parcheta had an idea in July of 2013 to develop a robot that explores and measures the shape of volcanic fissures. She worked with engineering teams at JPL to develop the VolcanoBot. In May 2014, the robot explored Mauna Ulu on...

Who's Who
David Blake, Senior Research Scientist, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

David Blake developed the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument that is currently deployed on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity. The powder-handling device inside CheMin won Blake the 2010 NASA Commercial Government Invention of the...

Who's Who
Susan Draper, Materials Research Engineer, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Susan Draper performs microstructural analysis of metals and determines where fractures have occurred and propagated. Draper is currently characterizing electron-beam-melted, additive-manufactured titanium-6 aluminum-4 vanadium, a titanium alloy. Her team is...

Who's Who
Brian Trease, Mechanical Engineer, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Brian Trease, JPL Mechanical Engineer, uses origami principles to design large-scale and small-scaled deployable structures. In 2013, Trease collaborated with experts to develop an 82-ft circular solar array that folds up to be 8.9 feet in diameter.

Who's Who
Jeff Ding, Aerospace Welding Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Jeff Ding developed Ultrasonic Stir Welding (USW) to join large pieces of very high‑strength metals, such as titanium and Inconel. The solid-state weld process improves the current Thermal Stir Welding process by adding high-power ultrasonic (HPU) energy at 20...

Who's Who
Jason Moore, Fiber Optic Sensors Engineer, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Jason Moore has worked at NASA Langley since 1995. He currently tests and develops fiber optic technologies, including multicore fibers. He is actively organizing ground and flight tests to demonstrate the multicore fiber’s ability to sense structural shape...

Who's Who
Dr. Ajay Koshti, Lead Nondestructive Evaluation Engineer, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

Dr. Ajay Koshti, Lead Nondestructive Evaluation Engineer, invented NASA Flash Infrared Thermography Software. Koshti also worked as a Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) Engineer on NASA Space Shuttle Orbiter for 23 years.

Who's Who
Scott Jensen, Aerospace Technologist (AST) Electronics Engineer, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

Scott Jensen and his team developed the Valve Health Monitoring System (VHMS), a technology designed for detecting deterioration in the mechanical integrity of high-geared ball valves and linearly actuated valves. Beyond valve monitoring, the...

Who's Who : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Dr. Keith Gendreau, Principal Investigator, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Dr. Keith Gendreau is the principal investigator of the upcoming Neutron star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER) mission. He was the 2011 Innovator of the Year at Goddard Space Flight Center, and he has been developing X-ray detectors, optics, and other...