NASA Workforce Map
Personal Thoughts About Working for NASA
Mechanical Engineer

Dexter J. Edmond
Mechanical Engineer
Marshall Space Flight Center
GMI Engineering and Management Institute
Joined NASA as a co-op in 1993 and as a full-time employee in 1997
"As an engineer in the Mechanical Design Division of the Propulsion Laboratory at Marshall, my job essentially involves the design of mechanical ground support equipment in support of various projects. I’m working the MGSE Team of the Fastrac/60K Engine as part of the Low Cost Technologies Program. I’m responsible for the design of the Vertical Engine Installer, which will be used to support testing of the Frastrac/60K Engine. I’ve been involved with this project from its beginning, which has allowed me to make inputs to the design of some of the engine components. Also, the cooperative nature of this program has allowed me to travel and be involved with the design process from its initial concept through fabrication to operator usage.
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"As a flight systems engineer with the Flight Systems Branch at Dryden, I carry out systems engineering, programming, and experiment integration on the F-18 System Research Aircraft. Right now we’ve just completed flight test of an electromechanical actuator in place of the hydraulic actuator on the left aileron of the aircraft. We hope this technology will be used to eventually develop aircraft with only electric systems and no hydraulic system at all. This change in technology would lead to increased efficiency and safety, since there would be no hydraulic lines to sever, less fuel consumption, and less maintenance.
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Flight Systems Engineer

Steve Jensen
Flight Systems Engineer
Dryden Flight Research Center
UCLA
Joined NASA in 1998


Construction Manager

Scott Olive
Construction Manager
Stennis Space Center
Mississippi State University
Joined NASA in 1998
"As a construction manager at Stennis, my job essentially involves ensuring that designs are properly implemented within the customer’s budget and schedule. This requires close interaction with construction personnel and design engineers. Right now, I’m working on modifying a test stand for testing engine components for the RS 76 test program. This test program requires the fabrication of 15,000 psig nitrogen, 8,500 psig liquid oxygen, and 8,500 psig RP-1 piping systems.
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Accountant

Nicole DelVasco
Accountant
Kennedy Space Center
Gallaudet University
Joined NASA in 1991
The challenge of growing up hearing impaired in a hearing world instilled and inspired Nicole DelVesco rather than defeating her.

"As an accountant at Kennedy, my job involves working with cost data from our budget analysts and analyzing and processing the data into our accounting system. I’m also the Primary Collection Agent for Kennedy, which means that I receive all incoming checks, assign receipts to them, and make weekly deposits. I’ve also had the chance to learn other job areas in my branch that will enable me to advance in the organization.
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Kelly Murphy
Aerospace Research Engineer
Langley Research Center
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
University of Texas at Austin


"This photograph shows one proposed configuration for the X-33 hypersonic vehicle installed in the Langley CF4 wind tunnel. NASA is partnering with industry on this project for developing technology demonstrators that may lead to a reusable launch vehicle. This open jet wind tunnel is unique in that it uses a heavy gas instead of air to stimulate reentry conditions. The work that’s done here is high-risk research that industry cannot afford to do.
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Aerospace Research Engineer



Barry Lazos
Aerospace Research Engineer
Langley Research Center
Old Dominion University
George Washington University
Joined NASA in 1985
"My work at Langley involves aircraft noise reduction in particular, I’m studying the flow field around a

4-wheel landing gear to determine noise sources. Certain flow features are known noise producers, and I look for such features around the landing gear. The wind tunnel I’m working in is a state-of-the-art facility with instrumentation to measure various aspects of the flow. This particular tunnel is a fundamental research facility as opposed to others at Langley that are more production-oriented.
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"This is a model of a double-delta wing with tails. It is essentially a simple geometric representation of a fighter aircraft like the F-14 or F-15 that we use to examine flow physics. The simple geometry allows me to isolate and examine flow structures like the vortex that forms on leading edges. This type of information and data are used to assess the accuracy of computer simulations involving the same geometry. This process is called code validation.
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Aerospace Research Engineer

Luther Jenkins
Aerospace Research Engineer
Langley Research Center
Brown University
George Washington University
Joined NASA in 1990

Aerospace Technician

Julie Johnson
Aerospace Technician
Langley Research Center
North Carolina State University
Joined NASA as a co-op in 1988; became a full-time employee in 1992

