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Join us in welcoming Axient’s new Executive Director of NASA Specialty Engineering Services, Scotty Sparks! Scotty comes to Axient directly from NASA with 33 years’ experience and will primarily provide his expertise to our NASA and commercial space customers in human spaceflight and space science, as well as serve as a subject matter expert on the Consolidated Program Support Services, Program, Planning & Control (CPSS PP&C) contract.
Mr. Sparks began his NASA career at MSFC in 1989 as an engineer in the Materials and Processes Branch, where he was initially responsible for defining and developing the next generation of environmentally compliant cryoinsulations for the External Tank. He has been involved with programs ranging from the Space Shuttle – External Tank to the experimental composite hydrogen tank of the X-33 to the Core Stage of the upcoming Space Launch System vehicle.
From 2006 to 2010, Mr. Sparks served as the Assistant Chief Engineer for the External Tank (Space Shuttle). Mr. Sparks participated in the development of engineering and material solutions that allowed the Space Shuttle to return to flight after the Columbia tragedy in 2003. As Assistant Chief Engineer for External Tank, Mr. Sparks oversaw the subsequent successful flight of eighteen (18) external tanks during his tenure in the Chief Engineers Office.
From 2010 to 2020, Mr. Sparks served as Branch and then Division Chief for Nonmetallic Materials and Advanced Manufacturing. Mr. Sparks was responsible for providing research, technology, and engineering support in materials, processes, and products that were used in space exploration applications and manufacturing. He served as the Deputy Director for the Materials and Processes Laboratory at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Most recently, Mr. Sparks has served as the Deputy Director for the SLS Block 1B Development Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
He has received numerous awards, including a NASA Silver Achievement Medal, a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, a Silver Snoopy Award, Engineering Directorate Director’s Award, and the Georgia Institute of Technology Sigma Xi Research Award for Master’s Thesis.
A native of Chattanooga, TN, Mr. Sparks earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1985, and a Master’s Degree from the college of Textile Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1988.
We’re so happy to have you on the team, Scotty!