|SSCO Deputy Project Manager|
What kind of work do you do as "SSCO Deputy Project Manager"?
Keep the troops doing meaningful work.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Watching individual ingredients combine to produce a perfectly balanced stew. To orchestrate separate subsystem design, fabrication and tests, such that they subsequently come together and function as an integrated unit is a thing of beauty.
What first interested you in working for NASA?
The thought of being a single individual who could make a meaningful difference on the Hubble Space Telescope was beyond the wildest dreams of a country boy from North Carolina, but when the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance.
Where did you go to high school and college, and what degrees did you receive?
West Charlotte Senior High, and The Catholic University of America where I earned a B.S. in chemistry.
How did your education prepare you for your work at NASA?
It probably isn't hard to imagine how my courses in physics, chemistry and math proved essential to my effectiveness as a NASA engineer. What was not intuitive to me was how important my education in both written and spoken English would be to my continued success. Bright, clever and hardworking engineers must convey their insights to others effectively, or they are of little use.
What made you want to work in satellite servicing, and what interests you the most about it?
The ability to 'turn around' the fate of an existing satellite is incredibly compelling. Rather than accepting the fact that a legacy satellite (one that wasn't designed with servicing in mind) had an unsuccessful deployment, or out of propellant, or faulty/outdated detectors, satellite servicing allows one to challenge and possibly change that paradigm.
How long have you been at NASA?
I started with NASA in 1998. I spent the first twelve years as the lead materials engineer for the Hubble Space Telescope, and the most recent years as the deputy project manager for the Robotic Refueling Mission.