Press Release

NASA Names Deputy Chief Technologist

By SpaceRef Editor
January 12, 2011
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NASA Names Deputy Chief Technologist

WASHINGTON — NASA Chief Technologist Bobby Braun has announced the appointment of Michael J. Gazarik as the agency’s deputy chief technologist.

Gazarik will be a key member of the office responsible for coordination, integration and tracking of all technology investments across the agency, as well as management of NASA’s Space Technology programs.

“I’m delighted Mike has agreed to come to Washington to help manage the technology portfolio that will enable NASA’s future missions in aeronautics, science and exploration,” Braun said. “Mike has more than 20 years experience in the design, development and operation of spaceflight systems, spanning both science and exploration missions. His technical leadership skills will be a great asset to our team as we implement the agency’s Space Technology Program.”

Prior to this appointment, Gazarik was the deputy director for programs in the Engineering Directorate at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. 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 science and exploration.

In previous roles, Gazarik was the chief engineer of NASA’s Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) Earth science mission, and served as the project manager for the Mars Science Laboratory entry, descent and landing instrumentation project during the formulation and design phases. 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.

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.

For information about NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.