NASA has just appointed one of its respected veterans to head the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate. Steve Jurczyk was recently named Associate Administrator by NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden, after heading the Hampton’s Langley Research Center. Jurczyk, who has been with NASA for a number of years, has played several key roles in the Langley division of the agency before being given this role, which he will commence on the 2nd of March, Monday.
As a senior engineer, he has gone through several leadership positions in of the NASA Langley Research Center until being appointed Deputy Center Director. He was eventually named Center Director of the same Center last year, in April.
Administrator Bolden is happy about his choice, stating that he feels that Jurczyk will be able to provide the leadership needed for the Space Technology Mission Directorate to follow through with the mission’s innovative way of thinking, and continuing to ensure NASA and the aerospace community are forerunners in their field.
NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, or STMD, is known for providing the technologies that are needed for NASA’s space missions. It is currently focused on improving present-day missions, as well as ensuring the success of future endeavors – projects that might change the course of space travel.
STMD is essential not in the role it plays within NASA, but also in the partnerships it plays with other organizations and institutions, both in the industry and in the academia. STMD, for example, has to manage several relationships with the private sector, government agencies and international partners.
Jurczyk, it seems, is well suited for the post. Before being appointed Center Director at Langley, he was Director of Systems Engineering and later, Director of Langley’s Research and Technology Directorate.
This appointment was due to the previous head, Michael Gazarik, leaving the agency for the post of Director of Technology at Boulder, Colorado’s Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
Several re-appointments also have to be made because of this Jurczyk’s new post. Dave Bowles, who used to be Deputy Center Director at Langley Research Center, will now serve as acting Director. Clayton Turner will now be acting Deputy Director and Cathy Mangum, acting Associate Director.
Jurczyk has expressed his eagerness in his new role since it will surely be an influence in space exploration and new science missions. He also expressed confidence in Bowles, who will take his place. He said, “I am leaving Langley in good hands with (deputy director) David Bowles as the acting center director and an extremely strong leadership team that will continue to make significant contributions to agency and national goals and objectives.”
Bolden does not seem to begrudge the leaving of the previous administrator, Michael Gazarik, stating that he has been vital in building the solid foundation for the status of the current Space Technology Mission Directorate.