About the Author

I earned my degree in Aerosapce Engineering from North Carolina State University. While in college I was hired by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center as a Co-Op student. I worked for five different semesters at the Wallops Flight Facility in various departments including the machine shop, the environmental testing lab, the Launch Vehicle Assembly Group, the Scientific Balloon Program Office, and the Sounding Rockets Program Office.

Upon graduation I began working full-time at Wallops in the Sounding Rockets Program's Flight Vehicles and Systems Section as a recovery systems engineer. I was responsible for recovery system assignments and sustaining engineeing for the recovery systems themselves. I developed an Air Retrieveal High Altitude Parachute system that cound be deployed at 200,000 feet and then be air snatched by an airplane before the payload hit the ocean.

After a couple of years I became a Project Manager within the Sounding Rockets Program and managed teams that designed, built, tested, and launched sounding rocket payloads from sites all over the world. As part of my job I traveled to sites such as Australia, Norway, Sweden, Kwajalein, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Germany, France, and Japan. I mananaged projects for nearly 15 years.

I became the head of the NASA Sounding Rockets Program Office in 2001. As Program Manager, I was responsible to for all managerial and technical aspects of the program. While serving as the Program Manager I received NASA's Expectional Leadership Medal and NASA's Highest award, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.

Throughout my career I was an strong advocate for STEM education. Shortly after graduating, I started a non-profit STEM education program known as Extra-Curricular Educational Laboratories (ExCEL). I developed home-built laboratory equipment that could be used by local students conducting science fair projects. Equipment included a low-speed windtunnel, a towing tank for testing boat hulls, hydro-circulation test tank, a moment of inertial test stand, and much more. I also ran an engineering club and a model rocket club that focused on rocket design and testing. The organization also operated a hands-on science museum for which I developed over 30 hands-on science and engineering exhibits. I developed countless Saturday science programs for K-6 students.

I also developed many STEM education programs for NASA. This included sounding rocket flight opportunities for high school and university students. I mentored several student, cub scout, and girl scout teams that flew experiments as part of the Space Shuttle Student Experiment Module (SEM) program. I also developed several teacher workshops and even developed a space camp for blind students in conjunction with the National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore, Maryland.

Now I am retired, but I am still excited about STEM education, and I hope to continue to help inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists. While I have helped hundreds of students from around the country over my 35 year career, it is my goal to reach thousands more by providing teachers with interesting and meaninful content for the classroom. So it is my hope that you will tap into my LabRat STEM education resources and maybe even provide some financial support to allow me to expand my content...

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