Space Operations Lunch & Learn: Innovation through Cross-Industry Collaboration – Postponed

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Houston Section Lunch & Learn organized by the Section’s Space Operations Technical Committee (Chair: BeBe Kelly-Serrato) has been postponed.

Subject: Innovation through Cross-Industry Collaboration
Guest speaker: Bob Prochnow, Executive Director for the Technology Collaboration Center of Houston

Please stay tuned for updates about the new date and location.

AIAA Houston Section – 2016 Election Candidates

Each year the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Houston Section holds an election among AIAA Houston Members in order to choose leaders for the next year. The AIAA Houston Section Year runs from July 1st through June 30th. Those that have been nominated to serve the section from July 1st , 2016 through June 30th, 2017 are listed below and have provided brief statements so that the Membership may know a little more about those on the ballot. The term for Councilors is 2 years so they will serve from July 1st, 2016 through June 30th, 2018 helping to provide continuity of knowledge for the section. The Chair-Elect will serve as deputy for the 2016-2017 year and then take over for the 2017-2018 year.

A Note For AIAA Members:

Members should receive the 2016 election ballot via the email you have registered at If you did not receive your ballot via email please double check that your membership and email information is up to date at the national website. If it is and you would like to vote then please email us at providing your name and membership number at which time we will send you the ballot. Voting is open to all AIAA Houston Members until April 30th, 2016.


Candidate – Svetlana Hanson

Short Biography

Svetlana Hanson is a senior software engineer a Tietronix, she is involved in Internet of Things (IoT) and Data Centric Architecture projects at Johnson Space Center. Svetlana Hanson has been active members of AIAA for many years (close to 15). At the section level Svetlana has served in position of Pre-College (k-12) Outreach and was responsible for many programs dedicated to promoting early interest and increase involvement in STEM professions. On regional level Svetlana currently serving as Deputy Director – Membership in region 4 and Deputy Director – Pre-College (k-12) Outreach (4 years).

Outside of the AIAA involvement in non-profit organizations: Boys Scouts, Texas PTA, Clear Creak Education Foundation.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

Svetlana joined AIAA to be involved with like-minded professionals and to be able to promote STEM and specifically aerospace within community. Svetlana run numerous events and presentations to increase awareness and interest in early school years and promote engineering. Events ranged from rocket-launching presentations, soda rockets, glider competitions, science fairs (literally lost count in how many participated), assisted in a few Mars Rover Competition events – and this is not a complete list.

Svetlana is deeply passionate about everything engineering and believes in power of networking and exchange of knowledge. And it is exactly what Houston section is serving to our members – a venue for networking, learning and exchanging of ideas. Svetlana hopes to continue to be active participant and contributor of AIAA for many years to come.

Vice-Chair Technical:

Candidate – Justine Wiles

Short Biography

Justine Wiles graduated from Michigan Tech with a BS in Biomedical Engineering and has been a contractor at JSC since 2010. She currently is a project engineer for the ISS Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED).  Her interests include systems engineering and human factors engineering.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I would like to continue my role as Vice Chair-Technical because I enjoy being involved with the technical presentations AIAA Houston puts on and organizing the Annual Technical Symposium.  I have been in this role for 2 years and worked to organize 2 ATS’S during which I have learned a great deal about AIAA and gained experience in planning the ATS.

Vice-Chair Operations:

Candidate – Ashley Nelson

Short Biography

After graduating from UT Austin in 2010, I began working at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth as an avionics system test engineer. I became an AIAA member in 2011, and served as membership director that first year. For the next two years, I served as the vice-chair of the North Texas chapter. In 2014, I transferred to the Orion program in Houston as a systems engineer, doing requirements, verification, and integration of the ECLS subsystem. I served as the Vice Chair – Operations last year for the Houston chapter. This year, I am also serving on the AIAA national Young Professionals Committee.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

If elected, this would be the 4th year in a row I’ve served an AIAA chapter as vice chair. The first two were with the North Texas chapter; these second two would be with the Houston chapter. As such, I bring with me not only the experience of being vice chair, but also the experience of working with a different chapter with different demographics and needs. I look forward to once again serving the Houston chapter and its members.


