National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Lunch and Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Wednesday, August 22

Dr. Donald Roy Petitt

Summary:  Donald R. Pettit, Ph.D was selected by NASA in 1996. The Silverton, Oregon native holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Oregon State University and a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona. Prior to becoming an astronaut, he worked as a staff scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico. A veteran of three spaceflights, Pettit served as NASA Science Officer for Expedition 6 in 2003, operated the robotic arm for STS-126 in 2008 and served as a Flight Engineer for Expedition 30/31 in 2012, where he lived aboard the International Space Station for more than 6 months.

Experience:  Staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico from 1984 to 1996. Projects included reduced gravity fluid flow and materials processing experiments onboard the NASA KC-135 airplane, atmospheric spectroscopy on noctilucent clouds seeded from sounding rockets, fumarole gas sampling from volcanoes and problems in detonation physics. He was a member of the Synthesis Group, a presidential commission lead by Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Tom Stafford tasked with assembling the technology to return to the Moon and explore Mars (1990) and the Space Station Freedom Redesign Team (1993).

NASA Experience:  Selected by NASA to be an astronaut in April 1996, Dr. Pettit reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. A veteran of three spaceflights, Dr. Pettit has logged more than 370 days in space and over 13 spacewalk hours. He lived aboard the International Space Station for 5 1/2 months during Expedition 6, was a member of the STS-126 crew, and again lived aboard the station for 6 1/2 months as part of the Expedition 30/31 crew.

Spaceflight Experience:  Expedition 6 (November 23, 2002 to May 3, 2003). Dr. Pettit completed his first spaceflight as NASA Science Officer aboard the International Space Station with Mission Commander Ken Bowersox, and Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin, logging more than 161 days in space. During their mission, the crew performed science experiments while continuing space station construction. Dr. Pettit and Ken Bowersox performed two spacewalks. The Expedition 6 crew launched on STS-113 Space Shuttle Endeavour expecting to return on STS-114 Space Shuttle Discovery after a 2 1/2-month mission. Following the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster that grounded the Space Shuttle fleet, they returned to Earth after 5 1/2 months on Soyuz TMA-1, landing in Kazakhstan with a malfunction-caused ballistic entry. This off-nominal entry resulted in the crew being lost for a number of hours until recovered by ground rescue teams.

STS-126 (November 14 to November 30, 2008). The Space Shuttle Endeavour launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and due to bad weather, returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Eventually, the vehicle was relaunched and the 16-day mission included expanding the living quarters of the International Space Station and a regenerative life support system that reclaims potable water from urine. During the mission, Dr. Pettit operated the robotic arm for four spacewalks.

Expedition 30/31 (December 21, 2011 to July 1, 2012). Pettit launched to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft from Kazakhstan. NASA Flight Engineer Don Pettit, Russian Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands docked to the station on December 23, 2011. Dr. Pettit did scientific research and captured the first commercial cargo spacecraft, the SpaceX Dragon D1 using the robotic arm. They landed in Kazakhstan after 193 days in space.

Lunchtime Speaker: Monday, August 20th

Dr. John Leinhard

Location: Ballroom A, Time: 12:00PM-1:00PM

John H. Lienhard, Ph.D. author and voice of NPR’s The Engines of Our Ingenuity, is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and History at the University of Houston. He received BS and MS degrees from Oregon State College and the University of Washington, his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, and he holds two honorary doctorates. He is known for his research in the thermal sciences as well as in cultural history. He is an Honorary Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

In addition to many awards for his technical contributions, Dr. Lienhard has received, for his work on Engines, the ASME Ralph Coates Roe Medal for contributions to the public understanding of technology, the 1991 Portrait Division Award from the American Women in Radio and Television, and the 1998 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Engineer-Historian Award, other ASME honors, and two 2005 Crystal Microphone Awards.

Lunchtime Speaker: Wednesday, August 22nd

Dr. Karen Nyberg

Location: Ballroom A, Time: 12:00PM-1:00PM

Karen L. Nyberg, Ph.D. was selected as a Mission Specialist by NASA in 2000. The Vining, Minnesota native holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of North Dakota; a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering also from the University of Texas at Austin. She began as a Co-op in 1991 and worked for NASA in a variety of areas. She received a patent for work done in 1991 on Robot Friendly Probe and Socket Assembly. In 1998, upon completing her doctorate, she accepted a position with the Crew and Thermal Systems Division, working as an Environmental Control Systems Engineer.  Nyberg has served on two spaceflights, STS-124 and Expedition 36/37, and has accumulated 180 days in space. She has since served in the Space Shuttle branch, the Exploration branch, and as Chief of the Robotics branch.

Lunchtime Speaker: Thursday, August 23rd

Kevin Window

Location: Ballroom A, Time: 12:00PM-1:00PM

As Director of Johnson Space Center’s Engineering Directorate, Kevin Window provides executive guidance and institutional support to programs, projects, and technology activities in support of the U.S. space policy and NASA identified strategic goals.  He provides organizational leadership for overall technical engineering support and system management of the International Space Station (ISS), Orion, and technical insight into the Commercial Crew Program (CCP).  His organization is also responsible for developing technology and engineering domains necessary for human space flight for lunar and Mars exploration and numerous unique NASA hardware and software developments across all human space flight programs.