"I work in the Spacecraft and Sensors Branch of the Space Systems and Concepts Division. I’ve been involved in developing virtual reality demonstrations to show on screens how commands affect Space Station systems. I’ve been helping to develop the immersive environment that lets an engineer look at all data at the same time using several of the senses rather than at data from different systems separately. This human factors technology will enable engineers to give verbal commands to the computer to carry out various operations.
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"As an electrical engineer in the Instrumentation Engineering Group of the Electromechanical Systems Branch at Goddard, I’m working on developing the focus and filter mechanisms positioning sensors, or actuators, and the electronics for the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC) instrument. The instrument will operate in a cryogenic environment on a mission, SIRTF, that’s now scheduled to fly in late 2001. My group is developing the ground support equipment to simulate the environment before the instrument actually flies. The control system for the equipment can be positioned remotely.
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Electrical Engineer

Carlos Bernabe
Electrical Engineer
Goddard Space Flight Center
University of Puerto Rico
John Hopkins University
Joined NASA as a co-op student in 1992; became a full-time employee in 1994

Central Process System Operator

Floyd Truskot
Central Process System Systems Operator
Glenn Research Center
Lorain County Community College
University of Akron
Joined NASA in 1992
"At Glenn, I work in a highly technical yet relaxed environment. I remotely operate large compressors, exhausters, drying beds, chillers, dehydrators, hydraulic oil systems, lube oil systems, and valves to recreate atmospheric conditions for jet engine research. Systems include; high- and low-voltage distribution; cooler tower and chilled water; refrigeration and desiccant dehydration; natural gas; high-volume air at 40, 150, 450, and 1,250 psi; service and control air; altitude and atmospheric exhaust; lubricating; and control oil, all part of the Glenn Process System distribution control system. We work in a very specialized and unique field. It is state-of-the-art and very exciting work!
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"I have had a somewhat unique path to NASA compared to some others. When I was starting out, college really wasn’t an option, but because I loved the thought of being around aircraft, I joined the Air Force, where I earned my associates degree in Survival and Rescue. I spent 26 years in the military, then joined private industry for three years, and finally joined NASA in 1994. At NASA, I feel I’m a part of aviation history.
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Life Support Technician

Bob McElwain
Life Support Technician
Dryden Flight Research Center
Joined NASA in 1994

"I am the mechanical engineer developing the detector mounts and shutter mechanism for the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC) instrument that will fly on board the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF). This telescope, scheduled to launch in 2001, is the fourth in the family of spacecraft containing the Hubble Space Telescope. IRAC is a low background-noise camera that measures energy in the near infrared range and will be looking for protoplanetary objects and brown dwarfs. The SIRTF mission objectives include looking for missing mass in our galaxy in the form of brown dwarfs and superplanets, identifying protoplanetary disks and young stellar objects, and performing deep surveys of the early Universe.
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Mechanical Engineer

Scott Schwinger
Mechanical Engineer
Goddard Space Flight Center
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University]
Joined NASA as a co-op student in 1991; became a full-time employee in 1995

Aerospace Engineer

Deborah Amato
Aerospace Engineer
Goddard Space Flight Center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Maryland
Joined NASA as a co-op student in 1993; became a full-time employee in 1994
"As an aerospace engineer at Goddard, my job essentially involves mechanical design, hardware fabrication, test planning, and instrument integration. I translate what scientists want into a working instrument.

"Right now, I’m working on developing the imagery grids for HESSI, the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager. HESSI is a solar observing instrument that will fly on a Small Explorer spacecraft, hopefully during the Solar Maximum in 2000, and will study the Sun’s high-energy characterization of the grids. I also carry out environmental testing to ensure that the instrument will survive its launch loads.
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"I’m project manager for the Modular Cultivation System, which is a joint facility that NASA is developing with the European Space Agency. The system is an incubator equipped with centrifuges that will allow us to carry out plant physiology research on the International Space Station (ISS). Eventually, we hope to study cells and aquatic life forms on the ISS. This project lets me apply some of my training in biomechanics, which was a focus of my graduate work.
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Mechanical Engineer

Tina Herrera
Mechanical Engineer
Ames Research Center
University of California-Berkeley
University of California-Davis
Joined NASA as a co-op student in 1992; became a full-time employee in 1994

