Diverse Team of Experts Supports Independent Shuttle Accident Probe

The Columbia Accident Investigation Board is drawing together some of the nation’s most experienced investigators and safety experts from the aviation, naval nuclear propulsion, medical, scientific and academic communities to determine the cause of the February 1, 2003 space shuttle accident.

From NASA:
Diverse Team of Experts Supports Independent Shuttle Accident Probe

The Columbia Accident Investigation Board is drawing together some of the nation’s most experienced investigators and safety experts from the aviation, naval nuclear propulsion, medical, scientific and academic communities to determine the cause of the February 1, 2003 space shuttle accident.

The following is a list of investigators and members of the Independent Analysis and Support Team who are currently assisting the CAIB:

Col. Jack Anthony ? Currently the Deputy Director of Personnel for the Air Force Space Command, Col. Anthony has served in various positions in space systems engineering, military satellite operations, and education technical leadership. His assignments have included Commander of the 1st Space Operations Squadron at Schreiver Air Force Base, satellite program manager at the National Reconnaissance Office and the Air Force Research Laboratory, assistant professor of astronautics at the Air Force Academy, and flight test engineering. He holds MS and BS degrees in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Academy.

Dr. James P. Bagian ? Dr. Bagian was chosen as the first director of the Veterans Administration National Center for Patient Safety in 1998. NCPS is a “systems approach” to health care solutions that applies human factors engineering methods and draws on the ideas of high-reliability organizations to target and eliminate system vulnerabilities. A former NASA astronaut for 15 years, from 1980 to 1995, Dr. Bagian was a crew member on the Discovery space shuttle mission in 1989 and on the Columbia in 1991, logging more than 337 hours in space. Following the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion, he supervised the capsule’s recovery from the ocean floor and served on the team that investigated the tragedy. He led efforts to develop a pressure suit used for shuttle crew escape, a shuttle escape hatch and other related survival equipment. Dr. Bagian is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Military and Emergency Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch. A colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, he is an Air Force-qualified freefall parachutist, holds a private pilot’s license, and has logged more than 1,500 hours of flying time in propeller and jet aircraft, helicopters and gliders. Dr. Bagian was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2000 for “integration of engineering and medical knowledge in applications to aerospace systems, environmental technology and patient safety.” He is a current board member of the National Research Council Space Studies Board and is chairman of the National Research Council committee on Space Biology & Medicine. He is also a former board member of the aerospace Human Factors Society. He was first in class at U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeons School, won the Orthopedics Prize from Jefferson University, and graduated first in his class from Drexel University.

Lt. Col. Richard J. Burgess ? As Chief of the Aviation Safety Branch for the U.S. Air Force Safety Center at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Col. Burgess is responsible for coordinating all Air Force aircraft mishap investigations. A command pilot with more than 2,900 hours in the T-37, T-38, T-41, A-10 and F-16, he has also served as wing Chief of Safety and commander of the 39th Support Squadron at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey; on the Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe staff at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and as wing Chief of Safety at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Also a qualified Air Traffic Controller, he holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the Air Force Academy.

Thomas L. Carter ? Mr. Carter is a consultant for National Security Affairs. He advises senior corporate personnel of several companies on national security issues pending before the executive and legislative branches. He has extensive knowledge of national security issues and defense programs as well as a thorough understanding of the federal budgeting and legislative processes, as a result of more than 22 years of responsibility at the White House, the U.S. Senate and the Department of Defense. He has served a variety of posts including the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Assistant to the Senate Republican Leader (Senator Robert Dole), and the Air Force Aide to the President. Mr. Carter also serves the nation as a Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserve.

Thomas L. Foster ? After a distinguished career with the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (Naval Reactors) from 1963 to 1994, and as Director of Resource Management from 1972 to 1994, Mr. Foster became President of TAF, Inc. While there, he has worked on special projects for the Navy, the Department of Energy and construction contractors. Those projects have included Hanford Lab costs, the Women in Submarines study, the new attack submarine, privatization, a new aircraft carrier cost and military effectiveness analysis and acquisition strategy. Mr. Foster has an MBA from George Washington University.

CDR Mike Francis ? As head of the Naval Safety Center Aircraft Mishap Investigations Division, CDR Francis has overseen 15 major aircraft mishap investigations and manages an experienced staff of investigators. He is a designated Naval Aviator and helicopter pilot with 1,800 hours in CH-46 helicopters and 950 hours in UH-1N helicopters. He holds a BA in Pre-Engineering Physics from Miami University.

