Recent Johnson Space Center Awards

JSC Team Members Selected as Recipients of the Agency Quality and Safety Achievement Recognition (QASAR) Award

NASA recently selected Dr. Eric Christiansen and Ronald Cook to receive this year's "Best of the Best" QASAR Award. On May 10, recipients of this prestigious award were recognized at the NASA Honors Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

JSC submitted outstanding nominations in the following QASAR categories:

Category 1 (NASA employee within the NASA SMA organization) Gregory C. Hite, Ph.D., Crew Survival Lead, Space Shuttle Division - JSC winner for his significant contributions to the safety and survival of the crew on manned spaceflight vehicles.

JSC Director Michael L. Coats and Gregory C. Hite, Crew Survival lead, Space Shuttle Division.
JSC Director Michael L. Coats and Gregory C. Hite, Crew Survival lead, Space Shuttle Division.

Category 2 (NASA employee external to the SMA organization) Eric L. Christiansen, Ph.D., NASA Micro-Meteoroid Orbital Debris Lead - "Best of the Best" for his outstanding contributions and leadership in reducing the risk from micro-meteoroid and orbital debris impacts.

Charles H. Scales, associate deputy administrator; Eric L. Christiansen, NASA Micro-Meteoroid Orbital Debris lead; and Shana Dale, deputy administrator.
Charles H. Scales, associate deputy administrator; Eric L. Christiansen, NASA Micro-Meteoroid Orbital Debris lead; and Shana Dale, deputy administrator.

Category 4 (NASA prime or subcontractor employee) Ronald W. Cook, Senior EVA Safety and Mission Assurance Engineer -"Best of the Best" winner for his exemplary contributions to Simplified Aid for the Extravehicular Activity Rescue Project.

Charles H. Scales, associate deputy administrator; Ronald W. Cook, senior EVA Safety and Mission Assurance engineer; and Shana Dale, deputy administrator.
Charles H. Scales, associate deputy administrator; Ronald W. Cook, senior EVA Safety and Mission Assurance engineer; and Shana Dale, deputy administrator.


Dean Rogers Receives Silver Snoopy Award

Click for larger imager
Dean Rogers receives the Silver Snoopy Award from astronaut Shane Kimbrough.
Astronaut Robert "Shane" Kimbrough presented Rolland "Dean" Rogers, a Field Engineering (FE) lead in Lockheed Martin's Aircraft Simulation Program (ASP) Contract, a Silver Snoopy Award at a recent Aircraft Operations Division meeting at Ellington Field. The Snoopy-the astronauts' award for outstanding performance contributing to flight safety and mission success-was flown on STS-116. Rogers also received a certificate of appreciation and commendation letter, both signed by the astronaut.

Dean was recognized for his outstanding Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) support--especially his technical and leadership achievements. As the FE lead, Roger manages ASP field engineers who assemble, troubleshoot and maintain the STA Advance Digital Avionics System (ADAS). Recent ADAS upkeep and modifications have improved the STA's simulation fidelity, increased system reliability and enhanced system maintainability. Rogers has been at Ellington Field for 23 years supporting the STA.

ASP manager Chuck Matus said, "We've achieved several important milestones at ASP this year, and our outstanding employees are the key to our success. Dean Rogers has played a truly noteworthy role as our lead FE, and we're very proud of his achievements that led to this prestigious Snoopy."

Judy Peeples Receives Lockheed Martin Mission Services (LMMS) President's Environmental Safety and Health (ESH) Award

Peeples is pictured between Ken Laughery and Dave Finney.
Peeples is pictured between Ken Laughery and Dave Finney.
Peeples, a Safety engineer for the LMMS Aircraft Simulations Program (ASP) Contract, received the LMMS President's 2006 ESH Award at a recent LMMS ESH conference in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Peeples received this award for her superior ESH performance at Ellington Field. The ASP recently celebrated its five-plus years without an Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordable lost workday case, and this award complements the accomplishment. Judy has been the Safety engineer for nearly five years at Ellington Field.

She joined the Lockheed Martin contract in July 2002, and she serves a dual role as Safety engineer and Quality Assurance representative. Prior to the ASP, Peeples served as Quality engineer for Lockheed Martin's Enterprise Solutions organization. She began her career with the company in 1979, initially assigned to the Manufacturing Department.

Chuck Matus, ASP manager, said, "We are all very excited to see Judy receive this recognition. We are proud of our safety record, and we couldn't do it without the exceptional leadership that Judy provides."

Michele Brekke Recognized for Technology Achievements

As director of JSC's Technology Transfer Office, Michele Brekke has learned that technology can be anything from inflatable space habitats to methods that lower the vibration of transports for critically ill infants. More importantly, she understands the importance of marketing those inventions and the need to develop strong partnerships between NASA and industry.

