For release: 11/26/02
Release #: 02-296
John W. Kilpatrick, director of NASA Marshalls Engineering Directorate, receives Presidential Rank Award
John W. (Bill) Kilpatrick of Huntsville has received one the nation’s highest honors for government service work a Presidential Rank Award presented annually to a small number of federal employees.
Photo: Kilpatrick (NASA/MSFC)
John W. (Bill) Kilpatrick of Huntsville has received one of the nation’s highest honors for government service work a Presidential Rank Award presented annually to a small number of federal employees.
As director of Engineering, Kilpatrick is responsible for comprehensive engineering services for all programs and projects at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. He is one of only 32 NASA executives presented the 2002 Meritorious Executive Award. Three other Marshall employees also received Presidential Rank Awards for their exceptional service. An awards ceremony will be held in Washington, D.C., where each honoree will receive a silver pin and a framed certificate signed by President George W. Bush.
The Presidential Rank Award honors executives who have provided exceptional service to the American people over an extended period of time. These individuals exhibit strong leadership skills, strength, integrity and a commitment to outstanding public service. They are judged on their accomplishments and abilities in the areas of leading people, leading change, achieving results, business acumen, building coalitions, and fostering communications.
"The honor conferred on Bill is a source of pride and inspiration to me and the entire Marshall team,” said Art Stephenson, director of the Marshall Center. “His selection demonstrates that hard work, dedication and achievement by those in public service do not go unrecognized, and that is tremendously gratifying to me,” he added.
Kilpatrick leads more than 1,250 civil service and contract employees and manages a $24.5 million plus budget to provide comprehensive engineering research, technology and development in support of space flight programs and projects. He oversees Marshall’s world-class facilities that provide test services and support technology development. Under his leadership, the Engineering Directorate developed a strategic 10-year plan for the Marshall Center that focuses on electrical and electronic hardware and software for advanced flight and ground systems, cryotanks made of metals and composites usable in structures operating at very low temperature, advanced structures and materials applications, improved manufacturing procedures and a better understanding of space environments and its effects on humans in space.
A major role of the Engineering Directorate is to provide technical insight into Space Shuttle safety and lead in the development of the International Space Station Launch Deployment Assembly and its Environmental Control and Life Support System.
A native of Chamblee, Ga., he joined Marshall in 1968 as an aerospace engineer in the former Missions Operations Office. He has contributed to such major programs as Skylab, Spacelab, the International Space Station, and the development of experiments carried aboard the Space Shuttle in various laboratories within the Science and Engineering Directorate.
In 1985, Kilpatrick was appointed team leader of the Flight Requirements Team that trained astronauts to maintain data and analyze experiments in space, part of the Systems Analysis and Integration Laboratory the first of numerous key positions within the former Science and Engineering Directorate. He became chief of the Flight Operations Branch of the laboratory in 1986, and in 1990 was named deputy chief of the Mission Systems Division, as well as chief of the Operations Engineering Division both within the Mission Operations Laboratory. In 1998 Kilpatrick was named director of the Systems Integration and Analysis Laboratory and in 1999 became deputy director of the Engineering Directorate.
Kilpatrick earned an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in 1968, and a master’s degree in administrative science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1978. In June 2000, he received NASA’s highest award, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal for his dedicated and innovative leadership in the conception, formulation and implementation of an effective systems management oversight capability for the Marshall Center. He is also a two-time recipient of Marshall’s Center Director’s Commendation Award and a three-time honoree of the Special Service Award.
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