Howard E. Goldstein ? Mr. Goldstein retired as the Chief Scientist of the Space Technology Division at NASA Ames Research Center in July 2000. During a 30-year career at Ames, he initiated the research program for development of materials that are now major components of the Thermal Protection System of the Space Shuttle Orbiter and contributed to other knowledge advancements in the field of thermal protection materials and systems and ablation theory. He was a senior scientist at the Research Institute of Advanced Computer Science/University Space Research Association in 2001 and 2002 and is now a consultant. He received his BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona.

Lt. Col Patrick A. Goodman ? Currently the Chief of Safety for the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, Col. Goodman also served for one year as the director of Combat Search and Rescue for Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. He has more than 3,200 hours of flying time in five different types of helicopters and 10 years of major aircraft mishap investigation experience. He is a 1986 graduate of the Air Force Academy and was a Distinguished Graduate of Undergraduate Helicopter Training.

Ronald K. Gress ? Mr. Gress is a consultant on safety of launch and entry operations. Mr. Gress retired from the Federal Aviation Administration as the Associate Administrator for the Office of Commercial Space Transportation. Mr. Gress developed minimum regulatory safety requirements for launch and entry operations and worked with industry, the Department of Defense, and NASA on matters affecting space transportation operations, flight safety and policy. Mr. Gress has an MBA from California State University and a BS in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Thomas Haueter ? During 18 years at the National Transportation Safety Board, Mr. Haueter has served as an airworthiness investigator, an Investigator-in-Charge of domestic aviation accidents and as the U.S. Accredited Representative for foreign aviation accidents. Currently Deputy Director of the Office of Aviation Safety, he has investigated many major airline accidents, including USAir Flight 427, Eastwind Flight 527, and the accidents that claimed the lives of Sen. John Tower and Senator John Heinz. He was also the lead NTSB investigator assisting the U.S. Air Force in the investigation of the CT-43A that crashed near Dubrovnik, Croatia, killing then-Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and 34 others. He holds a commercial pilot’s certificate and regularly flies a 1943 Stearman biplane he restored. He has an MBA in Operations Research and International Business from George Mason University and a BS in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University.

Dr. Daniel Heimerdinger ? Dr. Heimerdinger is the Executive Vice President of Valador Inc., a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business. Dr. Heimerdinger has been involved with the Space Program since 1978, when he started doing basic research in advanced electric propulsion systems for deep space missions. He has since focused on manned spaceflight operations and safety, space debris detection and avoidance, upper atmosphere and entry physics, space operations, space communications, satellite constellation design, and orbital mechanics. Dr. Heimerdinger currently serves on the NASA Advisory Council Task Force on the International Space Station Operational Readiness and Safety, also known as the Stafford/Anfimov Task Force. He has served on two other NASA Advisory Council task forces: the Space Shuttle/Mir Operational Readiness and Safety, and the STS-46 Mission Readiness Review. Dr. Heimerdinger received his Ph.D. from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics, an SM in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, and a BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Summa Cum Laude) from Princeton University. Dr. Heimerdinger is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Jim Mosquera ? Mr. Mosquera has 23 years of experience in technical engineering and programmatic direction of U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion matters at Naval Reactors, a joint Department of Energy-Navy program. His experience includes positions in the Surface Ship Systems division responsible for nuclear propulsion plant fluid systems; the Nuclear Components Division; the Reactor Engineering Division; Advanced Submarine Technology Development, and is now the Chief Information Officer. He has graduate level training in Nuclear Engineering from the Bettis Reactor Engineering School and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Gary Olson ? Mr. Olson has extensive experience in budgeting, planning, administration, legislative affairs, human relations and staffing gained during his 30 years on the staff of the Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion. The Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (NNPP), a joint effort of the Departments of Navy and Energy, is responsible for all aspects of nuclear propulsion for the U.S. Navy and assigned civilian nuclear projects. Mr. Olson retired from the Senior Executive Service as the Director of the Fiscal Division at the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program in the Atomic Energy Commission. Mr. Olson served in the US Navy Supply Corp, and he received his BA in Accounting from Clarkson University.

