Why explore deep space? And what technologies will it take to get there?
Dr. Paul McConnaughey, Associate Director Technical at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will discuss the importance of advanced technologies to journey to Mars and the deep space beyond.
The event takes place on Friday, Sept. 22, at 11 a.m. in the SimCenter Auditorium, located at 701 E. Martin Luther King Blvd. The free event, sponsored by the UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science and the UTC SimCenter, is open to the public.
Named to his associate director’s position in August 2015, McConnaughey is responsible for ensuring the performance of Marshall’s programs and technical activities with respect to cost, schedule and mission success. The center is one of NASA’s largest sites with nearly 6,000 civil service and contracted employees and an annual budget of about $2.5 billion.
McConnaughey has held various leadership positions at Marshall and, in 2007, was selected as Marshall’s chief engineer. From there, he moved into the role as director of System Engineering and Integration then was sent to NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., where was chief engineer of the Exploration Systems Development Division. In that position, he oversaw the integration of the Space Launch System, Orion spacecraft and Ground Support Development and Operations programs.
For his service to NASA, McConnaughey has received three NASA Exceptional Service Medals, a NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, a Center Director’s Commendation and a Certificate of Appreciation. He also received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive in 2011, the second-highest NASA award conferred by the president of the United States.