Brekke will be recognized for her success in commercializing NASA technologies at the annual Top Houston Women in Technology gala on June 9.

She has been named a winner of the 2007 Leadership in Technology Award, given by the Houston Chapter of the Association for Women in Computing (AWC).The Leadership in Technology Award recognizes Houston business women who have made an outstanding contribution in computer-related fields.

Brekke will be recognized along with other award winners at the prestigious event, expected to be attended by more than 400 top Houston business and educational professionals.

"Mrs. Brekke has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities since she began her work with the Houston Technology Center in 2005," said Jill Sweeney, AWC president. "Her strong leadership has stimulated the partnership program between NASA and the private industry and has shown how developing technologies and the advancement of new or existing technologies supports a new generation of space systems."

Brekke is being honored for her efforts to commercialize NASA technologies and developing partnerships between NASA and industries that help meet NASA's mission needs while contributing to competitiveness in global markets. Additionally, her community efforts and associated work with the Houston Technology Center also played an important role in her nomination.

During a year with the Houston Technology Center serving as a NASA loaned executive, Brekke worked with area entrepreneurs to accelerate the commercialization of their technologies. In addition, she coordinated breakthrough technologies for potential partnerships with NASA.

In her present position, Brekke manages programs that encourage the transfer of technology from NASA into the private sector, develops partnerships with industry and businesses and works with NASA, industry and academia to develop innovative partnerships for break-through technologies. She also works with JSC NASA engineers and scientists to ensure successful patenting of their inventions.

Brekke earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. Since joining NASA in 1977, she has held successively more responsible positions in both the Space Shuttle and International Space Station Program offices. Some of the positions she has held include serving as a flight director in the Mission Operations Directorate, as an assistant mission manager and flight manager in the Space Shuttle Program Office and as associate chief of the Space Medicine and Health Care Systems Office.

The Association for Women in Computing is a national, not-for-profit, professional organization formed in 1978 to encourage women in technology-related careers. The Houston chapter is among the largest and oldest in the country. AWC promotes communication among women in technology, assisting in professional development and advancement.

Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Recognizes Winners

The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation presented Apollo-era Flight Director Gene Kranz with the prestigious 2007 National Space Trophy at its annual gala held April 20 at the Houston Hyatt Regency hotel.

The award has been presented annually for the past 21 years to an individual who has excelled in furthering national goals in the field of space. The winner is selected by the RNASA Board of Advisors.

Kranz's citation read: "For outstanding achievements in his pivotal role in the development of flight control operations for all NASA manned space flights. World renowned for his resolve during the Apollo 13 trans-lunar abort rescue, failure was never an option."

Former NBC news correspondent Jim Hartz served as Master of Ceremonies, and Chris Kraft Jr., former director of Johnson Space Center and a previous winner of the National Space Trophy, presented the trophy to Kranz. "Gene Kranz has been one of the leading contributors to the exploration of space since the beginning of the space program in the U.S.," said Kraft. "He has been prominent throughout his career in developing the concepts of flight control and is particularly known for his leadership and development of the flight control teams upon which human spaceflight depended for its success."

Astronauts James Reilly II and Joan Higginbotham presented the RNASA Stellar Awards to 20 individuals and six teams. Each year the RNASA Foundation solicits nominations from NASA, the military and industry leaders in human and unmanned spaceflight programs for individual and team achievements to be recognized with Stellar Awards. This year's 100 individual and 44 team nominations were evaluated based on which accomplishments hold the greatest promise for furthering future activities in space, and the winners in each of four categories were announced at the banquet. The 2007 Stellar Evaluators were former National Space Trophy winners Kraft, Aaron Cohen and Glynn Lunney.

"The Stellar awards are important because they honor those who often work behind the scenes and whose careers and accomplishments may not be as visible as others," said Higginbotham.

"We are all aware it takes the dedication and effort of thousands to get us into space, and these nominees represent the best of our best," said Reilly. "Without the contributions of all the folks involved in the space program, and particularly the Stellar Nominees, it would be impossible to ensure a strong space program for our future."

Six Stellar Awards were presented in the Early Career category that is for individuals up to age 33. The winners are:

Capt. Brian M. Clifford, United States Air Force - Exceptional contributions as the Flight Commander for the first two Vandenberg AFB Delta IV Missions, successfully placing National Reconnaissance Office and Defense Meteorological Satellite Program payloads in orbit in direct support of the Global War on Terror.

Robert Crouch of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne - Dedication and leadership in supporting safe flight of the space shuttle.

