Judges

 

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Fred Elliott
Fred Elliott
NASA Glenn Research Center


Fred Elliott is currently a project manager with the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland, Ohio and has been employed by NASA since 1985. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Akron (UA) and began his NASA career as a cooperative education student supporting tests in the Vertical Motion Simulator at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA, while attending UA.

In 1987, Mr. Elliott joined NASA full-time as a wind tunnel test engineer in the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex, leading various tests in the 40-ft x 80-ft and 80-ft x 120-ft wind tunnels. In June 1991, Mr. Elliott joined the System Analysis and Integration Lab at the Marshall Spaceflight Center in Huntsville, AL where he provided systems engineering expertise for various launch vehicle and payload projects over a 7-year span. Mr. Elliott returned to his home state of Ohio and has been at the NASA GRC since 1998 where he has supported numerous spaceflight projects, including the upgrade of the test facilities at Plum Brook Station’s Space Power Facility which are currently supporting NASA’s Orion Program among other space vehicles.

Mr. Elliott is currently managing the Space Technology Mission Directorate Game Changing Development Program’s Extreme Environment Solar Power (EESP) Project and the Solar Arrays with Storage (SAWS) seedling study. The SAWS seedling study is a collaborative effort between GRC, Langley Research Center, Johnson Space Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory investigating the potential use of advanced photovoltaic and energy storage systems to provide surface power on Mars.

Fred Elliott
NASA Glenn Research Center

Robert Hodson
Dr. Robert Hodson
NASA Langley Research Center


Dr. Robert Hodson is the Deputy Program Manager for the Game Changing Development (GCD) Program at NASA Langley Research Center. GCD has approximately 30 technology projects in various stages to develop disruptive technologies for NASA’s future missions to Mars and beyond.

Dr. Hodson has nearly 35 years of experience as an engineer, of which over 25 have been since completion of his Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science from The Florida State University, where his research focused on real-time expert systems computer architecture. Dr. Hodson has authored or co-authored over 40 publications including technical papers, articles, and one book. Many of the papers deal with engineering and research issues related to space electronics design and computing architectures.

Since joining NASA in 2002, Dr. Hodson has served in several capacities. He recently served as the Deputy Chief Engineer for NASA Langley Research Center and assumed responsibilities of the Center Chief Engineer during a six-month vacancy. He was the Chief Engineer for the Electronics Systems Branch at Langley responsible for technical oversight and review of multiple new technology and flight projects. He was a core member of the NESC’s Super Problem Resolution Team for Power and Avionics where he was part of the Hubble Space Telescope health assessment team and other assessment activities. He served as the Deputy Chairman of the Avionics Steering Committee and has been an advocate for avionics technology, leading the committee’s avionics road-mapping efforts. Dr. Hodson was the principal investigator on the Reconfigurable Scalable Computing for Space project; an international collaboration to enable advanced processing capabilities for future missions. He also served as the C&DH subsystem lead on the Crew Excursion Vehicle Smart Buyer team. Dr. Hodson was the Constellation Program Avionics Discipline Lead and worked with multiple NASA centers and organizations to help lead the program through multiple successful milestone reviews. In this role he also led multiple risk assessments and technical studies for the program including leading the Constellation Common Avionics initiative and the Heavy Lift Vehicle Computing Architecture study.

Prior to working at NASA, Dr. Hodson was an associate professor of computer engineering and Director of the Computer Engineering program at Christopher Newport University where he worked for 13 years. While working at CNU he performed research with NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy.

Dr. Hodson has received numerous individual and group awards for outstanding performance and achievements. Among his awards are: The Florida State Dissertation Fellowship Award, the NASA Langley Center Team Award, the NESC Group Achievement Award, the One NASA Peer Award, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

In addition to his Ph.D., Dr. Hodson holds a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Central Florida and a dual Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Connecticut.

Robert Hodson
NASA Langley Research Center

 
Lee Mason
Lee Mason
NASA Glenn Research Center


Lee Mason has been a power and propulsion technologist at NASA's Glenn Research Center for almost 30 years. During his career, he has helped to develop advanced radioisotope power systems for deep space science, compact fission reactors for surface power and nuclear electric propulsion, high temperature solar arrays for near-sun missions, solar dynamic power systems for the space station, and high power Hall-effect thrusters for earth orbiting satellites.

Prior to his new assignment as the Principal Technologist for Power and Energy Storage, Mr. Mason was Chief of the Thermal Energy Conversion Branch in the Glenn Power Division. His branch was instrumental in maturing the high efficiency Stirling power convertors and the alkali-metal heat pipes that could revolutionize future space nuclear power systems

He has written over 100 technical publications on space power and propulsion and generated several patent applications related to space nuclear power. Mr. Mason is the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal (2006), the Rotary National Stellar Award (2010), R&D100 Award (2013) and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (2014). He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cleveland State University.

Lee Mason
NASA Glenn Research Center

Lee Mason
Jeremiah McNatt
NASA Glenn Research Center


Jeremiah McNatt has been a member of the Photovoltaic and Electrochemical Systems Branch at the NASA John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio for the past 15 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Physics from The University of Akron and a master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. He has worked on a variety of space solar cell related programs including thin film, organic, and high-efficiency cell development and is currently working on solar arrays for unique applications including high temperature/high intensity, low temperature/low intensity, and planetary surfaces. His background includes growth of high efficiency solar cells and packaging of arrays for optimal performance in their environment. He has been a co-chair of the Energy Generation and Storage Technology Area for the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF) program for the past 4 years and continues to support the program.

Jeremiah McNatt
NASA Glenn Research Center

Richard Pappa
Richard Pappa
NASA Langley Research Center


Richard Pappa has worked on aerospace structures at the NASA Langley Research Center since 1974 including 4 years initially with a local contractor, Wyle Labs. Over the years he has led teams for many challenging research and engineering projects primarily in the areas of structural dynamics, structural acoustics, large solar arrays and solar sails, and other lightweight deployable structures.

His first experience with large deployable solar arrays was with the Solar Array Flight Experiment in 1984 in which an ISS solar array prototype was successfully deployed and retracted in space from the Space Shuttle and its vibration properties were measured using photogrammetry. He presently serves as the Principal Investigator for solar arrays on a seedling study for the Solar Arrays with Storage (SAWS) project sponsored by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. He also manages the Deployable Structures SBIR subtopic for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

Richard has two degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a highly supportive wife, three grown children spread across the country, and two grandsons in Seattle.

Richard Pappa
NASA Langley Research Center