Overview of NASA Space Technology Programs

2:00 pm on Monday, October 29, 2012
3:30 pm on Monday, October 29, 2012
Photonics Center, 8 Saint Mary’s St., Room 906
Overview of NASA Space Technology Programs

With Dr. Michael Gazarik, Director of Space Technology Programs, NASA

Sponsored by Boston University’s Office of the Provost, Office of Federal Relations, College of Engineering, Center for Space Physics, and Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

About the Speaker: Dr. Michael Gazarik has over 25 years experience in the design, development, and deployment of spaceflight systems. He has contributed to the development of technology with application to NASA’s Exploration Systems, Space Operations and Science missions. Prior to this appointment, Gazarik served as the deputy chief technologist at NASA Headquarters, focusing on enabling effective implementation of the Space Technology programs. Gazarik came to NASA Headquarters from NASA's Langley Research Center (LaRC) in Hampton, Virginia, where he was the deputy director for programs in the Engineering Directorate. In this role, he balanced the directorate's engineering and fabrication capabilities across projects that ranged from conceptual design to spaceflight operations, focused the directorate's resources to deliver flight hardware for numerous flight programs, and led the formulation of a variety of programs in aeronautics, exploration and science. He has served as the project manager for the Mars Science Laboratory entry, descent and landing instrumentation project during the formulation and design phases (sponsored by ESMD, SMD, ARMD). He led Langley’s formulation of the ESMD Sensor Test for Orion Relative Navigation Risk Mitigation (STORRM) project that is developing an advanced laser-based rendezvous and docking sensor system. Gazarik led LaRC’s formulation of the ESMD Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance (ALHAT) project that has developed advanced sensor systems for planetary landings. Gazarik also was principal investigator for the Shuttle Program's Extravehicular Infrared Camera Project, leading the development of this handheld infrared camera system in 2006 (SOMD). Gazarik recently served as chief engineer of NASA's Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) for NASA’s Earth science mission (SMD). Prior to joining NASA, Gazarik served as project manager for the Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS) project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory. He also led the development of the Airborne Sounder Testbed-Interferometer, an instrument that helps scientists understand temperature and water vapor profiles of the Earth's atmosphere. Gazarik also worked in the private sector on software and firmware development for commercial and government applications. Gazarik earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1987. He earned an M.S. in 1989 and Ph.D. in 1997, both in electrical engineering, from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Gazarik has received numerous awards, including NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2007 and the Silver Snoopy Award, one of the agency's highest honors, in 2006. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications.