Who's Who at NASA

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 : Robotics, Automation & Control
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 : Photonics/Optics
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...

Who's Who
Dr. Mary Ann Meador, Senior Research Scientist, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Dr. Mary Ann Meador, Senior Research Scientist at NASA Glenn Research Center, guides projects that will synthesize new types of aerogels. Her research has focused on the design and development of new polymers for a variety of applications, including...

Who's Who
Michelle Munk, Principal Investigator, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Michelle Munk is Entry, Descent and Landing Principal Investigator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate. Most recently, Munk was the subsystem lead and the Deputy Project Manager for the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI)...

Who's Who : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Kenneth Dudley, Senior Researcher, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Kenneth Dudley is a researcher in the Electromagnetics and Sensors Branch at NASA's Langley Research Center. His project team currently focuses on the testing and development of the SansEC sensor.

NASA Tech Briefs: What is the SansEC sensor?

Kenneth Dudley:...

Who's Who
Dr. Vadim Smelyanskiy, Principal Scientist, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dr. Vadim Smelyanskiy, Principal Scientist, Ames research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dr. Vadim Smelyanskiy is a principal scientist for physics-based methods in the Exploration Technology Directorate at NASA Ames Research Center. During his tenure at...

Who's Who
Tom Flatley, Computer Engineer, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Tom Flatley, computer engineer and current head of the Science Data Processing Branch at Goddard Space Flight Center, leads a group of engineers and programmers in their development of flight and ground-based science data processing systems and applications, including...

Who's Who
David Wing, Air Traffic Management Researcher, Langley Research Center, Hampton VA

David Wing is the principal investigator for the Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR) concept and software application. The cockpit technology, while taking aircraft traffic, weather, and other data sources into account, will compute trajectory...

Who's Who
Jim Lux, Task Manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Jim Lux is task manager on FINDER (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response), a portable radar device that detects heartbeats and breathing of victims trapped under rubble in a disaster.

NASA Tech Briefs: What is FINDER?

Jim Lux: FINDER...

Who's Who
Butler Hine, Project Manager, LADEE, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dr. Butler Hine is the project manager of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft. The vehicle, successfully launched in September, will characterize the dust environment of the moon.

NASA Tech Briefs: What is the Lunar Atmosphere...

Who's Who
Dr. Leslie Bebout, Microbial Ecologist, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dr. Leslie Bebout works as a microbial ecologist in the Exobiology Branch at NASA’s Moffett Field, CA-based Ames Research Center. She and her colleagues study the complexities of carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen cycling in early Earth and Mars analog microbial...

Who's Who
Garry Lyles, Chief Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL

NASA Tech Briefs: What is the Space Launch System?

Garry Lyles: It’s the heavy launch system that is designed to take humans and cargo beyond lower Earth orbit. It is the next big capability with the Orion MPCV (Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle). The Space Launch...