Candidate – Richard Strope

Short Biography

My name is Richard Strope. I moved to Houston 4 years ago when I began working (and currently still) as a structural engineer for The Boeing Company. Over the past 4 years I have worked on the Space Launch System and the Commercial Crew Program. I am originally from Illinois, lived in Louisiana where I received my Bachelors in Astrophysics, then again in Illinois where I received my Masters in Aerospace Engineering. Outside of work I enjoy playing intramural sports, going to concerts, drawing, and anything space related.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I want to serve the AIAA Houston because I want to contribute to the AIAA family and give back to the association that has helped me in the past.  I feel the AIAA helped guide me into the aerospace industry by helping engage me in topics, ideas, and science that was outside of my astrophysics background. I feel a lot of people do not know how interesting engineering in aeronautics/astronautics can be, and AIAA can help not only bridge the gaps between people in other sciences, but help expand ideas in one’s own field. I really just want to help people engage and get involved in aerospace fields any way possible, and this position gets me closer to doing so.


Candidate – Lea M. Hougland

Short Biography

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Education. I taught as an elementary school teacher for 11 years from 2003-2014. I am now a contractor for NASA as a Training Coordinator with ISS Medical Projects. During the short time I have been here, I have taking on the role of Ground Support Personnel (GSP) Training Coordinator and stepped up as the Chair of the Lockheed Martin Human Health & Performance Contract (HHPC) Diversity & Inclusion Council. I coordinate crew member training, GSP training, build training plans, create lesson plans, and provide feedback to our trainers.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I have one year of experience as secretary of the AIAA Houston Council. I am a very detailed-oriented person and can provide comprehensive council meeting minutes. I am interested in serving AIAA Houston again to gain a broader knowledge base of the space program and NASA.


Candidate – David Dannemiller

Short Biography

I am a project manager and flight dynamics engineer currently working Orion.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I have been around JSC for over 30 years. I can provide an “old guy” perspective to help guide our chapter.


Candidate – Arjumand Alvi

Short Biography

Arjumand Alvi is a senior at the Colorado School of Mines who will be graduating this May with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and two minors in International Political Economy and Humanitarian Engineering. She has served on the leadership board of the Mines Space Society (known as AIAA-Colorado School of Mines) for the past 3 years and is currently the student branch President. She has served her college community as a Resident Assistant for the past two years and previously as a Dignitary for the Mines Philanthropy Council. For 2 consecutive years, she has organized and led a campus-wide sustainability event, known as Mines Earth Hour, which raised awareness about energy conservation and environmental issues. Apart from her involvement at Mines, she also served on the National Board of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS-USA) for nearly 2 years, and she hosted a national online talk show called SpaceTalks.

In this role, as SpaceTalks Project Manager, she interviewed various aerospace industry professionals – from Systems Engineers for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle and OSIRIS-REx, to aformer NASA Astronaut. She is a passionate runner, a pilates enthusiast, a rising singer and pianist, and an aspiring astronaut. Her aspirations also include promoting international space diplomacy and exploring human-centered applications of NASA Spin-off technologies. One day, when she is a NASA Astronaut and eventually a NASA Administrator, she hopes to increase widespread investment in spin off technologies by discovering appropriate humanitarian applications of space technologies.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

At the Colorado School of Mines, I have grown as a leader. I have established a thriving AIAA chapter at my college campus, have improved membership retention, and have shared my passion for aviation and aerospace with my campus community. I have challenged myself to inspire others by mentoring local area students participating in STEM competitions. My vision for AIAA Houston includes stronger partnerships with local high schools, middle schools, elementaries, and industry. Stronger industry partnerships can encourage a stronger professional base, while local academic partnerships can create opportunities for professionals to inspire young dreamers in Houston. Although I’ve had invaluable experiences in Colorado, I have felt home calling my name for quite some time now. I have never lost sight of the fact that, while I was growing up in Katy, TX, I was inspired by NASA and the lively Houston aerospace industry. I consider Houston home, and I would like to invest my energy in this city – to maintain Houston as not just the Energy Capital of the World, but also the Space Capital of the World. As an AIAA Councilor, I will ensure that AIAA Houston continues towards a bright future by offering my own skills, talents, and time to the Houston community. I love this city and I believe it is my time to give back. It would be an honor to serve as a Councilor, and I hope to have your vote in the 2016 AIAA Houston Elections. Thank you for this opportunity.