Joshua B. Hopkins of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. - Development of safe trajectories enabling Atlas V to carry commercial passengers, and authoring the International Reference Guide to Space Launch Systems, which has become the industry standard reference on launch vehicles.

Matthew P. Scudder of The Boeing Company - Significant knowledge and expertise resulting in recognition by the ISS program as the ISS expert in numerous program areas, including plasma contactor units, remote power control modules, electrical power system orbital replaceable unit firmware, and NASA's Java mission evaluation workstation system data gathering and display software. Mark Mulqueen accepted the award for Scudder.

Dana J. Weigel of NASA - A history of strong technical ability and leadership resulting in her selection as a flight director in 2005, where she immediately began leading Mission Control in critical activities.

David R. York of The Boeing Company - Outstanding contributions in resolving critical technical issues as a result of his expertise in the area of large flexible body structural dynamics, and specifically for developing a tool currently used to calculate dynamic transient loads to help ensure the safety of the ISS crew.

Seven Stellar Awards were presented in the Middle-Career category that is for ages 33-50. The winners are:

Anthony J. Ceccacci of NASA - Twenty-six years of key leadership in manned spaceflight, spanning flight control in all phases of shuttle flight, with unparalleled depth and breadth of systems expertise and operations experience and an exemplary record leading Mission Control as a shuttle flight director.

Robert R. Cuadros of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne - Outstanding support for the advancement of rocket propulsion systems for the nation's space programs.

Kimberly B. Doering of NASA - Outstanding contributions to the safe and highly successful space shuttle operations to continue the assembly of the ISS in 2005 and 2006.

Timothy G. Leonard of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne - Outstanding technical excellence in development and demonstration of engine throttle technology in support of space exploration upper stage and lunar lander applications.

Wanda A. Sigur of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Michoud Operations - Outstanding leadership demonstrated during the return-to-flight effort on the space shuttle's External Tank program.

Christopher E. Singer of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center - Unwavering pursuit of innovative approaches to mitigate critical debris sources from propulsion elements and enable the safe return to flight of the space shuttle.

Carson W. Sparks of United Space Alliance - Service as a lead engineer for the Mission Operations Directorate's Flight Design and Dynamics division's Ascent/Entry Flight Dynamics unit, with significant contributions to safety of flight.

Seven Stellar Awards were presented in the Late Career category for individuals over 50. The winners are:

Eugene J. Beckett of United Space Alliance - Outstanding dedication and extraordinary contributions to the management of human spaceflight from Apollo to space shuttle programs.

Terry Boardman of ATK Launch Systems - Lifetime achievement for 30 years of exceptional vision, innovation and dedication in rocket motor technology development and engineering leadership on the space shuttle program.

Dan C. Brandenstein of Lockheed Martin - Lifetime contributions to the advancement of space exploration and human spaceflight, with an outstanding career serving as a naval aviator, astronaut, pilot and commander of four space shuttle missions, corporate executive and program manager for the NASA Mission Support Operations Contract and leading visionary safety advocacy and educational outreach initiatives.

Glenn M. Ecord of NASA - Setting up fracture control methodology for human spaceflight hardware that has allowed for the improved design of space vehicles and components and is utilized internationally.

James W. Kennedy of NASA's Kennedy Space Center - Outstanding leadership and technical direction of NASA's pioneering space endeavors and the Vision for Space Exploration.

Tommie C. Lacefield of Lockheed Martin Space Systems - Demonstrated excellence in furthering the future of space throughout a career at the Navy, NASA, and most recently as Lockheed Martin Project Orion Program Manager.

Robert T. Savely of NASA - Extended, exemplary career advancing technology and furthering NASA's critical interests in software, robotics, and navigation systems, affecting space missions from Apollo through the return to the moon.

Six Stellar Awards were presented in the Team category. The winners are:

Education and Outreach Program Team of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute - Performance as a nationally recognized, top-tier program that is pioneering new models for exemplary teaching, training and public outreach, in support of the Vision for Space Exploration. The award was accepted by William Thomson on behalf of the team.

ISS Flight Software Team of The Boeing Company -Outstanding dedication and performance in reaching ISS assembly complete functionality, including providing on-orbit software to six-sigma level quality and gaining Software Engineering Institute certification to Capability Maturity Model Integration Level 5. The award was accepted by Gary W. Cooper on behalf of the team.

ISS Guidance, Navigation, and Control Team of The Boeing Company - Outstanding performance in overcoming serious threats to the ISS guidance, navigation and control system after the Columbia tragedy, most especially developing solutions for the control moment gyroscope, supporting shuttle return-to-flight, and resumption of ISS assembly. The award was accepted by Gregory W. Vajdos on behalf of the team.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Development and Operations team of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory - Successful development, launch, and operations of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is conducting remote sensing and world class science of the planet Mars. The award was accepted by James E. Graf on behalf of the team.

