Kurt Detweiler (NASA)
Title: AST, Engineering Project Management
Technical Focus Area: Flight Projects
Mission/Project: Mars Sample Return – Earth Entry Vehicle (MSR-EEV)
Study Topics: Aerospace Engineering, Project/Technical management
Mr. Detweiler has over 37 years of broad project experience with NASA that has transitioned from working design, fabrication, testing and installation of flight systems supporting research experiments on Langley’s research aircraft to system engineering and project management for multi-million dollar missions. During Mr. Detweiler’s initial twelve years (1986-1998) at NASA Langley, he developed broad base experience with various rotorcraft, general aviation, business, high performance fighter, and commercial aircraft. Aircraft include Bell 204 Helicopter, Cessna 402, Beech C23, Learjet 28/29, Beech Kingair, F-106, T-38, F16/F16XL, OV-10, Boeing 737, and Boeing 757. In depth understanding of Aircraft design/analysis practices and standards necessary in maintaining aircraft system/structural integrity and safety were crucial to this position. In addition to his primary aircraft assignments, Mr. Detweiler supported other various system design activities and studies that enabled him to gradually broaden his experience base. These included a Shuttle Crew escape study, Commercially Developed Space Facility [CDSF], Micrometeoroid Debris Impact Measurement [MDIM] satellite experiment, Hypersonic Flight Instrumentation Research Experiment [HYFIRE], Hyper-X [X-43A], and SSTO Reusable Launch Vehicle [RLV] advance concepts. These early activities allowed Mr. Detweiler to gain strong fundamental system engineering strengths and exposure to project management skills that have allowed him to continue forward in the following positions: 1998-2002 Assigned the Chief Engineer for the Blended Wing Body (BWB) Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) Project. 2002-2005 Lead System Engineer and Deputy Project Manager position for the Hyper-X follow-on X-43C Project under the Next Generation Launch Technology Program. 2005-2006 Served as the Deputy Project Manager of Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) Mission. 2006-2009 Assigned as the Lead System Engineer for the Ares I-X System Engineering and Integration Office that led the system design, development, and launch of the Constellation Program’s Ares I-X Flight Test Vehicle. 2010 Participant and graduate of the NASA Systems Engineering Leadership Development Program (SELDP) 2011-2014 Served as the Deputy Chief Engineer and Acting Chief Engineer for Langley Research Center. 2015-2016 Project Manager for the Terrestrial HIAD Orbital Re-entry Project (THOR). 2016-2019 Project Manager for the LaRC Ascent Abort 2 (AA-2) Flight Test Article (FTA) Project. 2020-present Project Manager for the Mars Sample Return – Earth Entry Vehicle.
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