"I became an Airborne Science pilot in the Flight Crew Branch of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center after a career with the United States Air Force. As a research pilot, I pilot research aircraft such as the DC-8, King Air, Learjet, B-52, and others. Right now I am working on research projects that would allow an aircrew added visual capability for short austere airfield and drop zone identification during nighttime operations.  I also recently commanded DC-8 flights to investigate weather phenomena associated with hurricanes and thunderstorms.  I think my work has contributed to increasing aviation safety be better understanding and predicting hurricanes and thunderstorms.
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Research Pilot

Frank Batteas
Research Pilot
Dryden Flight Research Center
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
University of Southern California
California State University Fresno
Joined NASA in 1998

Eileen Collins Eileen Collins

U.S.A.F. Lt. Col. Eileen Marie Collins is the first woman ever selected to be a space shuttle pilot and the first woman to command a space shuttle. In the Air Force she was a T-38 instructor pilot and a C-141 aircraft commander. Today she has flown more than 5,000 hours in more than 30 type of aircraft.

When Commander Collins, 42, and her crew launch into space on Columbia, in Spring 1999, she will be taking with her the hopes and dreams of a nation of young people here on Earth. She's an energetic and slender woman with short curly hair and friendly brown eyes.

Eileen grew up in a family with two brothers, a sister and "two very supportive parents." Her parents, Jim and Rose Collins describe her as, "a very ordinary person, a down-to-earth individual. She's very thoughtful - Nobody handed her anything. Everything she is today, she's earned."
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"I work in the Space Sciences Laboratory as part of the X-ray astronomy group. I am currently involved in a high-altitude balloon gondola project that will carry X-ray experiments to altitudes of 35-42 kilometers. At these altitudes, 99 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere is below us, and we can observe faint X-ray sources. In this photo, the galactic field-of-view of the X-ray instruments on the gondola is displayed on my monitor.
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Computer Engineer

Cheryl Bankston
Computer Engineer
Marshall Space Flight Center
University of Alabama at Huntsville
Joined NASA as a co-op student in 1990; became a full-time employee in 1994

"I came to Marshall in June 1995 as a co-op student while I was working on my Ph.D. at M.I.T. I’ve been working at the Global Hydrology and Climate Center (GHCC), a cooperative venture between Marshall, the University of Alabama at Huntsville, and Universities Space. Research Association that investigates global and regional scale climate studies. One focus is observing lightening from space. Right now, we have experiments on several orbital missions. Eventually, we hope to fly our sensors on a geostationary satellite, providing round-the-clock lightning coverage of the Western Hemisphere.
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Space Scientist

Dennis Boccippio
Space Scientist
Marshall Space Flight Center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Joined NASA as a co-op student in 1995 and as a full-time employee in 1997

"I am a test conductor and mechanical systems engineer for Stennis’ R&D space propulsion testing. Currently, I am responsible for writing test procedures, overseeing the build of a liquid oxygen feed system, and performing tests for the first time on a 250Klbf hybrid motor that is in the R&D stage of its development.
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Test Conductor and Mechanical Systems Engineer

Elizabeth Messer
Test Conductor and Mechanical Systems Engineer
Stennis Space Center
Mississippi State University
Joined NASA in 1988 and came to Stennis in 1996

"I work in human resources at Johnson and enjoy serving as an advocate for both the employees and their supervisors, helping employees with their problems, and getting the needed services to as many people as I can. As a personnel management specialist, my job involves providing guidance to Center management on personnel issues that will help them better achieve their organizational goals within the NASA Strategic Plan.
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Personnel Management Specialist

Clarence Williams
Personnel Management Specialist
Johnson Space Center
Auburn University
Joined NASA as a co-op student in 1994 and as a full-time employee in 1998

Materials Research Engineer

Lesley Janosik
Materials Research Engineer
Glenn Research Center
Pennsylvania State University
Joined NASA in 1991

"I chose NASA because it provides a unique environment that allows me to pursue new challenges and opportunities. As a materials research engineer at Glenn, my job involves developing analytical constitutive relationships and life prediction models for advanced brittle materials and incorporating these models into computer algorithms for predicting the reliability of turbine engine hot section components for aerospace and terrestrial power and propulsion applications. I’m currently a member of a team that develops, maintains, and enhances the award-winning CARES (Ceramics Analysis and Reliability Evaluation of Structures) integrated design computer software program. My work impacts material selection and component design by major engine companies, as well as over 300 additional organizations that use the CARES software.
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