Nanotube Research and Development Team of ERC Inc. - Exceptional dedication, hard work, and technical excellence in furthering the understanding of nanomaterials and their application to fuel cells, lightweight composites, and carbon dioxide removal systems. The award was accepted by Sivaram S. Arepalli on behalf of the team.

Stardust Flight and Recovery Team of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory - Exceptional achievement during its historic seven-year planetary spaceflight to bring to Earth samples of primordial material from a cometary nucleus, unchanged since the birth of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago, enabling study of the origin and evolution of our solar system and life on Earth. The award was accepted by Thomas C. Duxbury on behalf of the team.

Awards given at Government Procurement Connections Expo

Twenty-five JSC employees attended the 16th annual Government Procurement Connections (GPC) Expo on March 27at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The GPC is a public sector contracting fair, business expo and entrepreneur training conference that offers small and emerging businesses, prime contractors, government agencies and affiliated organizations a one-stop shop for information regarding contracting opportunities. Attracting more than 10,000 participants annually, including 80 vendors, the GPC is one of the largest business expo events in the Gulf Coast region.

A number of awards were given by government sponsors to employees who made significant contributions to small business advocacy in contracting and to outstanding small business contractors. JSC awardees were Adrian Clayton and Robert Kolb for Procurement Advocacy, Cindy Maclean and Jessica Miller for Small Business Advocacy, Elizabeth (Betsy) Kluksdhal and Jane Fox for Technology Advocacy, and Cheryl Linville for Supportive Contractor. The minority contractors that received JSC awards were Tietronix Software, Inc., Tessada and Associates Inc. and Rede Critique.

In recognition of the need for greater small business access to decision-makers and opportunities to bid on qualified leads, as well as practical 'how-to' guidance on such topics as responding to Request For Proposals (RFPs), GPC organizers themed this year's event "Knowledge, Access, Power." The educational workshops and sessions included NASA -- Navigating for Success, Securing Government Contracts, Government Contracting Success Stories and more.

The NASA booth at the 2007 GPC was manned by Small Business Specialists from the JSC Procurement Policy Office. Those with potential interest in contracting opportunities with JSC were provided information packets that included guidance on how to do business with NASA as well as a 2007 procurement forecast. Procurement personnel were also available to answer questions and solicit feedback from vendors who had attempted doing business with the center. One vendor shared his success story. He attended the National Contract Management Association Space City Chapter's Small Business Conference on March 22 in order to learn about subcontracting opportunities at JSC. At the conference he met the NASA representative from the Procurement Policy Office, who in turn introduced him to subcontractors with potential interest in his company's product/service line. As a result of this encounter, and within a few days of the event, his small business was awarded a contract with one of the JSC subcontractors.

JSC employees among first NASA Technical Fellows

JSC employees have been selected as three of the first 12 NASA Technical Fellows. The employees, members of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC), were named in a ceremony April 11 at the Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton, Va.

They are Curtis Larsen, loads and dynamics; John McManamen, mechanical systems; and Henry Rotter, life support/active thermal.

The NASA Technical Fellows Program was established to recognize technical excellence and provide agency-wide leadership of their respective disciplines as members of the NESC in support of the Office of the Chief Engineer.

NASA Chief Engineer Chris Scolese said that the new designation was motivated by the success of the NESC. Scolese presented each technical fellow with a plaque and his congratulations.

Consistent with NESC practice, the technical fellows will remain resident and actively engaged at their centers.

Other technical fellows named April 11 are Ames' Cynthia Null, human factors; Goddard's Michael Aguilar, software; Cornelius Dennehy, guidance, navigation and control; and Mitchell Davis, avionics; Langley's Robert Piascik, materials; William Prosser, nondestructive evaluation; Ivatury Raju, structures; and David Schuster, aerosciences; and Marshall's George Hopson, propulsion.

NESC Director Ralph Roe said that the idea of NASA technical fellows arose as part of the NESC practice of benchmarking against industry. Elevating distinguished technical employees is a well-established practice at some major corporations.

"NASA technical fellows will be role models for all of our engineers," said Roe.

Scolese added that NASA technical fellows would provide stewardship of their respective disciplines for the agency.

One example of that stewardship will be to foster consistency of agency-level standards and specifications, including those considered core standards. They will also promote discipline stewardship through workshops, conferences and discipline advancing activities.

Four additional technical fellows are expected to be named this fiscal year, two more in fiscal year 2008 and one more in fiscal year 2009. Fellows are competitively selected. The need for additional technical fellows will be evaluated semi-annually.

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