I am happy to announce that Ralph Roe will be our next NASA chief engineer.
As chief engineer, Ralph will be responsible for the overall review and technical readiness of all NASA programs. The chief engineer serves as the agency's principal advisor on the execution of our programs and projects with proper controls and management of technical risks and ensures our work is planned and conducted on a sound engineering basis.
Ralph began his career at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 1983 as a propulsion systems test engineer. In 1996, Ralph was named director of shuttle engineering, responsible for engineering management and technical direction of all space shuttle integration, checkout, maintenance, launch, landing and recovery operations. In 1998, Ralph became the space shuttle launch director at KSC. In this role he contributed to the successful preflight, launch, landing, and recovery operations for four missions, including STS-95, Senator John Glenn’s return to space; and STS-88, the first International Space Station Assembly mission. In 1999, Ralph moved to the Johnson Space Center in Houston as the manager of space shuttle vehicle engineering responsible for the design, production and testing of the space shuttle orbiters, flight crew equipment, remote manipulator system and flight software.
In 2003, Ralph developed the concept for and became the first director of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC), located at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The NESC was formed following the Space Shuttle Columbia accident to provide the agency the technical expertise, skills, and resources to offer an independent look at NASA’s most difficult problems. With over 500 engineering and safety assessments across all of NASA’s missions in the past 10 years, the NESC has become an invaluable resource for the agency to solve difficult technical challenges.
Ralph will continue to work primarily from Langley. I look forward to having him at the helm of the agency engineering organization where he will serve as my principal advisor in matters of engineering and technical authority. His knowledge and expertise will be invaluable as we continue to develop technologies and systems for putting humans further into space, for developing spacecraft to advance our scientific knowledge of Earth and the solar system, and for advancing the nation’s aeronautics efforts.