- Press Release
- Oct 3, 2022
Stephen Rodgers to head NASA’s Propulsion Research Center at Marshall
Dr. Stephen L. Rodgers has been named manager of NASA’s Propulsion Research
Center at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Rodgers will lead the Propulsion Research Center’s study of advanced
propulsion technologies, supporting development of the next-generation
transportation systems and spacecraft needed to achieve NASA’s goals for
exploration and commercial development of space.
Prior to his new appointment, Rodgers served as deputy of space technologies
in the Office of Science, Technology and Engineering at the Pentagon in
Washington, D.C. He was responsible for developing and managing space-based
science, technology and acquisition programs for the United States Air
A native of Pasadena, Calif., Rodgers holds an undergraduate degree in
chemistry from Point Loma College in San Diego, Calif., and a doctorate in
organic chemistry from the University of Nevada in Reno. After concluding
graduate work in 1982, he conducted research with Nobel prize-winning
chemist Dr. Melvin Calvin at the University of California at Berkeley.
In 1983, Rodgers joined the Rocket Propulsion Laboratory at Edwards Air
Force Base, Calif., as a civilian research scientist. A year later, he
initiated the High Energy Density Matter program, selected by the Air Force
as one of the most promising future technologies. To further these studies,
Rodgers in 1986 helped create the Office of Applied Research in Energy
Storage, where he served in a variety of capacities through the end of the
In 1990, Rodgers became chief of the Emerging Technologies branch of the
Propulsion Directorate at Phillips Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base. He
managed research in advanced chemical and electric propulsion, rocket
component materials and advanced propulsion concepts. He was appointed
director of the Propulsion Sciences Division at Phillips in 1994, overseeing
performance of all basic and applied propulsion research in the areas of
propellants, aerophysics and propulsion material applications.
Rodgers left Phillips in 1997 to assume the role of division chief for the
Propulsion Sciences and Advanced Concepts Division of the Air Force Research
Laboratory’s Propulsion Directorate. Splitting his time between research
facilities at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and Edwards
Air Force Base, Rodgers directed exploratory and advanced research and
development on air-breathing and rocket-based propulsion.
The author or coauthor of more than 30 publications, Rodgers will reside in
Madison, Ala., with his wife Jeanette and their children, Steve, Christy,
Kathryn and Michael.
The Propulsion Research Center is part of the Space Transportation
Directorate at the Marshall Center. As NASA’s premier organization for
development of space transportation and propulsion systems, the Marshall
Center is leading development of revolutionary technologies intended to
dramatically increase program safety and reliability while reducing the
overall cost of space transportation.
Media Relations Department