Gregory Phillips ? Currently a Senior Air Safety Investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board’s Office of Aviation Safety, Mr. Phillips also has served as an Aerospace Engineer (Systems) and a National Resource Specialist for Airworthiness Engineering. He has served in various engineering group chairman positions for more than 40 domestic and international incident/accident investigations, including USAir Flight 427; the United DC-10 accident in Sioux City, Iowa and the Avianca Boeing 707 accident in Glen Cove, NY. Prior to joining the NTSB in 1988, Mr. Phillips worked as a design engineer for Cessna Aircraft in Wichita, KS from 1979 to 1983 and for Northrop Aircraft in Los Angeles, CA from 1983 to 1988, where he was responsible for the design of aircraft structures, flight controls, hydraulic pneumatic, and environmental control systems. He holds a commercial pilot’s certificate, and has a MA in Management from University of Redlands and a BS in Engineering from the University of Evansville

David B. Pye ? Mr. Pye is an independent engineering and management consultant and licensed professional engineer, whose experience includes 38 years of nuclear propulsion plant engineering at Naval Reactors. He retired from his position as Director for the Reactor Engineering Division in 2001. In that position, he was responsible for the design, development, procurement and operational support of the reactors in all U.S. Navy submarines and surface ships, as well as those in the Department of Energy’s land-based prototypes used for R&D and crew training. Mr. Pye has a MS in Engineering from George Washington University, an MS in Aeronautical and Ocean Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Donald J. Rigali ? Mr. Rigali is currently a consultant to Sandia National Laboratories and the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). He retired from Sandia National Laboratories as the Director of the Aerospace Systems Development Center, where he directed work in the areas of National Missile Defense, smart targeting, hypersonic weapons and technology, access to space, and entry systems research and development. Mr. Rigali received an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico, a BA from the College of St. Thomas and a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. James. W. Smiley ? Dr. Smiley’s professional experience includes 38 years of increasing responsibility for the U.S. Nuclear Navy’s nuclear power plants programs. Prior to retirement in 2001 from the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, Dr. Smiley was project manager for the design of the propulsion plant of the new U.S. Navy Virginia Class submarine. Dr. Smiley also has led the laboratory team that reviewed causes and lessons learned from the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents. His expertise also includes design, construction and testing of advanced reactor concepts, including nuclear design, reactor performance, reactor safety and direct energy conversion. Dr. Smiley has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, an MS in Nuclear Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MS in Industrial Administration from Union College, and a BS in Engineering Science from Penn State.

Lt. Col. Wade J. Thompson ? Currently Operations Officer of the U.S. Air Force’s 354th Fighter Squadron (the Bulldogs,) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ, Col Thompson has served as a fighter pilot, instructor pilot, assistant operations officer and on the Air Staff. A command pilot with more than 2,800 hours in fighter and trainer aircraft, he has combat experience as an A/OA-10 pilot during Operations ALLIED FORCE, SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM. He holds a MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a MA in International Relations from the University of Helsinki and a BS in Astronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Bob Vallaster ? Mr. Vallaster has conducted more than 60 major aircraft mishap investigations as an investigator at the Naval Safety Center and another 138 investigations as an Air Safety Investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board between 1990 and 1994. He was a Marine Corps pilot from 1971 to 1990 and received a BS in Management from the University of West Florida.

Lt. Col. Donald J. White ? As Director of Human Factors Investigation and Analysis at the Headquarters Air Force Safety Center at Kirtland Air Force Base, Col. White directs and executes all human factors and human performance functions of the Center for prevention and investigation of mishaps and events. He is responsible for identification of hazards and risk and for developing intervention and risk mitigation programs for all Air Force human performance and human factors issues and has investigated 20 mishaps or events. He is an adjunct faculty member to the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, and is a military high-altitude, low-opening parachute jumpmaster with more than 3,000 military parachute jumps. Col. White holds an MA in Physiology from Kent State University and BS in Physiology from Frostburg State University.

Dr. Paul D. Wilde ? In his role as an aerospace engineer in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Licensing and Safety Division, where he focuses on rocket safety, Mr. Wilde has performed entry survivability analysis and extensive work on blast and debris. He has also worked on rocket safety issues in private industry, supporting U.S. Air Force Flight Safety and Analysis. He holds a PhD, MS and BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a licensed Professional Engineer.

LCDR Johnny R. Wolfe Jr. ? LCDR Wolfe currently serves as Technical Director for Strategic Systems Programs at the Program Management Office in Sunnyvale, CA, where he is in charge of technical configuration control for the Trident I/II missiles (C-4/D-5) and is the engineering lead for all missile problem investigations. He has also served as lead systems engineer on the Ballistic Missile Defense Office (BMDO) joint skunkworks project run by the U.S. Air Force at Kirtland Air Force Base; assistant for Submarine communications and Special Operations communications integration; assistant for Fire Control Production, Development and Operations; and Assistant Head of the Missile Engineering Section. He holds a MS in Applied Physics from the Naval Postgraduate School and a BS in Marine Systems Engineering from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

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