University of Tennessee Chattanooga's College of Engineering announces Dr. Paul McConnaughey at their CECS Seminar Series presenting “The Future of Deep Space Human Exploration” on Sept. 22 at 11 a.m. in the UTC SimCenter Auditorium, 701 E. M.L. King Blvd. in Chattanooga. The public is invited.
"Why explore deep space? And what technologies will it take to get there? Dr. Paul McConnaughey will discuss the importance of engineering advanced technologies to journey to deep space – to cislunar, the moon, Mars, and beyond. From the evolvable heavy-lift capability of the Space Launch System to cutting edge lander propulsion technology, the journey to deep space will require innovation and the next generation STEM workforce to be successful," officials said.
Dr. Paul K. McConnaughey is the associate director, technical, in the Office of the Center Director at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The Marshall Center is one of NASA’s largest field installations, with nearly 6,000 on- and near-site civil service and contractor employees and an annual budget of approximately $2.5 billion.
Named to the position in August 2015, Dr. McConnaughey is responsible for ensuring the performance of Marshall’s programs and technical activities with respect to cost, schedule, and mission success.
Originally from the midwest, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University in Corvallis, and his master’s degree and doctorate from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. After earning his doctorate, Dr. McConnaughey spent three years as a professor of soil physics and mathematics at Mississippi State University in Starkville.
He joined Marshall in 1986 as an engineer in the Systems Dynamics Laboratory, where he advanced quickly through supervisory positions, and in 1998 was named the chief of the Fluid Dynamics Division. In 1998, he was named NASA’s deputy manager for the Military Spaceplane Technology Office, where he worked on space vehicle technologies of joint interest to NASA and the U.S. Air Force.
Dr. McConnaughey held various leadership positions of increasing responsibility, and in 2007 was selected as Marshall’s chief engineer. He then served as the director of System Engineering and Integration and the chief engineer of the Exploration Systems Development Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington where he oversaw the integration of the Space Launch System, Orion spacecraft, and Ground Support Development and Operations programs.
For his service to NASA, he has received three NASA Exceptional Service Medals, a NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, a Center Director’s Commendation, and a Certificate of Appreciation. Dr. McConnaughey also received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive in 2011, the second-highest award conferred by the president of the United States.