Press Release

NASA Marshall Center Engineer, Corning, N.Y., Native Kathleen C. Matus Honored with Federal Women’s Program Award

By SpaceRef Editor
November 11, 2008
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Kathleen C. “Kate” Matus, a native of Corning, N.Y., and a space shuttle engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has received a Federal Women’s Program Outstanding Achievement Award for exceptional professional service to the Marshall Center and the U.S. space program.

The award was presented by the Team Redstone Federal Women’s Program, which includes the Marshall Center and the U.S. Army Garrison at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. The annual awards recognize outstanding federal employees in professional, administrative, supervisory and clerical positions.

Since 2003, Matus has served as team lead for booster electrical systems in the Marshall Center’s Reusable Solid Rocket Booster Project Office – the organization that manages the powerful twin propulsion elements that help lift the space shuttle to orbit. She is responsible for managing all costs, schedules and technical requirements associated with the solid rocket boosters’ electrical components and subsystems.

“Kate is more than a manager — she’s a leader,” said David Beaman, Matus’ supervisor and manager of the Reusable Solid Rocket Booster Project Office. “She demonstrates her commitment to her team and to NASA’s core values on a daily basis, contributing significantly to the success of the Space Shuttle Program.”

“It’s a privilege to work for the shuttle program at Marshall,” Matus said. “It is enormously satisfying to see the decisions and recommendations of my team play a significant role in preparing each vehicle for flight. Each time we send off the shuttle successfully, we all feel rewarded.

“To receive this honor for doing a job I feel privileged to do is icing on the cake,” she added.

Matus began her NASA career at the Marshall Center in 1991 as a computer engineer in the Mission Operations Laboratory. From 1991 to 1999, she served in positions of increasing responsibility in the organization. She played a key role in developing enhanced hardware and software for the Huntsville Operations Support Center, Marshall’s spaceflight control center that provides real-time telemetry and command processing for spaceflight missions, conducts pre-launch checkout, training and flight preparations and serves as home to the International Space Station’s Payload Operations Center, a 24-hour control center for science aboard the orbiting research facility.

In 1999, Matus was named business manager for the Solid Rocket Booster Project at Marshall. Her leadership in maintaining the budget and schedule for the project, funded at more than $150 million per year, led to her promotion in 2001 to assistant manager of the project office. She assumed her current role two years later.

Matus earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in electrical engineering in 1986 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. She is the recipient of numerous NASA achievement awards, and was selected in 2000 as a Space Flight Awareness awardee, an honor given by NASA to employees whose dedication to quality work and mission safety go above and beyond the call of duty.

Matus, her husband and their two daughters reside in Huntsville.

SpaceRef staff editor.