Candidate – Fred Ouellette

Short Biography

I graduated from Texas A&M in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. My human space flight career started working for Rockwell as a Space Shuttle Flight Controller. In 1989, I was hired by NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Engineering Directorate as a shuttle subsystem manager working extended duration orbiter and Shuttle/MIR. In 1994, I received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Houston and then in 1995, I detailed to Hamilton Standard in Connecticut, to work on the ISS Pump and Control Valve Project. From 1997 to 2004, I worked in the Shuttle Program Orbiter Project Office as the Electric Auxiliary Power Unit project manager and various branch management positions. In 2004, I detailed to NASA Headquarters as the Deputy Business Manager for the Science Mission Directorate and in 2005 I was selected as the Assistant Manager for Technical Resources within the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and the Contracting Officer Technical Representative for the Lockheed Martin MPCV Contract. In 2011 I was detailed to the Commercial Crew Program (CCP) Office to work the request for proposal for the Interim Design Contract for commercial crewed vehicles. In 2012 through my NASA retirement in July of 2013, and I was detailed to Kennedy Space Center as the Deputy Manager for Orion Production. After retirement, I was hired by Special Aerospace Services in Boulder Colorado to support Boeing Commercial CCP activities near JSC. I have been a member of ASME since 1985 and a member of AIAA since 2013. I was the AIAA Houston Section membership chair from 2014/2015 and I am the AIAA Houston Section treasurer for 2015/2016.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I have a significant amount of project and program management experience that will assist in my position as a councilor of AIAA activities. I have also served as membership chair from 2014 to 2015 and treasurer from 2015 – 2016.


Candidate – Wayne Hale

Short Biography

Mr. Hale is currently a consultant for Special Aerospace Services of Boulder, Colorado. In that capacity he provides services in technical consulting, seminars, technical analysis, and speaking engagements with aerospace, energy, and other high reliability organizations on safety, management, culture change, operations in high risk environments.

Mr. Hale retired from NASA in 2010 as the Deputy Associate Administrator of Strategic Partnerships at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Mr. Hale served in the senior leadership of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program from 2003 to 2008 as Launch Integration Manager at the Kennedy Space Center followed by two years as Deputy Program Manager and finally as Program Manager all during the post-Columbia return to flight effort. From 1988 to 2003, he was a Space Shuttle Flight Director for 40 Space Shuttle flights, and prior to that as an orbiter systems flight controller in Mission Control for 15 early Space Shuttle flights.

Mr. Hale counts as the capstone achievement of his career the transformation of NASA Space Shuttle management culture to be one that emphasized safety and mission success. His tenure as Program Manager marked seven successful space shuttle flights and set the safety expectations for the fly out of the space shuttle program.

Mr. Hale has received special honors and awards such as: Associate Fellow of the AIAA, three NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals; the NASA Exceptional Service Medal; Rice University Outstanding Engineering Alumnus; Purdue University Distinguished Engineering Alumnus and numerous other awards.

Mr. Hale holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

I hope to serve the section and provide help to the leadership in all aspects of the AIAA.


Candidate – Patrick E. Rodi, Ph. D.

Short Biography

Dr. Patrick Rodi is a Lockheed Martin Fellow specializing in high speed aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, and vehicle design. Currently, Dr. Rodi is the AeroSciences Lead for Lockheed Martin-Houston for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Patrick earned his B.S. degree from The University of Florida, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Center for Hypersonic Training and Research at The University of Texas at Austin, as a NASA-Ames Graduate Student Research Fellow. Following college, he won a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Research Associate and was assigned to NASA-Langley to study ramjet/scramjet inlets. Patrick has worked for Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas, and joined Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in 1996 to work in high speed aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics on a number of programs such as X-33 and FALCON. In 2007, he returned to Texas to work on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Dr. Rodi is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA, and has authored over three dozen papers on hypersonics, grid generation, artificial intelligence, and optimization. Patrick has served on a number of AIAA Technical Committees and is an active reviewer for conference papers and journal submissions.

A brief candidate statement of your qualifications and why you want to serve in this capacity

As a member of the AIAA since 1981, I’ve witnessed a number of changes and trends occurring at student and local levels up through to the national and international levels. These pose unique and potentially difficult challenges for the society in the coming years. During these 35+ years of membership, I’ve been involved in many AIAA activities, from technical activities on committees and as a reviewer, to student paper competitions and STEM outreach. This extensive experience has been invaluable in preparing me to serve the AIAA-Houston community. Additionally, my career has permitted me to work at a number of locations around the country, in both industrial and governmental environments, and I have acquired many local and regional lessons learned and fruitful ideas from this broad background. I am eager to bring this extensive and diverse experience base to serve the AIAA-Houston community, to create a section with strong technical talent, well interconnected across all local stakeholder groups, and prepared for the future of the society.